The Spanish Fork Airport is one of the best little airports in the nation.
It has a small town feel to it and has the flight operations environment of a major airport. As a result, it is popular with both local and transient pilots.
Our local airport is both a stimulus and an indicator of economic growth. Aviation is an important busines tool in Utah and all the western states with widely spaced town and cities.
According to airport manager Cris Child, there are currently 204 aircraft based on the field. Six percent of those airplanes are jet or prop jet business airplanes.
Many of the light single and twin-engine airplanes are used for business purposes as well as personal use and pilot training.
There are three fixed wing flight schools and one helicopter flight school operating at the Spanish Fork Airport. In addition, two airplane maintenance businesses operate on the airport.
For the first time in the history of the airport, airplane tie down spaces are becoming scarce and may soon have to be rationed out. Nineteen large hangers are scheduled to be completed by late spring and all their floor space is already committed.
In December a new taxiway (90 percent FAA funded) on the north side of the 6,500-foot runway was completed. This new taxiway will provide access for development along the Main street and northwest side of the airport.
To improve flight operations during weather with low clouds and reduced visibility, two instrument approach procedures were approved by the FAA a few years ago.
Those approach procedures required the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System. In January this system will be upgraded to an AWOS-3 which will provide precipitation type and thunderstorm detection among its many additional features. The AWOS information is available to pilots by a computer-generated voice through an airborne radio frequency or by telephone. (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)