Valkaria Airport (X59), located on Florida's Space Coast between Melbourne and Vero Beach, is an active yet rural public-use facility serving the needs of the Recreational and General Aviation community. Valkaria Airport property is located within the towns of Grant-Valkaria and Malabar, but it is owned and operated by Brevard County. It is currently beginning to see a number of much-needed improvements, as defined by the Airport Master Plan update approved in August 2007. Most traffic at Valkaria Airport is transient flight training from local flight schools (FIT, Flight Safety, Embry-Riddle, and HAI among others) and local recreational flights. There is also a significant amount of public-use (government) aircraft traffic including regular use by Brevard County Mosquito Control and Brevard County Sheriffs Aviation Unit.
During the massive South Brevard wildfire epidemic in May 2008, Valkaria Airport served as a main base both for the many aircraft involved in the firefighting efforts as well as serving as an emergency command center. Many helicopters for aerial water drops as well as fixed-wing spotter/command aircraft flew out of Valkaria for the duration of the emergency. It is certain that without the availability of Valkaria Airport being right in the middle of the affected area (much of the Airport was burned), many more homes and businesses would have been lost throughout the Grant-Valkaria, Malabar, and Palm Bay areas due to the significantly increased distances the responding aircraft would have had to fly to return to base for refueling.
Important Facts About Valkaria Airport:
- Valkaria Airport is a vital part of the nationwide aviation infrastructure.
- Most flights at Valkaria are local recreational, training, or public-service flights, using a wide variety of small aircraft.
- Valkaria Airport currently supports nearly 28,000 flight operations (takeoffs or landings) per year.
- Brevard County Mosquito Control flies several hundred nighttime insect-control spraying missions per year from Valkaria Airport, despite the facility currently having no runway or taxiway lighting.
- Valkaria currently has two active runways, designated Runway 14-32 (140 degrees/320 degrees from magnetic north, or in a Northwest/Southeast orientation) and Runway 9-27 (90/270 degrees, or East-West.) Both runways are 4,000 feet long and 75 feet wide.
- Due to the constant, long-term shifting of the earth's magnetic field, Valkaria's east-west runway will soon be redesignated from 9-27 to 10-28. Runway 14-32 does not (yet) need to be renamed, but probably will at some point.
- About 50 aircraft are permanently based at Valkaria Airport.
- Valkaria currently has several dozen "T-Hangars" and numerous outdoor tie-down spaces to store aircraft.
- About 100 aircraft owners are currently on the waiting list for new T-Hangars at Valkaria Airport.
- The airport supports populations of several protected species including scrub jays, Eastern indigo snakes, and gopher tortoises.
- In August 2007, after 14 public meetings and two years of work, Valkaria Airport completed the process of creating a desperately-needed update to the Airport Master Plan, providing a comprehensive roadmap for the next 20 years.
- The Habitat Golf Course is located entirely on Valkaria Airport property. The golf course helps to provide an additional environmental buffer between the airport and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Valkaria Airport's official FAA Code is "X59"
- Valkaria Airport is fully self-supporting, and takes no money from the county's general fund.
- In 2009 both the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Attorney General's office confirmed that Federal and State law makes it clear that the town council of Grant-Valkaria has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over Valkaria Airport or the surrounding airspace in any way whatsoever.
To find more info about Valkaria Airport for pilots, please look here.