The FAA said on Friday that it will delay the planned closure of 149 contract ATC towers by 10 weeks to June 15.
Geneva Airpark, an FBO at Geneva International Airport, has expanded its offerings to include oxygen service, oil level and tire pressure checks and fuel sump drainage. Aircraft cleaning is also now available at the facility, which recently installed video surveillance systems in all its structures. The improvements are in addition to other amenities such as in-house laundry service and Wi-Fi on the ramp and in the 108,000-sq-ft hangar, which can simultaneously accommodate a pair of Boeing 747s.
The FAA is continuing to refine its categorization of the nearly 3,000 GA airports around the country, picking up where it left off in last spring’s General Aviation Airports: A National Asset. That study identified the many functions airports provide, among them medical transport, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, remote community access, flight training and air cargo. Considered a tool to assist the agency and state aviation authorities in planning decisions, the study reflected current aviation activity at the airports.
Following a dispute with Fayetteville, Ark. airport authority, Million Air quit operating the FBO at Fayetteville Executive/Drake Field Airport last month after eight years at the airport. “We’ve had to take a hard look at all of our locations and maybe rethink some of the markets that we’re in,” Million Air president and CEO Roger Woolsey told AIN, referring to the industry downturn of the past several years. “Fayetteville unfortunately happens to be one of them.”
Officials at Chicago-area DuPage Airport announced the completion of a months-long project to extend the length of its secondary runway by 1,343 feet, to 6,443 feet, allowing it to accommodate the largest corporate jets and bizliners such as the BBJ and ACJ. The $3.5 million project was funded entirely by the airport authority.
Bristol Flying Centre Group has unveiled its newly remodeled FBO, the sole aviation services provider at the UK’s Bristol Airport. Located in the southwest of the country, the airport has recently seen 1,700-percent growth in annual passenger numbers. To accommodate that passenger surge, the company has doubled the size of its terminal to 6,500 sq ft, including two separate lounges for private and charter flights as well as a crew lounge and redesigned passenger reception areas.
Airport perimeters are the weak links in the nation’s aviation security efforts, warns former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, now a vice chairman with Hill & Knowlton Strategies.
The ease with which anyone can penetrate an airport perimeter may shock those familiar with today’s elaborate security inside terminals, Mineta wrote recently in an op-ed article for The Washington Post. In Philadelphia last year, a driver crashed through a gate and onto a runway. There were similar “near-catastrophes” in Miami and Dallas, he said.
The FAA lowered the boom on airports serving mainly GA, business and regional airline traffic, announcing on March 22 that it will close 149 ATC contract towers as part of its effort to slash spending by more than $600 million in the current fiscal year under the federal government’s “sequester” mandate. The action could spell the end of the agency’s 30-year-old contract tower program.
Operators at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., are stepping up efforts to keep their ATC tower open after withdrawal of federal funding. Kyle Slover, COO of local FBO Volo Aviation, told AIN that discussions about options for keeping the tower open on a privately funded basis were already under way before the FAA’s March 22 announcement that 149 towers are to close at U.S. airports beginning April 7.
The FAA released guidance yesterday to the 149 airports whose contract towers are scheduled to close as a result of budget cuts that outlines the shutdown schedule and addresses what will happen to the tower structures and equipment.