Help Enhance the Future of Air Service in Arcata/Eureka
Humboldt County’s ability to diversify into new growth industries will be influenced by its desirability to support and attract new businesses that can efficiently connect with a flattening global economy. Developing and sustaining a solid air transportation network that includes increased airline passenger and air cargo service, business/corporate aviation access, aviation-related businesses and services and aviation-dependent industries, will be critical to support this growth. Failure to recognize this need will result in further economic isolation.
Humboldt County currently operates six public-use airports: California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport (ACV), Murray Field Airport, Rohnerville Airport, Dinsmore Airport, Garberville Airport and Kneeland Airport. Management of the airports is through the county Department of Public Works - Aviation Division. Policy decisions regarding airport development are made by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and must be in compliance with state and federal regulations. The Aviation Advisory Committee advises the Board on aviation matters.
Commercial air service:
ACV's principal role is to serve as a base of operations for scheduled airline services. In this capacity, the airport is designated as a primary commercial airport in the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. ACV also serves as a source of schedule cargo services, a point of air access to the community, a site for emergency access to the community, a place to conduct business and a base for Humboldt County region pilots. The airport has two runways: a 6,000-foot primary runway equipped with pilot controlled lighting and a precision instrument approach, and a 4,499-foot crosswind runway lit by prior permission with a non-precision approach. ACV offers Jet A and 100LL fuel services and Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting facilities.
The Aviation Enterprise Fund is the fund that operates the Aviation Division. This fund is classified by accounting standards as “business-type activities” and is supposed to stand on its own without the sort of short-term borrowing typical of the county’s governmental funds. However, aviation operating costs have exceeded income for the last eight fiscal years and this fund has borrowed from other funds in order to keep the Aviation Division operating. The growing liability of its current negative fund balance could have the potential to become the responsibility of the county’s General Fund.
The Board of Supervisors in the spring contracted with Volaire Aviation Consulting to study the county's aviation system and provide recommendations on a variety of areas, including marketing of the commercial airport. This survey will inform Volaire's study. The final study of the airport and recommendations are expected later in 2017.