Over concerns raised by AOPA and local pilots, the FAA has decided to allow Arizona's St. John's Industrial Air Park to temporarily close over Labor Day weekend for a car race. The FAA, however, pointed out in a detailed letter to the city of St. Johns that the airport needs to see a net gain if it is to be used for non-aeronautical uses. The city has to assure the FAA that, among other things, proceeds will be placed in an airport account for airport purposes, steps will be taken to avoid damage to the airport infrastructure, the airport will be restored to its original condition, and that airport users will be notified of the temporary closure. The FAA will not allow the airport to be closed for more than four days. AOPA had asked the FAA to reject the proposal, or at the very minimum seek compensation for the airport if it decided to allow the closure. Download the FAA's letter.
July 28, 2006