St. Lucie County International Airport
|St. Lucie County International Airport|
|IATA: FPR – ICAO: KFPR – FAA LID: FPR|
|Owner||St. Lucie Board of County Commissioners|
|Location||Fort Pierce, Florida|
|Elevation AMSL||24 ft / 7.3 m|
|Aircraft operations||avg 537/Day|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
St. Lucie County International Airport (IATA: FPR, ICAO: KFPR, FAA LID: FPR) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) northwest of the central business district of Fort Pierce, a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the St. Lucie Board of County Commissioners.
The airport sees frequent use by various aviation flight schools in south Florida, including three based at the airport, for general aviation flight training traffic. The airport also hosts a Federal Inspection Station (FIS) administered by United States Customs & Border Patrol, which makes it a frequent stop for private aircraft coming in and out of the Bahama Islands.
That history of the airport dates back to 1921 when The Commercial Club of Fort Pierce built an airport where the local American Legion building now stands on U.S. Route 1 for an airline that never got off the ground. Nine years later, the county purchased 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of land that eventually became the current airport; however the first commercial airport was dedicated in 1935 in an area in the vicinity of U.S. Route 1 and Edwards Road.
The current airport, originally named Fort Pierce Airport, was leased during World War II by the U.S. Navy as an auxiliary field for pilots and flight crews from Naval Air Station Vero Beach, Naval Air Station Melbourne and Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale for conducting daytime and nighttime field carrier landing practice (FCLP) prior to landing on actual aircraft carriers. Scout aircraft, dive bombers and torpedo attack bombers utilized the runways, which were redesigned by the military to better accommodate naval aviation training requirements. In 1947, the Navy disestablished operations and the U.S. Government conveyed the airport back to the county, to include two newly constructed runways, without charging for the improvements made.
With little financial capital in county government to operate and maintain a modern airport, the facility languished for the next ten years, becoming overgrown with vegetation and subject to frequent grazing by cattle from nearby farms and ranches. During the 1960s and 1970s, major improvements took off with the construction of an airport terminal, modern hangars, airfield lighting, navigational aids and fuel facilities. Curtis King, who became the first full-time director in 1967, played an instrumental role in the development of the county's airport for 31 years.
The airport continued to evolve as a general aviation facility, and even though two of four runways were decommissioned, one such former runway became the site of the Airport West Commerce Park, while Runway 9/27 was lengthened and improved.
Runway 10L-28R was completed early 2010 costing $15.3 million, the runway currently has no taxiways to parking therefore making it designated for touch and go operations.
Facilities and aircraft
St. Lucie County International Airport covers an area of 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) which contains three asphalt paved runways: 10R/28L measuring 6,492 x 150 ft (1,979 x 46 m), 10L/28R measuring 4,000 x 75 ft (1,219 x 23 m) and 14/32 measuring 4,755 x 100 ft (1,449 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending January 15, 2009, the airport had 196,000 general aviation aircraft operations, an average of 537 per day. There are 186 aircraft based at this airport: 68% single-engine, 27% multi-engine, 3% jet and 3% helicopter. 53% of movements are local general aviation and 47% are transient general aviation.
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 November 2009, Grumman Albatross N120FB of Albatross Adventures crashed when an engine failed shortly after take-off. The aircraft was damaged beyond economic repair.
- On 4 April 2012, a twin Cessna made a gear-up landing, after a landing gear failure. The aircraft came to rest on runway 32 and was lifted off by a crane later the same day.
- FAA Airport Master Record for FPR ( PDF), effective 2007-10-25
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- St. Lucie County International Airport page at county website
- PDF (610 KiB) brochure from CFASPP (March 2007)
- (PDF), effective March 6, 2014
- FAA Terminal Procedures for FPR, effective March 6, 2014
- Resources for this airport: