Peter O. Knight Airport

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Peter O. Knight Airport
TPF 6-16-08 N80KW (2669430112).jpg
IATA: TPFICAO: KTPFFAA LID: TPF
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
Operator Atlas Aviation
Serves Tampa, Florida
Elevation AMSL 8 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 27°54′56″N 082°26′57″W / 27.91556°N 82.44917°W / 27.91556; -82.44917Coordinates: 27°54′56″N 082°26′57″W / 27.91556°N 82.44917°W / 27.91556; -82.44917
Website www.tampaairport.com
Map
KTPF is located in Florida
KTPF
KTPF
Location of Peter O. Knight Airport in Florida
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 3,580 1,038 Asphalt
18/36 2,688 819 Asphalt
Statistics (1999)
Aircraft operations 66,000
Based aircraft 103

Peter O. Knight Airport (IATA: TPFICAO: KTPFFAA LID: TPF) is an airport on Davis Islands, five minutes (3 NM or 5.6 km or 3.5 mi[1]) from downtown Tampa, Florida. Built as a Works Progress Administration project, it was Tampa's main airport from 1935 to 1945, and is still used by general aviation operators today because of its proximity to the central city. The airport was named for prominent attorney and businessman Peter O. Knight, namesake of Holland & Knight.

The airport's original administration building was torn down in the 1960s, and replaced by the current building. Although seaplanes aren't quite as popular anymore, the basin is still there at Davis Islands

The local fixed base operator (FBO) was recently sold by Tampa Flying Service and is now operated by Atlas Aviation.

The residents of Davis Island where the airport is located have complained about the noise and appearance of the facilities. The current plan is to extend the north east end of the runway by 65 ft (20 m), and add 175 ft (53 m) to the south end of the runway. During a meeting on September 18, 2007 some residents voiced concerns about larger aircraft using the longer runway, and any related increase in the volume of noise generated there.

Sound tests conducted by the Aviation Authority showed an increase of 3 dB or less over current usage at the closest residences, or an average of about 58 dB during run ups to take off. During the same tests, nearby lawn mowers, motorcycles, and automobiles frequently reached over 75 dB.

The extension of the north/east and south/west ends had been completed in 2008 with no noticeable impact to the local area. The improvements to the runway have added to the safety of airmen utilizing this facility.

Events[edit]

Islands Fest is held in April. First started in 2006 it is a joint venture located at the Seaplane Basin Park and Peter O. Knight Airport. Peter O. Knight has on display a variety of aircraft, car club participants, and other local sponsors.[2] The 2013 Islands Fest featured several organizations devoted to animal welfare including shelters, animal adoption organizations and a pet contest. This year the event was held on airport property along the seawall adjacent to the approach end of runway 22.

Tampa's annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest- a Mardi Gras-like festival held in January, includes a Pirate Flotilla that sails up the channel into Tampa - the symbolic beginning of the Pirate's reign over the city. The flotilla passes directly alongside the airport, making the airport an ideal viewing area for this event.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Peter O. Knight Airport covers an area of 110 acres (45 ha) at an elevation of 8 ft (2 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 4/22 measuring 3,580 by 100 ft (1,091 by 30 m) and 18/36 measuring 2,688 by 75 ft (819 by 23 m).[1] On January 13, 2011, the runway designations have been change due to a shift in the Earth's magnetic headings. Runway 3/21 has become 4/22 and runway 17/35 has become 18/36.[3] As of mid 2009 UNICOM Frequency is 122.725

For the 12-month period ending June 8, 1999, the airport had 66,000 aircraft operations, an average of 180 per day: 99% general aviation and 1% air taxi. At that time there were 102 aircraft based at this airport: 82% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, 2% jet and 5% helicopter.[1]

The Hillsborough Aviation Authority has authorized an expenditure of over $1.8 million to add the required runway extension completed in 2009, and to build additional hangar space on the east side of the runway, adjacent to Seddon Channel. Plans are for 13 new hangar spaces completed the end of 2009, and an additional 8 in 2011.

April 2011 a major redevelopment of the ramp area has completed. The ramp area was extended and the taxiway Bravo pushed further away from the ramp area, providing a safer transition from east to west and west to east on the airfield.

Incidents[edit]

  • On February 20, 1975, professional wrestler Buddy Colt, while attempting to land in bad weather, crashed into Hillsborough Bay 200 yd (180 m) short of the runway. Passenger Robert Shoenberger ("Bobby Shane") was killed.[4]
  • On June 12, 2006, a King Air 90 attempting to make an emergency landing at the airport skidded off a runway,[5] through a retaining fence, and into the residence of a local business owner, causing complete destruction of the home. The pilot, Steve Huisman, was killed and the co-pilot, Sean Lauder, was hospitalized with serious injuries. Only one person was in the house at the time of impact, escaping without injury. The home was later demolished and rebuilt by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.[6]
  • On November 28, 2008, a local plastic surgeon and a 19-year-old man were injured when an Extra 300 single engine plane was making its final approach. It hit a 50-foot (15 m) sailboat mast and hit the seawall before the runway. The plane flipped onto a grassy area short of the runway.[7]
  • On July 20, 2012, a C-17 of the US Air Force's 305th Air Mobility Wing, from McGuire AFB New Jersey Headquarters of the 21st Air Force, mistakenly landed at Peter O. Knight airport. There were no injuries and no damage to either the field or the aircraft itself. The aircraft took off a short time later with ease, and made the short flight to MacDill Air Force Base, the aircraft's intended destination. The Air Force blamed the landing on pilot error and fatigue.[8]

World War II[edit]

During World War II, the airport was used as an auxiliary fighter landing field for several Army airfields including, Clearwater; Drew and MacDill fields supporting Third Air Force group and replacement training activities.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]