Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hey Guys... St. George has a New Airport!

This morning my other half and I took off from RHV headed to DXZ. That is St. George Muni Airport in St. George, Utah. St. George Muni is a new airport, just opened in the beginning of 2011. Nice precision instrument runway, 150 ft wide over 9000 feet long, nice FBO too. But you'd never know it talking to ATC in Northern and Southern California.

We requested flight following from RHV ground so we were in radio and radar contact with ATC for our entire route. As we were passed from controller to controller, we kept getting weird questions. Got to the point we were wondering if we did something wrong.

"Bonanza niner seven seven seven yankee, what is your destination?" or "Bonanza niner seven seven seven yankee, what is the designation of your destination?" or "Bonanza niner seven seven seven yankee, what is your route?"

So every time we were asked, we kept repeating, "St. George, Delta Xray Zulu". Finally, Jeff explained to one of them. "This is the new St. George Muni airport, Delta Xray Zulu. It replaced the old airport Sierra Golf Uniform. It has a new runway and buildings and stuff." To which the controller responded. "oooooohhhhh" That explained it. There's very little reason for ATC in California to know that a small airport in Utah got replaced by a larger airport in Utah. We were the first to expose them to this knowledge. As we got closer and closer to St. George the controllers knew what was up and we got fewer questions.

We flew close to Las Vegas and got to share frequencies with some of the jets flying into Vegas airspace. Talk about a busy airspace. As we approached St. George proper we heard a 172 in the pattern, a Skylane on straight in, us and then a as we came in on the 45 a SkyWest Jet (commuter flight) joined us on 20 mile final.

Another little known fact.. St. George Muni has a new FBO with a courtesy car. They are happy to loan you the courtesy car to drive to the terminal building to pick up your rental car. Transient parking is on the left if you come in on runway 19.

We got out of RHV late because I had a meeting first thing in the morning. I even had to skip my quick planned solo flight. *sigh* Oh well, I got more experience flying cross country and practiced doing the estimations needed for diversions.. another skill I'll have to demonstrate during my check ride. It was a good flight. I love flying to other places :) This weekend is the St. George Marathon, which is why we are doing this trip ... wish me luck!

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