Naples Airport Authority Awarded FAA Southern Region Safety Award
The Naples Airport Authority (NAA) has been awarded The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southern Region Airports Division Safety Award for its Comprehensive Wildlife Management Program.
Each year the FAA Southern Region recognizes a general aviation airport that has taken actions, instituted programs, or otherwise operated in such a manner deserving of special recognition for improving airport safety.
“It is an honor to be to be recognized for our efforts in providing the community a safe and efficient airport,” said Naples Airport Authority Executive Director Chris Rozansky. “Our team works diligently to identify new and innovative ways to further enhance safety at the Naples Airport.”
The Naples Airport’s location provides countless benefits. However, abundant summer rains and nearby bodies of water that support birds and other wildlife throughout the year can create wildlife safety issues.
The NAA’s chief goal is to provide a safe, modern, and efficient airport that far exceeds regulatory requirements. Demonstrating this commitment, the NAA undertook several coordinated projects in and around the airfield to improve water retention and reduce the risk of wildlife interactions. The Comprehensive Wildlife Management Program recognized by the FAA included:
Runway 5/23 Drainage Project
This project featured a complete redesign of the runway drainage from open swales to a piped underground storm water retention system. The $2.8 million project eliminated the standing water and reduced bird activity on the east side of the airfield.
West Quad Vegetation Removal
To improve water retention and reduce wildlife habitat on the airfield, a project was initiated to remove excess vegetation and improve ground contours. Active coyote dens were identified and removed to prevent potentially hazardous interactions. Wildlife deterrent fencing was also installed.
North Road Tree Removal
Through consultation with US Fish and Wildlife Service, the NAA undertook a project to prevent bald eagle nesting near an active runway by removing slash pines from an area near the approach end of Runway 5. The project also removed invasive Australian pines. Native palms and trees that do not serve as eagle nesting sites were preserved. Completion of this project improved safety for both aircraft and bald eagles.
About Naples Airport
Naples Airport is ideally located within minutes of downtown Naples, the Gulf of Mexico and I-75, connecting people to the Paradise Coast through an exceptional airport experience. The airport serviced 113,137 annual operations in the last fiscal year, while being an engaged, responsive partner to the community. Home to flight schools, air charter operators, car rental agencies, and corporate aviation and non-aviation businesses, the airport is also a central location for public services, including fire/rescue services, mosquito control, the Collier County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and other community services. The airport also prides itself on being the hub of emergency staging during natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes, for first responders, lighting, and power crews.
All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance and improvements are generated from activities at the airport or federal and state grants from aviation-related user fees. The airport receives no local tax dollars. The Florida Department of Transportation values the airport’s annual economic impact to the community at more than $440 million.
For more information or to subscribe to email updates from the airport, visit www.FlyNaples.com.