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FAA PUBLIC HEARING MARCH 20...
With regards to this hearing, here’s what was discussed and generally agreed upon during our two member briefings this past Saturday:
First, we do have members who will challenge the methodology and generally-shoddy work done by the FAA’s consultant on this report (Landrum and Brown). Because their work has been sub-standard throughout their involvement in this project (10+ years) we want to go on record stating such so that we don’t get stuck with them on future projects.
Many of you have rightly asked “why bother for only 300 feet?”, and it was noted on Saturday that there are some good reasons to go along with this shorter proposed extension:
1) At least one large charter operater has said that they will add up to 750 more operations each year into Gnoss Field because of the 300 ft extension. That means more fuel sales and possibly more sales of services, each of which would provide more $$$ for other airport projects through the county’s airport enterprise fund. It also means more visibility for the airport to visitors and more property taxes for the county if these operators decide to base their planes here.
2) Most importantly, ANY extension requires that the Runway Safety Areas (RSAs) be brought up to current FAA standards. In our case this means creating paved RSAs of 240 feet at each end of the runway for overruns, a very good safety addition for us all.
3) Someone further up the food chain from the county is pushing this shorter extension, either the FAA or the EPA, or someone else. If the decision is “baked in the cake” (thank you, Mark), let’s not waste any more airport money on for this consultant to do another two years of research, knowing that they’ll likely come back with the same result.
Finally, the county has asked for our support for the 300-foot extension, and while we don’t expect or even want anyone to stand up at the hearing and specifically say we support it, by not challenging the report heavily we will in effect support its acceptance so the extension, and we, can move forward. We fully expect the county to view our actions favorably, and we’ll remind them if they forget.
I hope you’ll be able to join us at the FAA hearing on Tuesday evening, March 20, at 7:00 p.m. in room 330 of the Civic Center as a show of support for the pilot community rather than a “frontal assault” on the 300-foot extension. Enter through the south arch (the one closest to San Pedro Road) and take the elevator to the third floor. Room 330, the Board of Supervisors chambers is to your left as you exit the elevator at the end of the hallway.
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