Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport
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|Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport
Brooksville Army Airfield
2006 USGS airphoto
|Location||Hernando County, near Brooksville, Florida|
|Elevation AMSL||76 ft / 23 m|
Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport (ICAO: KBKV, FAA LID: BKV), formerly known as Hernando County Airport, is a joint civil-military public airport located 6 nautical miles (11 km) southwest of the central business district of Brooksville, a city in Hernando County, Florida, United States. It is owned by Hernando County and is 45 miles (72 km) north of Tampa. While having consistent growth in its traffic rate, it does not yet serve the public through commercial airlines, but it does have charter and executive service.
This airport is assigned a three-letter location identifier of BKV by the Federal Aviation Administration, but it does not have an International Air Transport Association (IATA) airport code.
Facilities and aircraft
Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport covers an area of 2,498 acres (1,011 ha) which contains two concrete paved runways: 9/27 measuring 7,002 x 150 ft (2,134 x 46 m) and 3/21 measuring 5,015 x 150 ft (1,529 x 46 m). On October 15, 2012, the airport opened a Level I FAA contractor operated air traffic control tower, the first time the airport has had an operational control tower since it was Brooksville Army Airfield during World War II.
For the 12-month period ending November 7, 2001, the airport had 49,000 aircraft operations, an average of 134 per day: 98% general aviation, 1% military and 1% air taxi. There are 108 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single engine, 7% multi-engine, 5% helicopters, 3% ultralights and 2% jet aircraft.
Hernando County Airport was opened in November 1942 by the United States Army Air Forces. Known as Brooksville Army Airfield, it was used as part of the Air University's Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) tactical combat simulation school in Central and Northern Florida.
Headquartered at Orlando Army Air Base, AAFSAT's mission was to develop tactics and techniques of aerial warfare and to establish technical and tactical proficiency requirements for combat units to effectively engage and defeat enemy air forces. This was done with a wide variety of aircraft, including heavy strategic bombers, tactical fighters, medium and light bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and dive bombers, based at different airfields of the school.
AAFSAT used Brooksville as a heavy and medium bomber training base, assigning the following squadrons to the airfield:
- 1st Bombardment Squadron, December 15, 1942 – February 25, 1944 (B-17 Flying Fortress)
- 5th Bombardment Squadron, January 6-February 25, 1944, (B-24 Liberator), (B-25 Mitchell)
- 99th Bombardment Squadron, January 5-February 25, 1944 (B-25 Mitchell), (B-26 Marauder)
- 430th Bombardment Squadron, January 6-February 25, 1944 (B-24 Liberator), (B-25 Mitchell), (B-26 Marauder)
In March 1944, Brooksville was reassigned to Third Air Force and it became an auxiliary airfield of MacDill Army Airfield (now MacDill AFB) and Drew Army Airfield (now Tampa International Airport). The airfield came under the jurisdiction of the 377th Army Air Forces Base Unit, Squadron "A" becoming the operational unit. Under Third Air Force, Brooksville became a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber replacement training base. Bomber crews assigned to the main base used the airfield as an overflow training base and as an emergency landing airfield, if necessary.
With the imminent end of the war in Europe, Brooksville AAF was notified on April 1, 1945 of its pending inactivation on June 30. With B-17s being used almost exclusively in Europe, the need for replacement personnel by Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force was ended.
In late 1945, the field was reported to the War Assets Administration (WAA) as being in surplus and between April 1946 and June 1947, the WAA sold or moved the on-site equipment to military locations where it could be better utilized. The land and left-over facilities were sold to the city of Brooksville by a General Services Administration (GSA) quitclaim deeds which contained clauses that limited the property to be used for a public airport only. Some of these clauses have since been modified by the Federal Aviation Administration. 
Within a few years, the city of Brooksville transferred the property to Hernando County, which remains the current owner. Two small sections of the land have been sold to private interests and the rest is currently used by the county for an airport, 155-acre (0.63 km2) industrial park, prison, land rentals, and tree farming.
In October 2012, the Hernando County Commission voted to change the name of the airport to Brooksville–Tampa Regional Airport, part of a county-wide re-branding effort of major facilities and infrastructure. This action remains controversial, with objections from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, the governmental entity overseeing Tampa International Airport and three general aviation airports in neighboring Hillsborough County. Following several months legal challenges by both governmental entities in Hernando County and Hillsborough County, mediation in late February/early March 2013 resulted in the airport being renamed again as Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport, a name change acceptable to both the Hernando County Commission and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.
Army National Guard
Since 2000, the airport has been a joint civil-military airfield, home to the Florida Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility #2 and the 171st Aviation Battalion (171 AVN BN), which relocated from their previous facility at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, occupying newly constructed facilities adjacent to an existing Florida Army National Guard Armory housing the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces. The 171 AVN BN currently flies UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. The battalion also previously flew the C-23 Sherpa fixed-wing cargo aircraft concurrent with the UH-60 until the C-23 was retired from Army National Guard service in 2014.
- Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics
- Florida World War II Army Airfields
- List of airports in the Tampa Bay area
- FAA Airport Master Record for BKV ( PDF), effective July 5, 2007
- "Airline and Airport Code Search". International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- "Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional (IATA: none, ICAO: KBKV, FAA: BKV)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
- Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0-89201-097-5[page needed]
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9[page needed]
- "Hernando County Airport and Aviation Authority". flyhernando.com.
- Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport at Hernando County website
- American Aviation, the fixed-base operator (FBO)
- (PDF), effective October 12, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BKV, effective October 12, 2017
- Resources for this airport: