The newsLINK Group - The Importance of Community Airports

Editorial Library Category: Cities & Towns Topics: Community Airports Title: The Importance of Community Airports Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The U.S. as a whole, including territories, has more than 19,000 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases. The ones you hear about the most are commercial, but many support general aviation. They make a substantial — and too often invisible — contribution to the communities they serve. Editorial: The Importance of Community Airports 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 The U.S. as a whole, including its territories, has more than 19,000 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases. The ones you hear about the most are commercial, but many support general aviation. They make a substantial – and too often invisible – contribution to the communities they serve. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), prepared a report about general aviation airports that was released in May 2012 after the FAA had conducted an 18-month review of 2,952 landing facilities in the U.S. The FAA evaluated 2,903 airports, 10 heliports, and 39 seaplane bases for its report, which is on the internet and is called 2012AssetReport[1].pdf. What is the difference between a commercial airport and a general aviation airport? You already know what a commercial airport is: It’s in the business of moving people, making money, and trying to avoid public relations gaffes. In contrast, general aviation airports usually provide service in one of four categories: National or global markets: These are extremely active airports with an average of 200 aircraft, including approximately 30 jets. They also have multiengine propeller aircraft. Regional and national markets: These are active airports with about 90 aircraft, of which three would generally be jets. They also have multiengine propeller aircraft. Local and regional markets: These are moderately active airports with about 33 propeller-driven aircraft, some of which are multiengine, but no jets. Critical functions within local and regional markets: These are airports with low or moderate activity that average about ten propeller-driven aircraft, but no jets. In addition to these broad categories, the FAA has chosen not to classify 497 airports because those conducting the study decided there was no clear way of grouping them based on the kinds of activity and their other characteristics. The report states that general aviation airports are a national asset. The work they do cannot be done as effectively, economically, or safely by commercial airports. Imagine, for example, what it would be like for firefighters to have no aerial support when fighting a forest fire. General aviation helps businesses and other organizations to stay healthy by broadening travel options. It is a tremendous asset when it comes to business travel, tourism, and special events such as air shows and skydiving. People are able to more easily move employees, equipment, and goods and services when they live close to an airport. It can also help travelers get to a train, a ship, or a car rental business in order to finish a journey. An airplane might even be the only way for people or supplies to get to a remote place such as an island. Military personnel can use airports for training exercises and drills that help them fly more safely, prepare for natural disasters, and protect communities more effectively. General aviation supports disaster relief, firefighting efforts, and healthcare. Air transport is particularly important for some patients and veterans and for time- critical medical procedures involving organ donation. Even though the work done by general aviation can seem invisible to those who don’t know how much it benefits them, that doesn’t mean general aviation is unprofitable. Just as an example, an online article dated April 23, 2015 a t www.aero- news.net l isted statements from governors of three states in 2015. Each governor praised general aviation in statements made as part of a month-long celebration. The article claims that general aviation makes sizable economic contributions. How sizeable? The following table lists some totals:

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NjAyOTE=