Operators at Berlin Tempelhof Airport last month rebuffed a local court recommendation that offered a postponement of closure of the downtown airport. The court on December 21 recommended keeping Tempelhof open until Oct. 31, 2008, one year later than previously planned. But the operators challenging the rejection of their licenses, as they had a right to comment, said they could not accept such a compromise.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Airports
New developments at airports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
The UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has introduced a permanent 250-knot speed restriction for standard instrument departures (SIDs) from London’s Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Northolt and London City airports. Aircraft are required to maintain and not exceed 250 knots below FL100.
Oxford Airport in the UK is being upgraded with a Category I instrument landing system and the widening of its main runway. Construction work to widen the 5,095-foot Runway 01/19 is scheduled to start in April. Runway construction and the ILS installation (with associated approach lights) should be complete by the end of June.
IFR special traffic management programs (STMP) are in effect during the ski season at three Colorado airports (Aspen, Eagle and Rifle) during these dates: February 15 through February 20 and March 15 through April 3. The daily STMP start/end times this year begin each day at 8 a.m. MST and end at 6 p.m. MST to help align the STMP with sunrise/sunset times, since many operators are unable to operate outside daylight hours.
The Transportation Security Administration recently designated Dulles International Airport and Bradley International Airport gateway facilities for pre-cleared general aviation operators to use Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
As expected, the FAA extended the reservation and slot program under the high-density rule at New York La Guardia Airport. The program, which includes a slot-reservation system for general aviation operations (six slots are available per hour between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.), was set to expire January 1. The FAA has proposed a long-term rule in a notice of proposed rulemaking that would further limit the number of operations at La Guardia.
Houston Executive Airport, a conversion of the former Air Rice Airport near Katy, Texas, on Houston’s west side, to a business aviation facility, is up and running. According to its developers, the prior-permission requirement has come down, the airport is open to the public 24/7 and the FBO is in service, albeit from temporary facilities while the executive terminal is under construction.
Kissimmee Gateway Airport, which bills itself as the most reasonably priced and accessible Orlando, Fla.-area airport, has experienced strong growth in business aircraft traffic and fuel sales during the past year. Fuel sales (separate jet-fuel numbers are not available) grew 9 percent to 2.3 million gallons last year, and turboprop and jet traffic climbed 21 percent, according to an official.
Landing fees are scheduled to increase January 1 at Teterboro Airport, ostensibly due to higher operating, capital and safety improvement spending at the airport next year and beyond. Planned expenditures include those for pavement overlay and installation of edge lighting, construction of three taxiways, improvement to airfield drainage systems, new aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles and additional Port Authority police.
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year have prompted the NTSB to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since its inception in 1990.