Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport Receives Perfect Inspection for Second Consecutive Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo., December 29, 2008 ? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently performed its annual certification inspection of the operations area at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), also known as Kansas City Downtown Airport. All facilities passed with no discrepancies, making this the second year of perfect inspections.

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.

?A perfect score two 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. Obviously, our sights are set on another perfect inspection next year. In FAA circles, an airport attaining a perfect score for three consecutive years is a rare and special award.?

The FAA inspections occurred during major airport construction. In fact, refurbishments to the 5,050-foot Runway 3-21 are nearly complete, affording the opportunity for the Department to recently reopen the runway. 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 has initiated 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 that are under construction.

The $17.3 million hangar project on the northwest portion of the airfield is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2009 and will consist of seven buildings containing 96 individual hangars, a new 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. More information is available at

Media Contact:

Joe McBride