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Runway Regulations  
User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

This may not belong here but I'll try it.

What are the rules on building an airstrip?

The reason I ask is that my family owns a lot of "bush" type property in West Virginia. If I wanted to build a runway (tarmac, lights, the works) would I have to consult the FAA? If so what would be involved?

Thanks in advance


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN766AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5049 times:

I do not believe there is any FAA involvement when a 'Restricted' airfield, that is one that is not open to the public, is built. It does, though, have to be registered with the FAA. I am sure you should consult the FARs thoroughly before you start any big plans, though.

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

Why build a runway? Landing on turf is much more entertaining 

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineILS 15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5015 times:

You can go ahead and build whatever you want. Maybe the only government involvement may be local. Other than that you can open a private airstrip. It would show up on the sectional for that area, since, theoretically, anyone could land there (in an emergency). But there's no recomendations on length, width, lights. You be surprised and maybe a little frightened by some of the private strips that are out there.


User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5010 times:

Birds land on dirt, aircraft land on tarmac!!


User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 6063 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5009 times:

I have friend who just finished constructing a runway at his little ranch; plenty of land, adequately situated (slight prevailing crosswind), built with drainage and a very nice hangar.

Last week came first time to land there; he overflew it several times, noted that those trees on the approach end that looked so far away when on the ground, looked mighty close on approach. Finally set up his landing as best he could, touched down "before the windsock," so he stood on the brakes; stopped with about 100' rwy remaining.

The chainsaw has been active since!

He told me, "You know how when you solo, they cut off your shirt tail to put on a plaque? After that landing, I tacked my soiled drawers up on the hangar wall!

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30408 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

Your big problems aren't going to be with the FAA. It is going to be with your local zoning board and your neighbors.

It also (unfortunatly) to hear about somebody who has had a personal airport for years getting a new neighbor and the newbie suing the airstrip owner claiming it was a safety hazard. I think that is bull but a lot of courts haven't agreed with me.

I don't know if AOPA or any of the other alphabet groups have any info out there.

As far as pavement goes. It is nice but it isn't all that it is cracked up to be. Grass is prettier and smell better when it is cut  

User currently offlineAl B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4981 times:

I know this subject hasn't been accessed for a few days but, seeing as designing runways is what i do for a living i couldn't resist the opportunity to join in.
From a construction point of view, whether you intend to have a paved or an unpaved airstrip you need to know what the ground conditions are like. You don't want to spend lots of money profiling the ground and setting up, only to find there's a soft spot about 1 metre down that sinks every time you land on it (the reason you don't tend to hear about catastrophic runway suraface collapses occuring is because airfield designers are so paranoid about the idea we make sure that it won't happen). Any local Site Investigation company should be able to do the work and give you some meaningful results and advise for a reasonable sum (make sure they give you advise about how the conditions will change between wet & dry weather). If you intend to install some form of lighting, either now or in the future, you will probably also need to check with the FAA or local aerospace bodies; i don't know about America but in Britain and Europe there is strict licensing on airfield lighting to prevent small airfields causing confusion to other traffic, especially in night time emergencies when a pilot may be looking for the nearest usable airfield.

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