Ann Arbor Municipal Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport
Ann Arbor Airport Passenger Terminal.JPG
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport Diagram.JPG
FAA airport diagram
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Ann Arbor
OperatorCity of Ann Arbor
ServesWashtenaw County, Michigan
LocationCity of Ann Arbor (exclave surrounded by Pittsfield Township)
Elevation AMSL839 ft / 256 m
Coordinates42°13′23″N 083°44′44″W / 42.22306°N 83.74556°W / 42.22306; -83.74556Coordinates: 42°13′23″N 083°44′44″W / 42.22306°N 83.74556°W / 42.22306; -83.74556
ARB is located in Michigan
Location of airport in Michigan
ARB is located in the United States
ARB (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 3,500 1,067 Concrete
12/30 2,750 838 Turf
Airport viewed from State Road

Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (IATA: ARB, ICAO: KARB, FAA LID: ARB) is a general aviation airport in Washtenaw County, Michigan, United States. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017 to 2021, in which it is categorized as a regional general aviation facility.[2]

The airport is located in Pittsfield Township, but the airport is owned and operated by the City of Ann Arbor,[3] The airport property is currently located entirely within Pittsfield Township having been annexed by the City of Ann Arbor for water rights before Pittsfield became a charter township in 1972.[4] About 15 percent of the water pumped to Ann Arbor’s Water Treatment Plant comes from wells located at the city's airport.[4] Pittsfield Township provides police and fire services to the airport when required. Despite being located entirely within the boundaries of Pittsfield, the township has no voting representation on any committee, council or board tasked with the management of airport operations.[5] The airport is located about 4.3 miles (6.9 km) south of the city proper.

The airport is a general aviation facility with mostly smaller corporate and private aircraft, with no scheduled passenger or cargo flights.[4] The airport is also occasionally used by aircraft transporting patients to the University of Michigan Health System.[4] The UMHS keeps its Survival Flight helicopters at the airport, but does not keep its fixed-wing Survival Flight jet aircraft at the site because of the lack of 24-hour control tower staffing.

As of 2013, the airport's annual budget was around $800,000, which the city makes by renting hangars and imposing fuel surcharges; the city does not allocate funds to the airport.[4]

History and facilities[edit]

Built in 1928, Ann Arbor Municipal Airport is a class B-II airport.[4]

The Ann Arbor City Council established an Airport Advisory Committee in 1961; the Ann Arbor city council appoints seven people (full voting members), serving three-year terms, and Pittsfield Charter Township and Lodi Township each appoint a non-voting[5] representative to the Committee.[6]

Ann Arbor Municipal Airport covers 837 acres (3.39 km2) and has two runways:[7]

  • Main Runway 6/24: 3,500 ft × 75 ft (1,067 m × 23 m), surface: Concrete
  • Secondary Runway 12/30: 2,750 ft × 110 ft (838 m × 34 m), surface: Grass

The grass runway intersects the paved runway, and is used during the summertime.[4] In 2013 there were almost 170 aircraft hangars at the airport.[4]

The airport has an operating control tower which is operated by the FAA.[1] The airport is located in FAA Class "D" airspace.[8] In 2012, there were 64,000 takeoffs and landings at the airport, many attributed to flight school airplanes operating at the airport.[4] A January 2013 tally reported 166 aircraft based at the airport: 138 single-engine propeller airplanes (including one ultralight), sixteen multi-engine propeller airplanes, one jet airplane and eleven helicopters.[1][9] For 2011, there were an average of 161 aircraft operations per day, and operations were 64 percent local general aviation and 36 percent transient general aviation.[9] There has been a gradual reduction in operations at the airport (both itinerant and local) since a peak in 1999.[10]

Only one incident has been reported to the National Transportation Safety Board since 2000: an airplane left the side of the runway, attributed to pilot error.[11][clarification needed] Before 2000, three doctors were killed on a football Saturday when they crashed into the runway.[citation needed] Runway expansions have been proposed since the 1980s but have been denied on each occasion by city councils.[4] The need for runway expansion on safety grounds is unclear as purported over-runs were actually off the side of the runway and attributed to pilot error after investigation. The most recent proposed runway expansion project, first floated to the Ann Arbor City Council in 2007, proposes lengthening the runway by 800 feet, and moving the entire runway toward the south west corner of the airport (closer to neighboring residential subdivisions). This would not change the airport's classification but could affect the size of the aircraft using the airport; the decision to land is made on an individual basis at the discretion of the pilot.[12] All B-II small aircraft are currently capable of operating on the existing 3,505 ft runway without weight restriction. However, larger airplanes (jets) already do use this B-II certified runway but with weight and fuel restrictions. Any extension to the runway will not change the operation of B-II classification aircraft, but will allow larger aircraft (jets in the C-I and C-II categories) to land and operate out of the airport with full weight and fuel. The proposal is undergoing environmental impact studies, but has experienced delays because of initial inaccuracies supplied in the proposal, prolonged review by the FAA, and opposition from Pittsfield Township and the local citizens' group Committee for Preserving Community Quality, made up of citizens from Pittsfield and Lodi, as well as some Ann Arborites who view the project as too expensive or unlikely to be approved.[3][4][12] On March 24, 2009, Pittsfield unanimously approved a Resolution Opposing Proposed Expansion of the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport Runway. Lodi Township, which is adjacent to Pittsfield on the west side and also impacted by ARB, passed a similar resolution on May 12, 2009. A legal petition has been made to the Secretary of Transportation Washington, D.C. in opposition to the proposed expansion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "KARB". AirNav. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  2. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b Amy Biolchini, Pittsfield Township, residents ask federal government to block Ann Arbor airport expansion, Ann Arbor News, February 5, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Amy Biolchini, Turbulent Ride Continues for Proposed Runway Expansion at Ann Arbor Airport, Ann Arbor News, February 7, 2013.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Airport Advisory Committee Archived December 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, City of Ann Arbor.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the Ann Arbor Airport". City of Ann Arbor. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  8. ^ "ANN ARBOR MUNICIPAL (ARB)" (PDF). State of Michigan. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  9. ^ a b Petition to Deny Approval and Funding for the Major Runway Extension Project at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB) Located in Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan, before the Secretary of Transportation, January 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB) in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Elevation, Runways, Altitude".
  11. ^ "AOPA Online - Accident Analysis Search Results".
  12. ^ a b Judy McGovern, Ann Arbor Airport runway extension moves toward review, public hearing stage, MLive, February 2, 2009.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ann Arbor Municipal Airport at Wikimedia Commons