How to Add Capacity Without Adding Airports

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FAA Funds Joint-Use Fields ...

As AVweb reported Monday, the FAA is faced with yet another new report projecting that demand will outgrow capacity at many of the nation's airports. Just about every attempt to expand or build an airport runs into delays and obstacles, but one program has been working since the early 1990s to add capacity without all that trouble. The FAA's Military Airport Program provides funds to under-used military airfields to help make them attractive to GA and commercial air traffic by adding hangars, fuel farms and other upgrades. Last week, the FAA named five airports that will share in $35 million this year: Griffiss Airpark, Rome, N.Y.; Millington Municipal Airport, Millington, Tenn., Sawyer Airport, Gwinn, Mich.; Okaloosa County Airport, Valparaiso, Fla.; and Alexandria (La.) International Airport. "This program adds capacity in key locations and is an inexpensive way to reduce flight delays," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. Using federal Airport Improvement Program funds, the program provides financial assistance for up to five years.