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Hummel’s designation change could make it safer

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Hummel Field’s runway (above) at Topping could be realigned so planes would not fly over houses at the north end (near the water), according to a feasibility study. It also could be lengthened from 2,000 feet to about 3,300 feet.

Longer runway possible

by Tom Chillemi

Hummel Field Airport in Topping could be characterized as a little airport that has grown up. Now it wants to be recognized.

Currently, Hummel is designated as a “local service” airport. However, it meet the state’s criteria for a “General Aviation Community” airport.

The difference between “local” and “general” airports is huge. A general aviation airport could qualify for state money that would pay for 80% of construction and major improvements; while a local airport can only get state money (80%) for maintenance. Hummel currently does not qualify for federal dollars.

Virginia Department on Aviation’s statistics indicate Hummel Field could be classified a general aviation airport by the state, indicates the “Airport Role Change Justification,” a 21-page report prepared by Parrish and Partners of Charlotte in November 2018.

Hummel Field, owned by Middlesex County, averages 38 take-offs or landings per day, according to state statistics listed in the report. Hummel Field appears to meet many of the listed objectives and is therefore considered comparable to many of the GC (general aviation) airports, states the role change justification report.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 02.07.2019

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