The Airport Authority

General Aviation (GA) FBO Blog



The Farmer's Almanac predicts a bad winter for 2015. It's never too early for pilots to start thinking about getting their planes ready for the winter.

Pilots – when you start searching for airport FBO info, it’s easy to get a lot of useless information. 

Sometimes, all you want to know is whether the airport has a hangar or tie-down service, the hours of the control tower, and what type of ground transportation is available. 

It never hurts to know what kind of fuel they sell and some updated information about the runways too.  But few of these sites actually tell you how to take care of your plane, especially during tough winters.

Whether you are visiting Wyoming’s largest city as a tourist, a U.S. Air Force service member, or visiting a company located within the Front Range Business Corridor, you may find yourself headed to the Cheyenne Regional Airport. This airport guide will help you find the businesses you need to make your trip a success.


Ask any GA pilot what he or she enjoys the most about flying and southwest road tripsyou are likely to hear how much they love the incredible views of the American West. It’s not that flying around major cities and coastlines isn’t just as spectacular, but there is something truly awe-inspiring about seeing the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley from the air. Few people get to see these sites from higher elevations, at least not close-up. Perhaps this explains why so many pilots seek to fly out west, followed by a road trip to some “must see” destinations.

general_aviation_safetyOlder planes have a certain romance that cannot be duplicated with today’s modern aircraft, which may explain why so many GA pilots insist on flying their vintage planes.   But general aviation safety is a hot topic these days.  Publications like Plane & Pilot Magazine have released many articles on this topic, all of which seem to ask the same question – “How old is too old?”

According to a recent article on this topic, some of the most celebrated aircraft used in general aviation has shown signs of age and wear.  T-34s have suffered wing separations, resulting in an airworthiness directive that grounded the fleet.  Later, a T-6 trainer from World War II lost a wing while doing maneuvers.  Fortunately, many of the general aviation safety standards have been revised to ensure that older planes are safe enough to fly.

owning a planePerhaps it was a lifelong dream; to become a pilot and take the family on unforgettable vacations on your own plane. But that was before you learned about all the practical implications of owning a plane: the insurance, the repairs, the fuel, and the storage fees; the list goes on and on. As a result, many general aviation pilots have simply given up on the idea of aircraft ownership, preferring instead to rent a plane whenever they want to fly somewhere. This may not be a bad idea for pilots whose professions keep them on the ground, but it's not so great for retirees who want to spend more time in the air.

If you do a basic internet search, the list of general aviation airports in Colorado might surprise you.

Who knew that there were as many as 30 GA airports in the state of Colorado? And that number doesn’t even include the airports that are for general or mixed use. So how does the pilot of a small aircraft decide which airport is best?

If there is one thing that makes an amateur pilot nervous, it is landing in an unfamiliar airport. Even seasoned GA pilots with access to flight directories may be a bit concerned at this, especially if they are landing without an air traffic controller. This may explain why the FBO directory of airports at The Airport Authority (www.TheAirportAuthority.com) has developed such a following among GA pilots. General aviation pilots who fly the same routes on a regular basis may have no problem navigating the airports on their routes. However, when there is very little printed information available about an airport, they need an online source.

TAA2It takes a special kind of person to fly above the clouds every day, but most pilots say that while flying can bring a very powerful sense of mastery it is also a humbling experience.  Simply put, flying can make your own problems in life seem small.   For many GA pilots who started flying for the fun of it, being a pilot “for a living” seems strange but it can also be a dream come true.  That’s why so many pilots’ magazines and websites publish articles that help pilots live out their non-commercial dreams in the air.

airport fbo infoFor any pilot, flying into the Palm Springs area is always a treat. Palm Springs Regional Airport (PSP) is the gateway to many of California’s most popular destinations, and offers flights to a wide range of domestic destinations. Here is an airport guide to PSP and the surrounding area.

