VASI members are not only pilots and aviation enthusiast, but we are all local residents too! As such we were all just as curious as any new comer to learn about the Airport, its impact to the city and its operations. The following are a summary of a comprehensive ”
Frequently Asked Questions” that is downloadable by clicking here.
History & General Info: The City of Venice owns and operates the Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC) located several miles south of Venice’s central business district. Venice Municipal Airport is a General Aviation, Federally Obligated Airport, and a part of the National Aviation System. The airport began operations as an Army Air Force Base in World War II. The City acquired the airport through federal deeds of land transfer following the war. Starting in 1947, the War Assets Administrator (later the General Services Administration) deeded the City the basic airport land pursuant to the Surplus Property Act of 1944. A Federally Obligated Airport, such as Venice, is one that has incurred certain responsibilities, requirements, limitations and restrictions by accepting Federal assistance in either the form of grants or conveyance of Federal property for airport purposes. These deeds of transfer or conveyance imposed these restrictions, limitations and requirements on the City in assuming title to the Airport. These deed restrictions go with the land in perpetuity.
General Aviation is non-airline aviation that includes among other segments, business/corporate aircraft, personally owned aircraft, and aviation businesses such as charter, sightseeing, aircraft rental or flight training. The airport serves the general aviation needs of the local area by providing business-related flying, and police, fire and rescue services, humanitarian aid, recreational flying, flight training, medical evacuation, charity flights (such as Angel Flight), U.S. Coast Guard; and other aviation-related activities. Approximately twelve businesses currently operate from the Venice Municipal Airport. The airport also manages over 400 aeronautical and non-aeronautical leases.
Although the airport is open to the general public and to visiting aircraft, no commercial airlines operate at the Venice Municipal Airport. There are over 200 aircraft annually based at the airport. Businesses operating from the airport include a Fixed Base Operator, flight training schools, aircraft and avionics maintenance, a restaurant, a missionary support operation, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit. Based on 2013 data, over 50,000 take-offs and landings are conducted annually. The airport is open for day and night aviation operations, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The airport administration office is open to the general public between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. five days a week. Suncoast Air Center, the airport’s Fixed Base Operator, is open seven days a week (contact Suncoast at 941-485-1799).
The Venice City Archives located in the Historic Triangle Inn have extensive records on the history of the Venice Army Air Force Base. Additionally the City of Venice website Airport Department also includes a short “FAQs About the History of the Venice Airport.”
Benefits of the Airport: The airport is and has been an economic benefit not only to the city but also to the surrounding areas. A number of businesses currently operate from the Venice Municipal Airport. Additionally, the existence of the airport occupying land space at the south end of the Venice Island has created an undeveloped buffer of open space. Airport land was made available for lease to the Venice Lakes Golf Course and Sharky’s Restaurant (which restaurant property is now owned by the city). The airport has provided substantial open space benefit to the city. The City’s newest park, the Maxine Barrette Park, is also located on former airport land. Additionally the City uses airport land as a temporary festival ground.
According to the recent FDOT Aviation Study Venice Municipal Airport’s positive regional economic impact is in excess of $43 million annually (Florida Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study Update, August 2014). You may download a summary report by clicking here.
Airport Budget: The City of Venice owns and operates the Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC) as an enterprise fund. Operating and capital budgets are user funded through land and hangar leases, fuel sale flowage fees, leasing airport land (as an example Venice Lakes Golf Club), facilities and hangars to commercial aviation companies and individual aircraft owners. Rents for hangars and certain ground leases are comparable and in the range with other like airports set in the region.
No General Fund or taxpayer property tax monies are provided to support the Airport.
Airspace over the Airport: The FAA has exclusive control of the airspace over the United States. A very minor exception exists in the case of some local national park space, the control of which the FAA has granted to the park.
All airspace users are subject to the rules and regulations of the FAA. These regulations cover aircraft and pilot registrations, operational control of all aircraft in the air, traffic patterns, altitude, noise, safety matters and a myriad of other aviation-related matters. The regulations are known as “FARs” – Federal Aviation Regulations.
The City of Venice does not control the airspace over the city or the airport.
Aircraft Operation and Noise Control: Commercial airlines do not fly into the Venice Municipal Airport. Venice Municipal Airport is not served by a commercial airline. For passengers flying into the area it is suggested they use the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, Charlotte County Airport (Punta Gorda), Tampa International Airport or Southwest Regional Airport for their commercial airline travel needs.
The City by deed restrictions and grant obligations may not discriminate against various classes of aircraft that are able to use the airport and the time of day at which they do. The airport must be open to any aircraft that can safely use the Airport. The airports “Fly Friendly” Procedures have recommendations for turbo-jet aircraft operations designed to minimize noise impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods. In particular the use of Runway 5 – 23 when appropriate minimizes noise in surrounding neighborhoods. Indeed all pilots arriving and departing Venice airport are reminded of the “Fly Friendly” procedures via a radio broadcast as well as airport signage. For a video of these procedures see this video:
Venice Airport has Voluntary Fly Friendly Procedures. Airport staff continues to work with pilots and flight instructors to communicate the need to apply recommended “Fly Friendly” flying techniques and procedures. Staff also disseminates “Fly Friendly” noise mitigation procedures and requests adherence through airport association meetings, pilot and instructor meetings, pilot flight planning web sites and guides, letters to pilots, and direct calls to pilots based on noise complaints.
Signs at the departure end of each runway in writing and graphically depict noise reduction flight procedures.
Airport staff receives and logs aircraft noise complaints. Anyone calling to file a noise complaint may state their name and address, the time the aircraft was observed and, if possible, a brief description of the aircraft (e.g., color, number of engines, low or high mounted wings, etc.). If a return call is desired a daytime phone number should be provided.
About VASI: Over the years, VASI’s role in the airport has expanded and evolved to include community outreach, the promotion of safety and neighborhood friendly operations, and sponsorship of events including airport open houses, cookouts and the highly-visible “Meet the Candidates” forum conducted each October near election time.
VASI members consistently demonstrate their involvement in the community through volunteer efforts and participation in support of these events and others such as Angel Flights, Agape Flights, and Young Eagles (Experimental Aircraft Association).
To this end, VASI has prepared and maintains a “Frequently Asked Questions” page that can be downloaded by clicking here.
VASI extends an open invitation to all pilots (transient or permanent) as well as students and local residents to attend our “open to public” meetings held at the Venice City Hall every 3rd Wednesday of the Month. For a detailed calendar of events click here. You can become a VASI member by visiting the Join VASI page and include your name for our mailing list or complete a membership application. As thanks for your service, all WWII and Korea veterans enjoy free membership for life.