r Unless you’re a pilot you probably don’t think about our local airport which is jointly owned and operated by the cities of Spanish Fork and Springville. The airport has a 6,500 foot runway to accommodate everything from small airplanes to large business jets. The airport currently averages an estimated 75 flight operations a day with approximately 43% being transient aircraft. In 2016, it was named Utah Airport of the Year. From a pilot’s perspective it is one of the best general aviation airports in the nation.
This year our airport will be receiving additional FAA funded improvements to make it an even better general aviation airport. Later this summer an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) will be installed. This equipment has automated sensors designed for aviation meteorological observations which are updated every minute or less. The weather information is continually broadcast on an aviation radio frequency for pilots conducting flight operations at the airport. This is obviously a very useful and necessary tool for pilots.
Pilots use an FAA authorized instrument approach procedure when the clouds and visibility are low which is often encountered in the winter months. Our Spanish Fork-Springville Airport has not had an instrument approach. The Automated Weather Observation System is one of the steps required to obtain an approved instrument approach. The airport manager, Cris Child expects the installation of an instrument approach within the next 18 months. That is exciting news for pilots and our community.
The airport does make a biannual effort to share itself with the community in its “Aeroplanes, Trains, and Automobiles” event. Planning is underway right now for the 2017 open house scheduled this year for Friday and Saturday September 15th and 16th. Put this date on your calendar and we will have more details in next month’s Serve Daily.