PSP is located just two miles east of Palm Springs and is adjacent to the Desert Princess Country Club, the Escena Golf Club and the Cimarron Golf Resort. Needless to say, golfing is major attraction for Palm Springs visitors.

chartered jet serviceGeneral aviation pilots have a lot more resources available to help with flight plans and weather forecasting, but they can also use a new tool for electronic submission of pilot weather reports (PIREPs).

puerto rico flyingOver the past several years, the general aviation industry has become nostalgic for the “glory days” of flying, often lamenting the current state of aviation, complaining about the cost of airplanes and fuel; not to mention how intrusive the FAA has become. If one believed the comments left on many GA web forums, it could easily be assumed that the industry is in a downward spiral.  Here are 4 reasons why pilots are still happy to be in the aviation industry.

pilots licenseIf you are the pilot of a small aircraft, it can be hard to decide which airport in Colorado is the best to land your plane. With as many as 30 general aviation airports in Colorado alone, not including airports that are considered “general” or “mixed use,” pilots have quite a selection; but each airport is different. So, how does the pilot choose which airport is the best to land in?

puerto rico flyingSo you’re a sport pilot who is in love with flying and you want to get your Private Pilot license? You are not alone. In order to get make this transition it’s important to know the difference between these two classifications.

no-phones-allowedThese days, cell phones are more essential than ever, especially with so many people using Smartphones to stay in constant contact with the office.  Business travelers often ask why they still cannot use a cell phone during a flight.  To be honest, with so many people curious about this, it does seem a little crazy that this isn’t explained in the flight guide or airplane safety instructions.  

So, when I finally saw it spelled out in a travel magazine’s in-flight guide, I decided to pass the information along to those of you who may still be curious.  Here are the main reasons your cell phone must be turned off during flights.

avionicsIt may seem like general aviation is facing multiple hurdles as it is faced with more regulations and a dwindling number of new pilots; but there is still hope. According to a recent article published by Flying magazine, "How to Revitalize General Aviation," there is an easy way to make existing airplanes more valuable. The article suggests that pilots will fly more when their existing planes become easier to upgrade.

airports in coloradoWhy are commercial airline pilots little jealous of independent pilots? One might expect just the opposite to be true, but it all comes down to one word – freedom. What pilot wouldn't enjoy making his own choices about flight patterns, airports and destinations? General Aviation - or GA - pilots are a lot more independent in their flying decisions, which gives them that freedom that commercial pilots can only dream about. But of course we all know that with freedom comes responsibility. In order to make the safest choices in the air, a pilot must have a reliable resource for airport information.

airport fbo infoSince the recession, one of the most noticeable economic impacts on the aviation industry has been declining aircraft sales. But this isn't something that affects the aviation industry alone; it has had a ripple effect across other sectors of the economy. Many attribute the crisis to a shortage of trained pilots who can operate single-engine aircraft, while others blame it on the struggling economy.

bird strikeThe topic of bird strikes, or Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH), was already top-of-mind for many general aviation pilots, but the recent Air Force jet crash has set the aviation industry abuzz. Witnesses found it hard to believe that a single bird could cause an $8 million jet to crash during an Air Force training flight.  According to the Associated Press article, "Bird to blame for $8M Air Force jet crash," the crash occurred in Wichita Falls TX. Two pilots were injured when they ejected from the T-38 Talon just before it plummeted to the ground near Sheppard Air Force Base and burst into flames. Officials at Sheppard said a single bird struck and shattered the canopy of the jet, causing fragments to enter the engine. Complicating this incident further was the pilot's attempt to turn the aircraft, which caused increased drag and slower speed.

pilot safetyStatistics from the NTSB show that general aviation has the highest aviation accident rate within civil aviation. In fact, the accident rate is six times higher than for small commuter operators and 40 times higher than for transport category operations. While the overall GA accident rate has remained steady (an average of 6.8 per 100,000 flight hours), the data within that figure has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Specifically, the rate of accidents for personal aircraft has gone up 20 percent. At the same time, the fatal accident rate has jumped 25 percent with the same ten year period. Having investigated an average of 1,500 general aviation accidents each year, the GA community has seen this same scenario play out frequently, one in which more than 400 pilots and passengers are killed annually.

municipal airportIn recent years, a trend has surfaced in the world of airport FBOs and it has several trade groups up in arms. The owners, or "sponsors" of municipal airports, usually local governments, are intruding on private enterprise by competing unfairly with privately owned and operated businesses. FBO owners see this as an unwelcome government intrusion into their private enterprise, but airport managers don't see it that way. Airport boards and other sponsors contend that the practice is necessary in order to provide necessary services in places where private businesses wouldn't survive. In other instances, they believe these sponsor-owned businesses create competition, which ultimately benefits consumers.

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