Workshops Held To Help Define The Roles Of Non-Primary,
Reliever, And GA Airports
The term "general aviation airport" can include so many varying
operations and activities that even the FAA is looking for help to
better describe and define the function of the nearly 3,000
"non-primary" airports in its National Plan of Integrated Airport
The FAA's Office of Airport Planning and Programming has held
two workshops this year to which it invited a large group of
aviation stakeholders to contribute their expertise to more clearly
defining various general aviation airport categories. There are
currently 2,750 airports broadly defined as non-primary commercial
service or general aviation in the NPIAS, with an additional 269
classified as reliever airports.
NBAA has participated in both workshops on the National Airport
System Strategic Evaluation Task, or ASSET— the most recent
one was held in late June – and Jeff Gilley, NBAA's director
of airports & ground infrastructure, agrees with the FAA that
there is a need to come up with better descriptions of the roles
and functions of the nation's non-primary commercial service,
general aviation, and reliever airports.
"The aviation community will benefit if the industry and FAA can
better communicate to the public and elected officials the value
and role of the myriad essential functions that take place every
day at these," said Gilley.
Gilley noted that the FAA study is not meant to change the
airport categories used in the agency's Airport Improvement Program
(AIP), which provides funding to both general aviation and
commercial service airports.
Selena Shilad, director of the Alliance for Aviation Across
America, also attended the ASSET workshops. "It is our hope that
this process will help to raise awareness about the important role
of general aviation airports in our economy and transportation
infrastructure," she said.
"Non-primary airports serve an important function for our
nation, whether it is supporting local business, agriculture and
medical care; allowing small towns to attract and retain major
employers; and a host of other important services and