Houston Ellington Field, home to NASA’s C-9 “Vomit Comet” microgravity research airplane, is expanding to attract more general aviation activity by making previously inaccessible property available for development and building a new taxiway to accommodate more business jet operators.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Airports
New developments at airports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Pilots flying to the former Palwaukee Airport north of Chicago are going to have to remember to say Chicago Executive Airport when they call the tower. The airport changes its name officially on October 17. Palwaukee Airport opened in 1925 and was originally named Gauthier’s Flying Field.
While the major airports of Cannes and Nice on the Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera, are stepping up business aviation activity, the smaller gateways of Toulon and Le Castellet are challenging the big boys in the competition to attract business aviation access to France’s wealthy Mediterranean coast.
Hartmut Mehdorn, chairman of German railway group Deutsche Bahn, has proposed that Berlin’s downtown Tempelhof Airport be redeveloped as a dedicated business aviation facility. Mehdorn has offered to lead a private-sector consortium to implement the project.
The FAA last month issued a proposed order to extend through at least next September the high-density rule at New York La Guardia Airport (LGA), including the general aviation slot reservation program, which is now scheduled to expire on January 1. The agency last month proposed a new rule for public comment to maintain the high-density rule at LGA.
On June 25, the tallest general aviation control tower in the U.S. was dedicated at Front Range Airport, Colo. The structure, operated under the FAA’s contract tower program, stands more than 5,596 feet msl and nearly 200 feet agl. Airport officials believe the tower will be an inducement for business jet operators who do not typically use uncontrolled airports.
The City of Chicago settled an FAA enforcement action that arose after it bulldozed Meigs Field’s runway on March 30, 2003. The city agreed to pay $33,000, assessed for failure to provide advance notice of changes to the airport, although under terms of the settlement the city admits no violation.
• General aviation operations will be limited to 24 arrivals and 24 departures each day.
• Pilots must be pre-certified under a program similar to the Twelve-Five program.
• Flight plans and crew manifests must be filed 24 hours in advance.
• Aircraft will be swept and crew, baggage and passengers will undergo screening at the gateway airports before departure.
A limited number of general aviation operations may return to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) soon, but some rather onerous requirements will be attached.
Proposed noise mitigation measures under study by the Los Angeles World Airport Authority do not contain an outright ban on Stage 2 jets at Van Nuys Airport. However, the airport authority’s goal of establishing a maximum daytime noise limit of 77 dBA for all aircraft operations at the airport effectively bans Stage 2 jets.