JetBlue eyeing Naples Municipal Airport
Gravina Smith Matte Arnold, a member of the Naples community. This story is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with this site.
Originally published 04:10 p.m., June 24, 2012
Updated 04:10 p.m., June 24, 2012
JetBlue has expressed interest in serving Naples Municipal Airport with nonstop, low-fare service from several New York airports. The airline recognizes the airport’s 75,000-pound weight limit for aircraft, and the City of Naples Airport Authority is investigating the airlines’ request for a waiver of that limit for specified commercial service. Under consideration by the airport authority is the possible impact of heavier aircraft on the airport’s runways and taxiways.
“Working with our attorneys and our board of commissioners to evaluate the weight-restriction issue is only an initial step,” said Executive Director Ted Soliday. “Our bylaws require meetings with the city council and the public to change the weight limit in any manner. Whether JetBlue begins service or not, attracting the attention of this premier airline is a great achievement for the airport and the Naples area.”
“Although our modern fleet of Airbus 320 and Embraer 190 aircraft exceed APF’s current weigh limits, they have a noise footprint similar to or lower than smaller aircraft currently utilizing the airport,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president network planning and partnership, wrote in a June 19 letter. “I am confident JetBlue can be a good neighbor and an active, positive member of the Naples community.
“We are pleased with the market dynamics of the Naples area and are confident that JetBlue’s high-quality, low-fare air service will drive significant increases in travel to Florida’s Southwest coast,” wrote Laurence.
During 2011, the City of Naples Airport Authority paved the safety areas at both ends of the airport’s primary runway to enhance safety, reduce noise and increase the chances of attracting commercial airline service. The runway’s landing length remains at 5,000 feet, but the declared takeoff distance was extended from 5,000 to 5,800 feet. The extra takeoff length allows aircraft to achieve higher altitudes before leaving the airport, reducing sound under the flight path; improves safety by providing more room for aborted takeoffs and other emergencies; and allows the additional runway length regional jets need to take off when fully loaded with passengers.
JetBlue, which launched operation in 2000, bills itself as New York’s Hometown Airline with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and Orlando. Known for its low fares, award-winning service, free TV and extra legroom, JetBlue serves 71 cities with 750 daily flights. To learn more, visit www.jetblue.com.
Naples Municipal Airport, a certificated air carrier airport, is home to flight schools, air charter operators and corporate aviation and nonaviation businesses as well as fire/rescue services, mosquito control, car rental agencies and the Collier County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit. All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance and improvements are generated from activities at the airport or from federal and state grants; the airport receives no property tax dollars. During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the airport accommodated more than 84,000 takeoffs and landings. The Florida Department of Transportation values the airport’s economic impact to the community at more than $273 million annually.
To learn more or to subscribe for email updates about the airport, visit www.FlyNaples.com.
This story is contributed by a member of the Naples community and is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with this site.
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