I sure enjoyed your article on my home airport, Falcon Field (“What’s in your hangar? Officials at Arizona airport crack down on inappropriate uses,” Oct. 19 issue). The hangar leasing situation there has been a mess for many years, due to a network of “good ol’ boys” who repeatedly skirted the rules. Corinne has been fighting them for over two years in an attempt to make the hangar list fair, but has a long way to go. A conservative estimate would be that 20-25% of the hangars are not occupied by the tenants on the lease and/or do not house aircraft.
A far more serious problem, though, is the total lack of security at this major GA airport (it consistently is in the top 10 busiest GA airports in the nation). There is no fencing, no limited access, no way to prevent intruders from coming onto the airport. Fuel thefts, plane thefts and avionics thefts occur frequently. On most weekends the taxiways and parking areas are filled with non-aviation activities, including racing dune buggies, sightseers, bicyclists, runners, dog walkers, skateboarders, skaters, high speed sports cars, and parents teaching their children to drive. It is truly a sight to see a taxiing aircraft dodge this activity on its way to or from the runway.
Amazingly, there is only one airport employee on duty the entire weekend, so the place becomes a real madhouse. Even though a number of tenants have organized and tried to get the airport/city to install a security, limited access fence, nothing has happened in two years. All conversations with airport management end with the tenants being told that no money is available until the FAA is funded. This, despite the fact that other airports in the state have received untold millions of dollars to install fencing.
Most of us are resigned to inaction until a tragedy occurs. That is sad.
EDWARD F. MURPHY