What are the obstacles to airport plan?
I live in Fern Prairie. My property is adjacent to Grove Field airport on two sides and right underneath the airport traffic pattern. I like the sound of small airplanes. One of the reasons I moved to Fern Prairie was because of the availability of Grove Field.
Grove Field is identified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in their National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), and the Washington State Growth Management Act identifies Grove Field as an Essential Public Facility. By identifying Grove Field in their planning, these agencies suggest that the Port of Camas/Washougal has a responsibility to the airport different from the marina or the industrial park that goes beyond their management role. The Port of C/W is entrusted with an asset that has regional importance. As such, they have the responsibility to ensure the longevity of Grove Field.
The FAA, the decision makers of all things aviation in this country, has identified four items that do not meet their design standards for the type of small aircraft that use Grove Field. They are: 1. Runway width, 2. Runway length, 3. Runway alignment, and 4. Obstructions on the west end of the airport.
To help communities pay for airport improvements, the FAA formed the Aviation Trust Fund. They collect user fees and offer grants to provide funding for small airports just like Grove Field. The only stipulation to accepting grant monies is that once spent, the airport must remain an airport for 20 years or the balance of the grant money returned.
Every Port of Camas/Washougal constituent has paid into the Aviation Trust Fund when they were taxed on the purchase of a commercial airline ticket. My fellow aviators and I have further contributed to the fund through taxes collected from the sale of aviation fuel that we put in our small airplanes.