Looks like the Navy will hand over the base to the Air Force, which in turn will give control of it to Pennsylvania...looks like there is a possibility that it will be turned into a joint-use civil/military airport, since the Air Force will not require all of NXX's ramp space...Im glad to see that the airfield will remain there and that the site will not be drastically redeveloped...
Congrats Willow Grove!
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USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5291 times:
Quoting Cancidas (Reply 1): very good news! if it's going to be joint-use, who could we expect to use the ramp space?
I imagine an FBO or two will come in...I can see there being a fair amount of business jet activity to relieve neighboring Northeast Philadelphia Airport...for those purposes, NXX sits in a great spot, as it would offer the longest runway by far in the expansive suburbs of Philly (we have all sorts of small GA airports around the 'burbs, but nothing with a serious runway size) plus fairly easy road access to both the city as well as the rest of the Philly suburbs...I'd also think it would be pretty popular as a flight training practice airport, for approaches and whatnot, even though there currently is not an ILS at the airport, AFAIK...
However, one thing that constantly gets floated around is the possibility that UPS or FedEx could step in and turn it into a cargoport, not unlike something like ABX/DHL has out in rural Ohio...this is highly unlikely, owing to the NIMBY factor, but the right set of circumstances does exist where UPS could possibly stage operations out of there if the NIMBY issues can be overcome...
The base is fairly self evident on the map...UPS's nearby facility is the long building that runs east-west just north of the corner of Welsh Rd. and Dresher Rd...if you zoom in on it, you will note the tremendous amount of truck traffic surrounding the building as well as its overall size...its huge!
1. UPS has a tremendous processing/sorting hub located within 2 miles of the current base...currently, AFAIK, from there, all UPS packages are trucked to/from PHL, which is about 45 minutes away...imagine if all they had to do was truck those packages 2 miles or so to NXX...or possibly move that facility on-site to the base, if that is allowable...
2. Without going into too much of an OT rant, PHL desperately needs another expansion, but owing to geographical constraints is severely limited in its options to expand...UPS's facility and ramp at PHL sits squarely in the middle of the last available space where another runway could potentially be added...if UPS moved up to NXX, that land suddenly opens up and helps out PHL a lot!
However, the downside is that the NIMBY's would surely object to a typical night owl operation of a cargo carrier...I think there'd be less of a problem if UPS agreed to only operate daylight flights out of NXX, but Im not sure that that would fit in their normal scheme of operations...there also is a slight operational problem in that UPS does operate international flights to and from PHL, and thus if those flights were moved to NXX, a Customs facility would also have to be added...
I must emphasize that I view this highly unlikely, though now that it comes to mind I wonder if UPS put their processing facility this close to the base in anticipation of this very day when the base would be available for civil use and they could start flight ops there...
What puzzles me is the mention of other non-military government agencies operating there...I am scratching my head trying to think of what they have in mind (if anything), and failing miserably...any ideas?
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Cancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5272 times:
the UPS move is an interesting idea. if the sorting facility is indeed so close they may just move thier entire operations out of PHL. if they do invest the money in new facilities and increase jobs in the area, it may be all the presure needed to quell the NIMBY threat. while commercial service is far from becoming a reality corporate traffic might not increase all that much due to the distance from PHL itself. time will tell, but i sure do hope they don't sell it off to some greedy developers...
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17014 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4795 times:
Last May included in a Iraq war Military spending bill President Bush signed into law was a resolution to the Willow Grove saga that has been going on between Harrisburg and Washington since the BRAC decision to close Willow Grove back in 2005.
Here's how it's planned to shape out;
As mentioned the Navy will turn over control and ownership of WIllow Grove to the Air Force in 2009/2010 for free, the Air Force will then lease it to the State of Pennsylvania to help establish KNXX as a joint Military Reserve and Government Emergency Response center. The 111th Fighter Wing will not disband, they will maintain WIllow Grove flight Operations after the Navy leaves. However the future of their flying mission is still uncertain, all other Navy, Marine and Army Aviation Units are still moving to McGuire AFB in 2009. The 913th Airlift WIng of the Air Force Reserve and their C-130s have already disbanded.
The Military Units that will make up with future Willow Grove base are:
111th Fighter Wing, the 111th proudly boasts on their homepage they're staying and they're hiring. However they are still scheduled to give up their 15 A-10s at somepoint around 2010 / 2011 to ANG Units from Idaho, Maryland and Michigan. I've been looking everywhere to find out if a decision has been reached or what they are looking at for a flying mission beyond 2010. I went by Willow Grove this past Saturday and I did not see any of their 15 A-10s, do they still have them?
The other major tenant at the Future Willow Grove will be the Headquarters of the 56th Stryker Brigade and 1,000 soldiers of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. They will move from their current digs on Southhampton rd to Willow Grove, the 56th is the only Guard Unit operating the Stryker vehicle.
Besides the 111th Fighter Wing of the PA ANG and the Headquarters of the 56th Stryker Brigade some nearby Army Reserve Centers will consolidate at Willow Grove to establish a 3,000 - 4,000 person strong Military presence at KNXX.
Other Government non military agencies that are looking to move personal and establish a Presence at Willow Grove include:
IRS, FEMA, EPA, FAA, DOJ, Anti-Terrorism task force etc..
One last thing, the legislation signed into law by President Bush prohibits commercial flights either passenger or cargo flights into Willow Grove, no Civilian flying.
This means that Willow Grove will remain active but a much reduced rate of operations compared to recent years, I drove past this Weekend and I only saw two aircraft. An Army Reserve C-12 land and a Navy C-9 parked in front of the Navy Hangar. The rest of the place was empty, a huge contrast to the seen at WIllow Grove during my last visit in 2003 when in the course of an hour I watched 2-3 P-3s depart, a C-9 doing touch and Go's and A-10s arrive and depart. This past visit the place was a ghost town, and no aircraft on the ramp anywhere save the C-12 and C-9.
RC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4737 times:
Quoting STT757 (Reply 8): This past visit the place was a ghost town, and no aircraft on the ramp anywhere save the C-12 and C-9.
Saw a V-22 climbing out of Willow Grove last Friday. I had seen the Osprey previously over the NJ Turnpike on Wednesday and over Newtown on Thursday and I had been wondering where it was operating out of. Thought perhaps it was heading over to McGuire AFB or NAS Lakehurst.