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Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport Receives

FAA Safety Enhancement Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo., October 21, 2013 – When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed its annual certification inspection of the operations area at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC) in 2013 all facilities passed with no discrepancies. This made for the fourth consecutive year of perfect inspections at the airport, also known as Kansas City Downtown Airport. For this the FAA bestowed its Safety Enhancement Award to Downtown Airport staff at the recent annual FAA airports meeting.

“A perfect score four years in a row is something to be proud of,” said Operations Manager Melissa Cooper “The safety of our airport users is a high priority and a consideration in nearly every facet of Downtown Airport operations. In FAA circles, an airport attaining a perfect score for three consecutive years is a rare and special award.”

The FAA’s Part 139 inspection includes the conditions of everything on MKC’s airfield including the pavement, lighting, markings, safety areas, Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) training, fueling operations and Air Operations Area driver training. The evaluation found MKC to be fully compliant with Federal Aviation Regulation Part 139, the Airport Certification Manual and the Airport Operating Certificate.

The operations area at Downtown Airport is the area inside the security fence where aircraft operate. It includes runways, taxiways, aprons and aviation tenant operational areas.

Many parties play a part in keeping the Downtown Airport operations area safe and in top condition, including the Kansas City Aviation Department’s Downtown Airport Operations & Maintenance and its Engineering Division, which oversees all construction projects. In addition, the Kansas City Fire Department trains three of their structural companies located near the airport in all required ARFF elements, including participation in an annual live burn exercise, maintaining training records to federal standards and completing hands-on response training. These units continue to meet and exceed federal standards in providing ARFF coverage to Downtown Airport.

In 2005, the Aviation Department initiated a $70-million capital program to improve the facility and new concrete pavement and electrical systems for Runway 1-19, the main runway, were completed in 2006. The department completed a $22 million construction project on the west side of the field to allow faster access to Runway 1-19 and parallel apron space for new T-hangars and box hangars.

The new $17.3-million General Aviation Complex consists of seven buildings containing 96 individual hangars, a general aviation terminal with a pilots’ lounge and large waiting room capable of accommodating groups of up to 90 people, an aircraft self-fueling station and outdoor aircraft wash bay.

MKC offers aviators a 24-hour control tower, Category I Instrument Landing System, 24-hour fixed base operator (FBO), full aircraft maintenance, hangar facilities, air cargo facilities, aircraft sales, leasing and charters, flight training and car rentals. Visit for more information. Find Downtown Airport on Twitter and Facebook.

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