The Florida Airports Council has awarded Naples Municipal Airport the 2015 J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award (General Aviation Airport) for its water management system improvements and taxiway extension project.
The winning project includes two components that provide conventional and state-of-the-art solutions for waterquality and noise issues. Airport ponds were reconfigured to improve pollutant filtering and discourage wildlife, which pose a threat to aircraft. Taxiway A was extended to encourage aircraft to use the full length of the runway so they are flying higher when they leave airport property.
After shorelines were altered, the ponds showed an overall reduction in bird use, particularly wading birds, a safety enhancement for aircraft and the surrounding communities by decreasing the potential for bird strikes.
The pond redesign resulted in a significant increase in the removal of phosphorus and nitrogen. Water from the airfield historically has been cleaner than residential runoff, but the airport accepts and cleans runoff from an adjoining 400 acres of industrial development. Underwater gabions — walls created with baskets of rocks — have slowed water flow and increased the effectiveness of the filtration process. If ongoing monitoring confirms the improved filtration trend, the design is expected to become a model for Florida water-management pond design.
The Federal Aviation Administration and Florida Department of Transportation funded 95 percent of the $8 million project.
The annual J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award recognizes environmental projects and programs that have a positive effect on the Florida aviation system. Winning projects demonstrate a balance between environmental benefits and financial viability, address environmental issues of local, regional or statewide concern and promote partnerships with entities outside the aviation industry.
Naples Municipal Airport, a certificated air-carrier airport, is home to flight schools, air charter operators, car rental agencies and corporate aviation and non-aviation businesses as well as fire/rescue services, mosquito control, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office aviation unit and other community services.
During the 2013-14 fiscal year, the airport accommodated 95,120 takeoffs and landings.