Conditions of Sale of Queen City Airport

Following was obtained by Mike Rosenfeld, President of LVGAA, through Freedom of Information query in December 2011. Prior to transfering the management of the Queen City Airport to the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) to settle debts created by the city's mismanagement of the airport, several conditions were stipulated to ensure the preservation of a safe general aviation environment in the Lehigh Valley. The following lists specific attributes for the FAA to consider a replacement airport for Queen City.

US Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave. SW.
Washington, DC 20591
December 7, 2005

The Honorable Charles W. Dent
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Dent:

The FAA considers Queen City a critical airport that benefits general aviation in the City of Allentown, Eastern Pennsylvania, and the National Aviation System. With 96 based aircraft, and having recently completed a significant expansion of the airport's hangar facilities, Queen City is well positioned to support its current 50,000 annual operations and accommodate future growth. The FAA would not consider a request to close the airport unless we had first approved a replacement airport of equal or greater value to the aviation system. The replacement airport would need to be commissioned for full use and services, prior to closing the existing airport.

As a matter of policy, we would consider at least the following characteristics of a proposed replacement airport in determining whether the proposed site could replace Queen City.

  1. Design, construction and delivery of the new airport to current FAA airport design standards, at the full and complete expense of the proponent.

  2. Sufficient airport property for airfield, aeronautical services, and landside public areas. Queen City is located on a site of 203 acres, and we could consider this size to be the minimum acceptable size for a replacement site. Based on current site development and storm water permitting guidelines, the replacement site may require additional acreage to appropriately handle storm water management requirements.

  3. Capacity for based aircraft and aircraft operations equal to or better than the existing capactiy at Queen City Airport.

  4. A runway system with alignment to cover locally encountered wind conditions. Runway and other pavement strength and airfield design shall meet all standards for the largest aircraft using Queen City. Runway configuration would be in accordance with then current FAA design standards and would not necessarily duplicate the current Queen City airfield layout. A configuration that met the capacity requirements would be as follows:

  5. A paved primary runway with the following minimum characteristics and standards:

  6. A paved crosswind runway with the following minimum characteristics and standards:

  7. No obstacle penetration of any FAR part 77 surfaces for any runway or traffic pattern. In addition, the replacement airport must be located so as not to interfere with Lehigh Valley International (LVI) Airport's aircraft traffic patterns.

  8. Equivalent hangar. T-hangar and apron tie-down space to include the 50 new T-hangars and associated taxiways and taxilanes that were recently constructed. Another 20 hangars are anticipated to be constructed shortly based on demonstrated need/demand.

  9. Availability of published nonprecision approach procedures to the same or lower minimums than currently exist at Queen City Airport.

  10. Equal or better structures and facilities than Queen City Airport to accommodate aircraft repair, storage, fueling, passengers and related aviation services.

  11. Replacement location within the City of Allentown geographic area, to serve the existing Queen City Airport users, based on FAA NPIAS criteria. The replacement airport will be required to serve as a general aviation reliever airport to Lehigh Valley International Airport.

  12. Convenient all weather access to the new site location, equal to or better than the existing access to I-78.

An FAA decision on a proposal to open a new aircraft would also trigger Federal Environmental Review and could require preparation of an environmental impact statement. The proponent would be expected to bear the full cost of the environmental review through a reimbursable agreement with the FAA.

In the review of an actual proposal, we may find other factors that affect the suitability of a replacement airport site. Therefore, the above list should be considered representative only and not a "checklist" for approval. Because we have not received a formal request for release, we are unable to speculate on all the considerations that might ultimately affect the Federal decision on a request to accept a particular replacement airport.

It is also important to note that the FAA will not consider a proposal to relocate Queen City Airport unless the proposal is made by the current airport owner, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA). As of the date of this letter, LNAA has made no such proposal.

If you or your staff need futher help, please contact Mr. David Balloff, Assistant Administrator for Government and Industry Affairs, at (202) 267-3277.


David L. Bennett
Director, Office of Airport Safety and Standards

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