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Airport Evaluation Tool 23 Table 4-1. Quick guide to airport's ability to accommodate new generation GA aircraft. New Generation GA Aircraft Current Largest Aircraft Accommodated at Very Light Jet Light Jet Single Airport <10,000 Turboprop <12,500 pounds Engine pounds Business Jets Yes Yes Yes Yes Turboprop Not likely Maybe Yes Yes Multi-engine piston Not likely Maybe Maybe Yes Single-engine piston No No Maybe Yes 4.3 Airport Evaluation Tool and Readiness Level While the Quick Guide (Table 4-1) compares aircraft, the Airport Evaluation Tool considers what facilities are desirable to accommodate new generation aircraft. By identifying an airport's level of readiness, the airport operator can readily determine what tools in Chapter 5 are most relevant to increase the level of readiness. The Airport Evaluation Tool identifies readiness levels based on five key physical facility and service elements relevant for new generation aircraft being used for traditional GA purposes. These elements are 1. Airfield Infrastructure--how long is the runway, is it lighted, what taxiway system is present? 2. Instrument Approach--does the airport have an instrument approach or precision instru- ment approach to make it accessible in poor weather? 3. Ground Access--how do pilots and passenger travel between the airport and the community? 4. Ground Handling Services--does the airport provide core ground handling services such as fueling, line service, maintenance, and aircraft storage? 5. Landside Development--what aircraft parking, terminal facility, and other support buildings are on the airport? (Special considerations related to accommodating commercial air taxi use of new generation aircraft are discussed in Section 4.4.) The rest of section 4.3 helps an airport operator to perform a self-assessment of the five key elements to identify how ready an airport is to serve the new generation aircraft. This tool can help the airport operator understand what the airport has and what the airport may need in order to better serve these aircraft. To use the Airport Evaluation Tool in Figure 4-1, all boxes that apply to the airport in question should be checked. The New Generation GA Aircraft Readiness level is determined by the highest level that has all or most of the boxes checked. Where in the Airport Evaluation Tool an airport identifies opportunities for improvements depends in large part on the existing level of facilities and personal, corporate, and/or business operations at the airport. To better assess the facilities needed to accommodate new generation aircraft, airports have been divided into four levels: Level 1--Ready to Serve Smaller New Generation Aircraft--Level 1 airports generally have facilities in place only to serve single-engine and some of the smaller turboprop new genera- tion aircraft. With limited ground handling service, these aircraft probably are being used for personal flights. Level 1 airports typically are not supporting regular use by business aircraft; therefore, a typical first step would be to focus on determining runway infrastructure needs

OCR for page 23
24 Airports and the Newest Generation of General Aviation Aircraft Is the airport ready? Readiness to serve new generation GA aircraft is identified by the highest level that has all or the most items checked. Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Runway <3,000' or Hard surface runway Hard surface runway Hard surface runway turf 3,000' 3,900'* 4,000' 4,900'* 5,000'+* 100LL Avgas only Runway lights Runway lights and Runway lights and other visual aids approach lights No instrument At least non- (PAPI, REIL, approach precision approach Precision Approach Approach lights) (500' 1 mile (200' mile Ground transportation minimums) Instrument approach minimum) by prearranged rides with vertical guidance only At least partial 100LL Avgas and (300' mile parallel taxiway JetA available 24 minimums) hours by request 100LL Avgas and 100LL Avgas and JetA available, Terminal building JetA available 24 business hours with restrooms, hours by request counter space, Terminal building Terminal building seating, phone, with restrooms, with restrooms, vending, pilots room, seating and phone seating, phone, flight planning and ARFF less than 10 vending and flight conference room minutes response planning ARFF on field time ARFF less than 10 Ground transportation Ground transportation minutes response by courtesy car, rental by courtesy car or time car, taxi, or public prearranged rides Ground transportation transportation Free auto parking by courtesy car, taxi Ample free auto or public transit parking Ample free auto Major aircraft parking maintenance repairs Minor repair services and avionics services available available Deicing provisions/ overnight hangar space *Longer runway lengths may be needed at higher altitudes and temperatures; see Chapter 5. Figure 4-1. Airport evaluation tool. based on potential users identified through demographic and economic analysis, as discussed in Chapter 3. Level 2--Ready to Serve Up to VLJs--Level 2 airports generally have minimum physical facil- ities in place to accommodate new generation aircraft as large as VLJs and provide limited ser- vices and amenities. Level 2 airports may be accommodating occasional business aircraft. Operators of these airports probably will need to consider potential physical upgrades as well as services and amenities to attract operations by larger new generation aircraft. Level 3--Ready to Serve All New Generation GA Aircraft--Level 3 airports generally have the physical facilities to accommodate all small aircraft (12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight) and may have fairly sophisticated services and amenities. Level 3 airports probably are