28-Jul-2023 Source: US Army
Muir Army Airfield has been redesignated as an Army Heliport effective July 21, 2023.
Prior to the change, which was approved by the U.S. Army Aeronautical Services Agency, Muir Army Heliport was classified as an airfield but did not meet guidelines required for that title set by the Army and the Federal Aviation Administration.
“This change is a good thing, allowing us to maintain our activity and be in better compliance.” said Joshua Dietrich, heliport manager at Muir AHP. “Overall, this change will allow for better safety compliance and allow the heliport to maintain its heavy traffic flow.”
When Muir AHP was originally constructed, in the 1930s, there were less regulations and rules around the acceptability of being titled as an airfield. In 2012, Muir AHP was deemed unsafe for fixed wing aircraft, like planes, to be stored there due to the proximity of surrounding buildings, terrain and training areas.
Storing planes requires a different set of standards for safety than helicopters. By redesignating the airfield as a heliport, it brings Muir AHP into compliance with established FAA and Army standards.
“The redesignation from an airfield to a heliport enhances safety measures and optimizes operations for heavy helicopter traffic flow at Muir, aligning with established FAA and Army standards for helicopter operations.,” said Col. Timothy Zerbe, state army aviation officer. “As an experienced Army aviator, I believe this change ensures safe flight operations and improved efficiency for our military-use heliport.”
Muir AHP is the second busiest military-use heliport in the Army. This redesignation will not impact traffic levels at the heliport.