Ann Arbor Municipal Airport
|Ann Arbor Municipal Airport|
|Airport passenger terminal|
|FAA airport diagram|
|IATA: ARB – ICAO: KARB – FAA LID: ARB|
|Owner||City of Ann Arbor|
|Operator||City of Ann Arbor|
|Serves||Washtenaw County, Michigan|
|Location||City of Ann Arbor (exclave surrounded by Pittsfield Township)|
|Elevation AMSL||839 ft / 256 m|
The airport is located in Pittsfield Township, but the airport is owned and operated by the City of Ann Arbor, The airport property is currently located entirely within Pittsfield township having been annexed by the City of Ann Arbor for water rights before Pittsfield became a charter township in 1972. About 15 percent of the water pumped to Ann Arbor’s Water Treatment Plant comes from wells located at the city's airport. Pittsfield Township provides police and fire services to the airport when required. Despite being located entirely within the boundaries of Pittsfield, the township has no voting representation on any committee, council or board tasked with the management of airport operations. The airport is located about 4.3 miles south of the city proper, a 12 minute drive (without traffic).
The airport is a general aviation facility with mostly smaller corporate and private aircraft, with no scheduled passenger or cargo flights. The airport is also occasionally used by aircraft transporting patients to the University of Michigan Health System. The UMHS keeps its Survival Flight helicopters at the airport, but does not keep its fixed-wing Survival Flight jet aircraft at the site because of the lack of 24-hour control tower staffing.
The airport's current annual budget is around $800,000, which the city makes by renting hangars and imposing fuel surcharges; the city does not allocate funds to the airport.
History and facilities
The Ann Arbor City Council established an Airport Advisory Committee in 1961; the Ann Arbor city council appoints seven people (full voting members), serving three-year terms, and Pittsfield Charter Township and Lodi Township each appoint a non-voting representative to the Committee.
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport covers 837 acres (3.39 km2) and has two runways:
- Main Runway 6/24: 3,500 ft × 75 ft (1,067 m × 23 m), surface: Concrete
- Secondary Runway 12/30: 2,750 ft × 110 ft (838 m × 34 m), surface: Grass
The airport has an operating control tower which is operated by the FAA. The airport is located in FAA Class "D" airspace. In 2012, there were 64,000 takeoffs and landings at the airport, many attributed to flight school planes operating at the airport. A January 2013 tally reported 166 aircraft based at the airport: 137 single-engine airplanes, sixteen multi-engine airplanes, one jet airplane, eleven helicopters and one ultralight. For 2011, there were an average of 161 aircraft operations per day, and operations were 64 percent local general aviation and 36 percent transient general aviation. There has been a gradual reduction in operations at the airport (both itinerent and local) since a peak in 1999
Only one incident has been reported to the NTSB since 2000, and involved a plane leaving the side of the runway, the cause of which was attributed to pilot error. It must be noted that runway expansions have been proposed since the 1980s but have been denied on each occasion by city councils. The need for runway expansion on safety grounds is unclear as purported over-runs were actually off the side of the runway and attributed to pilot error after investigation. The most recent proposed runway expansion project, first floated to the Ann Arbor City Council in 2007, proposes lengthening the runway by 800 feet, and moving the entire runway toward the south west corner of the airport (closer to neighboring residential subdivisions). This would not change the airport's classification but could affect the size of the aircraft using the airport; the decision to land is made on a plane by plane basis at the discretion of the pilot. All B-II small aircraft are currently capable of operating on the existing 3,505 ft runway without weight restriction. However, larger planes (jets) already do use this B-II certified runway but with weight and fuel restrictions. Any extension to the runway will not change the operation of B-II classification aircraft, but will allow larger aircraft (jets in the C-I and C-II categories) to land and operate out of the airport with full weight and fuel. The proposal is undergoing environmental impact studies, but has experienced delays because of initial inaccuracies supplied in the proposal, prolonged review by the FAA, and opposition from Pittsfield Township and the local citizens' group Committee for Preserving Community Quality, made up of citizens from Pittsfield and Lodi, as well as some Ann Arborites who view the project as too expensive or unlikely to be approved. On March 24, 2009, Pittsfield unanimously approved a Resolution Opposing Proposed Expansion of the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport Runway. Lodi Township, which is adjacent to Pittsfield on the west side and also impacted by ARB, passed a similar resolution on May 12, 2009. A recent legal petition has been made to the Secretary of Transportation Washington, D.C. in opposition to the proposed expansion.
- Amy Biolchini, Pittsfield Township, residents ask federal government to block Ann Arbor airport expansion, Ann Arbor News, February 5, 2013.
- Amy Biolchini, Turbulent Ride Continues for Proposed Runway Expansion at Ann Arbor Airport, Ann Arbor News, February 7, 2013.
- Airport Advisory Committee, City of Ann Arbor.
- "Welcome to the Ann Arbor Airport". City of Ann Arbor. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- "ANN ARBOR MUNICIPAL (ARB)". State of Michigan. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Petition to Deny Approval and Funding for the Major Runway Extension Project at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB) Located in Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan, before the Secretary of Transportation, January 28, 2013.
- Judy McGovern, Ann Arbor Airport runway extension moves toward review, public hearing stage, MLive, February 2, 2009.
Media related to Ann Arbor Municipal Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Ann Arbor Aviation Center - Fixed Base Operator (FBO), flight training, FAA computer testing & A/C rental
- Solo Aviation - Fixed Base Operator (FBO)
- Michigan Flyers - Flying club based at ARB
- Ann Arbor Municipal Airport on LocalWiki
- Resources for this airport: