FAA REJECTS VENICE DOWNGRADE REQUEST

 - February 22, 2010, 11:16 AM

The FAA has rejected a request by the city of Venice, Fla., to downgrade the Venice airport reference code (ARC) to B-II from the existing C-II. The ARC’s first letter signifies the aircraft approach category and the Roman numeral relates to airplane wingspan size. The January 8 FAA letter points out that the city believes that the FAA will permit the ARC downgrade based on fewer than 500 operations per year.

But the ARC classification depends on both considering the largest aircraft “with either 500 annual operations or 250 annual departures” and “all airport users and tenants.” There are already C-II category aircraft based at Venice and also using the airport for transient trips.

“It would not be acceptable to downgrade the facility and cause potential impacts to users, including airport tenants whose livelihood is dependent on servicing these C-II aircraft. These tenants executed long-term leases and constructed facilities at the airport based on the understanding Venice Municipal Airport is designated as a C-II airport.” The FAA added that annual C-II operations are expected to exceed 500 in the airport’s own forecast of the next 20 years and the city accepted $3,744,194 to upgrade Runway 13-31 to C-II standards. The city has also rejected efforts by FBO Suncoast Air Center (formerly Venice Jet Center) to build new hangars, because that might attract more jet traffic and despite the FAA’s insistence that the hangars be allowed.