This is a story about an airport in the American West surrounded by towering mountains, an airport nestled amid staggering scenic beauty and smack in the middle of an exclusive playground for celebrities and the quietly rich. It is also an airport beset with land-use issues, zoning fights and noise squabbles.
Geography of the United States
The Jet Center Aviation Group recently announced it has signed a long-term lease with the airport authority at Jacksonville (Fla.) International Airport and will build a new FBO there. The facility will be the fourth for the small Florida chain, which also has facilities at Hollywood International, Miami International and Daytona Beach International Airports.
Dassault Falcon Jet announced last month that as a central thrust in its strategy to bolster customer support it has spent more than $7 million on the Wilmington, Del. service facility and FBO that it bought from Atlantic Aviation in October 2000. Including the undisclosed purchase price, DFJ expects to invest $30 million in the facility all told.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed Part 150 noise compatibility program for Toledo Express Airport, Ohio. A public comment period ends March 24. No later than July 22, the FAA is scheduled to approve or disapprove the proposed program. Noise-footprint maps have already been approved. For more information, contact the FAA’s Katherine Jones at (734) 487-7298.
Raytheon Aircraft Services is expected to complete by June 15 the sale of its Rockford, Ill. FBO to Emery Air, one of its competitors at the Greater Rockford Airport. Emery said it plans to retain most of the 43 Raytheon employees and will remain an authorized service center for the Premier I and King Air.
Construction started last month on Cessna’s new Citation Service Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The 447,259-sq-ft facility, being built on 124 acres, is scheduled to be finished in the fourth quarter of next year. In anticipation of increased traffic, a new taxiway was completed in March. The support facility will operate 24/7 and Cessna expects to service 75 to 80 Citations a day.
AOPA has proposed that the city of Chicago apply for $41 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to buy Meigs Field from its current owner, the Chicago Park District. AOPA president Phil Boyer said, “The funds will give [the Park District] significant resources to improve existing parks and create a new one on Northerly Island where there’s adequate space for both Meigs and a park to exist.”
Bombardier Aerospace is negotiating to acquire a 234,000-sq-ft hangar at Tucson International Airport to expand its aircraft interior completions capacity. Bombardier’s Tucson site already handles completions for the Montreal-based company’s Global Express, Challenger 604 and Learjet family.
It’s the helicopter equivalent of the “man bites dog” story. In a refreshing role reversal, the three major commercial helicopter operators at the Houma-Terrebonne Airport outside Houma, La., have allied to block a proposed 50-lot suburban housing subdivision.
Based on a poll of corporate pilots conducted over the last several weeks by Max-Viz of Portland, Ore., the manufacturer of enhanced-vision systems (EVS) has put together a list of the 10 most challenging approaches in America.