Naples Airport Move Pondered


Officials at Naples Municipal Airport in southwest Florida are determining whether a move would be feasible for the airport given community needs and current expansion constraints.

Despite investing $10 million in noise mitigation programs since 2000, local residents have continued to file grievances. According to the Naples Daily News, the airport received 800 noise complaints from October 2021 to September 2022; however, that figure dropped to roughly 500 in fiscal year 2023.

The Naples Airport Authority is also looking at the potential to expand. Executive Director Chris Rozansky said the airport’s footprint cannot grow any larger, remarking, “We’re very constrained and we have a lot of demand, tremendous demand for hangar development and aeronautical business. We have a waiting list of 100 potential customers who we currently cannot accommodate.”

Rozansky also noted the airport’s 75,000-pound weight limit restricts certain aircraft from operating, while the potential to rebuild somewhere new could bring in larger aircraft or commercial service.

As a busy general aviation facility, Naples Municipal Airport is an economic driver for the community with more than 360 based aircraft and an average of 320 operations per day. The airport also supports some 5,400 local jobs.

Whatever the outcome of the study, officials say economic impact will remain the determining factor. The study could take from six to nine months to conduct.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Some people have nothing better to do than complain.
    I’m reminded of a noise study done at Peter ‘O Night (TPF). It showed that an airplane taking off was quieter (at the distance of the nearest house) than a lawnmower.

    • Well, you are right about the noise. But, everyone owns a lawnmower so they can relate to the noise. Very few, if any of them, own or fly a plane, so their perception is that it is some rich dude imposing on them. Like it or not, perception eventually becomes reality.

  2. Ya know…the story is always the same. The airport is already in place, then a developer comes along and plants homes next to it, then the residents complain. My question has always been, “Ya know the airport was there in the first place, what did you expect? for the airport to vanish? Move somewhere else!”

  3. Since the beginning of aviation, the one universal constant has been that commerce and businesses are attracted to airports. In early times, the airports were built out away from the town, but the towns slowly grew out to surround the airport. In more recent times, when an airport is built out away from the city, everyone complains that it is a pain to have to drive all that way to the airport. But eventually the city expands to the open space around the airport property because that is where the jobs and commerce activity is. Denver’s DIA, DFW Regional near Dallas and Houston’s IAH are all examples of that. No matter where Venice moves the airport – at great expense – the city will slowly move out to surround it. The city would probably be better off using eminent domain to buy out some of the nearby residents and businesses and upgrading the existing facility.

  4. This is not a new concept at all, as previously noted. My personal experience with this started in 1967 at KROC. They have two main runways, 10/28 and 04/22. 10/28 is limited in length by the Erie Canal and a busy railroad. As jets became more popular, the city decided to lengthen 04/22 to 8000′ to better accommodate the increasing jet fleets. During that construction, 04/22 was pretty much shut down and some developer grasped that opportunity to put in several houses whose backyards butted up against the fence for the runway. Well, when the runway opened and “straight pipes” (Bac-111s and B-727s) started operations again those new residents screwed themselves through the overhead and filed a law suit complaining about the noise and tried to get the runway use limited to obscurity. Effectively, the court case didn’t last a day, some said only about an hour. As I heard it, the complaint was read in court, the judge supposedly looked at the complainants and asked what they thought would happen when they bought a house up against a runway like that, and tossed the case.
    Same happened here in Burlington CO NJ. People put up high dollar houses around South Jersey Regional (KVAY) then started whining about the noise. They did manage to halt the expansion plans the owners had but couldn’t get it shut down because to the Fed money put into the facility as a reliever for PHL.
    In either case, of many, many others like them, people are stupid and will continue to buy close in to a noisy location then whine and moan.

  5. Story as old and as frustrating to both sides as airports, airplanes and houses.
    KARB, Ann Arbor Muni with the city’s predominantly University of Michigan affiliated population found itself in this position. The surrounding area was zone low height industrial/agricultural zoning/airport compatible uses. A state representative owned significant land to the southwest on the RW24 departure zone, convinced the local government to change the zoning to large residential development and construction began within sight of the departure end. I looked at one of the models listed then in the upper quartile price range, and was quite impressed with the construction. The looking out the picture window at the runway less than a mile away, I asked about airport noise and was told, “Don’t worry about that, they’ll be closing that airport in the next few years.” The houses sold, the grant assurances were renewed and the noise complaints soared. Same story at DEN/Stapleton when DIA was built. Pena and his gang cleaned up on low cost real estate once Stapleton was closed and DIA was operating.

    • Yes, and now hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, apartment blocks and housing developments have sprung up in the shadow of DIA. No matter where you put an airport, developers will follow.

  6. It is important to note the number of complainers to make meaning of these stats. My local airport gets around 300 noise complaints per year, 90% by the same 3 people.

  7. Too late now, but if you could see the future there should be a 1 mile radius around an airport that only allows industrial development?

  8. Everyone wants someone else to bear the cost of their bad decisions. Let each homeowner pay to soundproof their own house if they don’t appreciate the delightful sounds of aviation. When outside, they can wear noise cancelling headsets.

  9. This is all stupid! But we pilots know that.
    If the airport authority wants a bigger, better, longer, heavier weight-bearing airport, go ahead and build it…somewhere else…and leave KAPF as it is for pistons.