Scottsdale Airport Awarded $5.4 Million Grant from FAA for Taxiway Improvements

August 21, 2022

Scottsdale Airport

Scottsdale Airport (SDL) has been awarded a $5.4 Million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for several taxiway-related improvements to increase efficiency, according to officials.

Scottsdale Progress reports that the grants will provide funding to improve the airport's infrastructure, including constructing an aircraft runup area, reconstructing a portion of the taxiway and taxiway connectors up to current FAA safety standards, and rehabilitating a taxiway connector. This will make it easier for planes to get in and out of the airport.

Scottsdale spokeswoman, Sarah Ferrara, said that scheduling the faster planes first will contribute to efficiency at the one-runway facility.

“It really just plays into how they can move that traffic most efficiently,” Ferrara said.

There is Opposition to the Scottsdale Airport Runway Upgrades

Dr. Chris Winterholler, who is a general aviation aircraft owner, says the plan will be used to 'push any aircraft that aren’t business jets out of the airport.'

“The FAA is subsidizing the super-rich and kicking the (general aviation) community to the weeds,” Winterholler said, calling it “pork-barrel spending for essentially one weekend” – namely the Super Bowl.

“Infrastructure for the .01% of the population is what this is,” he added, stating that such spending while ignoring “actual tax-paying local business people that rely on that airport is wrong.”

Ferrara disagrees.

“It’s not really that we’re giving preference to (corporate jets); it’s how do we get them most efficiently in the flow and out,” Ferrara said.

The group Save Scottsdale General Aviation has filed a lawsuit against the airport and Jet Aviation, accusing them of working together to push smaller general aviation planes out of the airport to make way for larger business jets. 

Earlier this year, at least 78 aircraft owners who parked their planes at Greenway Shades area of the airport received eviction notices.

Jet Aviation, a fixed base operator at SDL, canceled its leases and demolished the site to make room for new facilities, including 30,000 square feet of hangar space, 13,000 square feet of office and lobby space and 200,000 square feet of private ramp.

[Image: Creative Commons - Credit: Richard N Horne]

  • Scottsdale airport has been trying to get small (non-jet) aircraft out for a number of years. By removing parking and limited maintenance shops on the airport. When Jet Aviation came into SDL Shade tiedowns and hangars were removed to build there FBO and hangar. Now the Greenway hangars and tiedowns have been removed for Jet Aviation to build more hangars for large jets. No maintenance in there hangars though. Operators must call a mobile MX provider if they need maintenance. And that cost more time and money.

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