U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais announced over the weekend the Federal Aviation Administration will publish the Instrument Approach Procedures for the new airport on June 27.
Jetport Director of Operations Mark Fidler said Monday that DesJarlais called him over the weekend to inform him of the FAA’s decision with regard to the development and certification of Instrument Approach Procedures for the new airport at 251 Dry Valley Road N.E.
“We are now on schedule for flight check and publication of KRZR's GPS approaches, with an implementation date of June 27,” Fidler said. “This is a tremendous step in development of the new airport.”
Fidler outlined in a March 28 letter, released by DesJarlais’ office, the dilemma still faced by pilots who want to fly into Cleveland.
“We now have a spectacular facility offering tremendous services but consistently hear reports of flights which should be destined to Cleveland but continue to utilize Chattanooga for landing due to our not having published instrument approaches,” Fidler said.
“I have discussed this matter at length with the FAA’s Memphis Airport Development Office staff. While very attentive and understanding, they offered little hope of resolving our dilemma.”
Fidler said with the procedures in place, the airport would become accessible to an entirely different segment of the flying public presently not utilizing RZR (the FAA’s designation for the jetport), where operations are limited to visual flight rules.
“The importance of both reliable and safe instrument approach procedures cannot be emphasized enough for the continued development of the airport and the safety of those utilizing it. I ask you to please consider this matter and exercise any influence at your disposal to help resolve this matter in a timely manner,” Fidler stated in the letter.
DesJarlais said he was very appreciative of the FAA's quick response to his office's request for help.
“I want to thank Mark Fidler, state Rep. Kevin Brooks, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and the many other individuals who brought this to our attention," the congressman said. "I am very appreciative of the FAA's quick response to our office's request for help on this issue."
Brooks said that in order to truly be "cutting edge" in aviation services, the IAP is not a luxury, but a fundamental necessity.
“I have personally heard from a number of local pilots, asking for assistance with FAA activation of the IAP. Our office was happy to send letters to our D.C. delegation on behalf of Cleveland,” he said. “Although June is the date for IAP at RZR, the sooner the better,” Brooks said. “Just two weeks ago, Gov. Bill Haslam could not land in Cleveland due to weather and no IAP. Activating our IAP will allow RZR to appear on the global systems of all aircraft. We are open for business, this FAA action will turn on the ‘open’ sign for all the world to see."