The future of Fayetteville Municipal Airport-Drake Field (KFYA) in Fayetteville, Ark., may include golf.
According to Ray Boudreaux, director of aviation and economic development for the city of Fayetteville, the idea of creating a golf course on part of the airport property came out of a study done to update the airport’s 20-year Master Plan.
“We want to keep the airport self-sufficient,” Boudreaux explained. “We used to be able to do that by renting out parking spots when we had commercial service at this airport. But when the commercial service moved to an airport 20 miles north of here it left our airport without a reasonable cash flow to support the needs of the airport.”
At the present time, most of the traffic at the field is general aviation.
“We get a lot of traffic from the University of Arkansas sports program,” Boudreaux noted. “There are lots of jets that are chartered for the sports teams.”
The idea of building a golf course on land owned by the airport is not a new one, he added.
“There are several of these around the country,” he said. “The way it would work is that the airport gets a percentage of the gross revenues from the course.”
Another benefit of developing a golf course adjacent to the airport is that it protects the airport from incompatible development, such as high-rise buildings and housing subdivisions.
“We are looking at developing land that is on the west fork of the White River,” he said. “It is rugged terrain and the land really isn’t good for anything but a golf course.”
Other planned enhancements include lengthening the runway by 1,000 feet.
“In order to do that we will have to move the state highway out of the north end safety area,” he said. “Once we do that we can get funding from the FAA through the Airport Improvement Program. With that 1,000 feet, the pilots will have 7,000 feet to work with.”
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