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Important Information About the Naples Airport and the Research on Its Relocation

The Naples Airport Authority has hired a firm to review whether to relocate the airport. If the airport moves sooner or later, it’ll vacate an area that it has called home for 80 years when it began as a military airfield.

Here’s a couple of things to learn about Naples Airport.

How big is the airport?
Naples Airport covers one square mile in East Naples, just west of Airport-Pulling Road. Residential homes line North Road and Davis Boulevard. The airport is surrounded by the 140-acre Gordon River Greenway to the north and the 15-acre Baker Park to the west.

The airport is home to 360 aircraft, with a major increase during seasonal months. Greater than 100,000 takeoffs and landings were made on the airport last 12 months, and it served over 200,000 passengers in 2022.

Who uses the Naples Airport?
Nearly 80 percent of passengers are homeowners in Naples and Collier County, in accordance with a survey by the Airport Authority. The airport also houses flight schools, aircraft charter and sales, air ambulance services, corporate aviation, the Civil Air Patrol, and public services equivalent to Collier County MedFlight, Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF)/City of Naples Fire Station No. 3, Collier County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit, and Collier Mosquito Control District. U.S. Customs and Border Protection services are provided for international access to Naples.

Did you recognize Naples Airport receives no local tax dollars?
Revenue comes from hangar rents and fuel sales. All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance, and enhancements are generated from activities on the airport or federal and state grants from aviation-related user fees. The economic impact of the Naples Airport in 2022 was $781 million, a major increase from the $273.1 million in 2010.

Who’s conducting the placement study?
The Naples Airport Authority hired Environmental Science Associates as its consultant for the study. Subcontractors include Chicago-based aviation solutions consultant Ricondo and Bonita Springs-based Metro Forecasting Models, which focuses on forecasting population, housing, and business demand.

What prompted the study?
“In response to a wide range of aspects including concerns about noise, resilience, and regional growth, the Naples Airport Authority (NAA) identified the necessity to explore future options for the long-term aviation needs of the community” – objective listed by the Airport Authority. Consultants will concentrate on land in East Collier County because it offers the most important open space within the county.

What are the study objectives?
– Discover the long-term aviation needs.
– Establish the final facility requirements.
– Define key aspects to think about.
– Identification of potential recent airport sites.

Who can have a say?
– Naples Airport Authority
– Stakeholder Meetings – Collier County Planning, Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization, Landowners, Developers
– Conservation Groups
– Naples City Council
– City Council Presentation (1 in-person)
– Collier Board of County Commissioners
– Public

When will the study be accomplished?
A timeline within the study agreement shows late February 2024 because the deadline for a revised study document.

What contractual obligations does the Naples Airport Authority have and until when?
The NAA currently has three existing sets of contractual obligations with various government agencies and customers:
– State and federal obligations currently exist through 2042.
– Contractual obligations with tenants through 2053.
– Existing lease with the City of Naples through 2068.

1942 – Airport construction begins
Construction of the airport begins on land jointly purchased by the City of Naples and Collier County. The City and County lease the airport to the federal government during World War II.

1943 – The airfield
Naples Airport began operating as a military airfield often called the Naples Airdrome (later the Naples Army Airfield), to coach fighter pilots for service in WWII.

1948 – Fed hands over airport
The U.S. Government returns the airport to Naples and Collier County, and it is devoted because the Naples America Airport.

1957 – First business flight
Naples Airlines, owned and operated by Joseph Brown and John Van Arsdale Sr., made its first scheduled passenger flight from Naples to Miami. A round-trip ticket cost $28.90.

1958 – Naples buys out Collier
Naples purchases the County’s interest to take complete ownership of the airport.

Looking ahead:
Rezoning for homes near Naples Airport on Rock Creek heads to Collier County commissioners

1969 – State creates Airport Authority
The Florida State Legislature created the City of Naples Airport Authority as an independent government agency charged with the operation, development, and improvement of Naples Airport.

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