An inventory was taken of the 27 airports in the FAA's National Plan of
Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) in
the North Central Texas region. The region has 2 commercial service, 11 reliever, and 14 general aviation airports. All 27 airports are owned by their respective cities.
These airports are significant to national air
transportation and thus eligible to receive Federal grants under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
Airports with Instrument Approaches
93% of the airports in the region have an instrument approach, which aids pilots in landing during times of low visibility.
There are two main Instrument Approach Classifications:
- Precision approaches utilize both lateral (localizer) and vertical (glide slope)
- Non-precision approaches provide lateral course information only.
For aircraft that operate under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), an instrument
is a series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under
instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial
approach to a landing.
Airports with Air Traffic Control Towers
This federal “Contract Tower” program is effective in reducing the cost of providing ATC services so that many locations, which would have otherwise seen their ATC services eliminated, can continue to benefit from the services of an ATC tower facility.
Depending on the airport’s activity type and level, the FAA may fund some or all of the cost of operating the control tower. The airport sponsor is responsible for the remaining costs, if any.
Almost half of the regional general aviation airports operate with an Air Traffic
Control (ATC) Tower. Of these, six towers operate under the Contract Tower Program.
Number of Runways by Airport Type
There are a total of 47 runways between all 27 NPIAS Airports in North Central Texas. The 2 Commercial Service Airports, DFW and Love Field, account for nearly one quarter of all the runways in the region.
Due to different operating requirements between small general aviation aircraft and large commercial aircraft, general aviation pilots often find it difficult to use a congested commercial service airport.
In recognition of this, the FAA has encouraged the development of high-capacity general aviation airports in major metropolitan areas. These specialized airports, called relievers, provide pilots with attractive alternatives to using congested hub airports. They also provide general aviation access to the surrounding area.
To be eligible for reliever designation, these airports must be open
to the public, have 100 or more based aircraft, or have 25,000 annual itinerant
operations. There are 269 reliever airports nationwide with an average of 186 based aircraft, representing 22% of the Nation’s general aviation fleet.
Airport Runway Conditions
100% of the airports in the region have a runway condition of good or fair.
The FAA defines airport runway conditions as:
- Good - All cracks and joints are sealed.
- Fair - Mild surface cracking, unsealed joints, and slab edge spalling.
- Poor - Large open cracks, surface and edge spalling, vegetation growing through cracks and joints.