It seems that fitting general aviation airports into categories is more difficult than the FAA first envisioned. The agency has announced Phase Two of its airport study, “General Aviation Airports: a National Asset,” and the focus of this follow-on effort will be on pinning down the categories of 497 airports that don’t quite fit the mold established in Phase One.
That study broke down what it described as “the nation’s 2,952 general aviation airports” into four categories: National, Regional, Local and Basic. The goal of establishing these categories was to help the FAA and state aviation authorities make consistent planning decisions.
The first study revealed the services that GA airports provide, including: medical; search and rescue; disaster relief; aerial firefighting; law enforcement; remote community access; commercial and industrial activity; flight instruction; and air cargo. The FAA is now working with state agencies, airport sponsors and others to further define its airport categories. The results of Phase Two are expected to be released in December as an addendum to the original study.