AOPA airport advocates win a tough one in Leesburg

February 23, 2005

AOPA airport advocates win a tough one in Leesburg

Strong pilot advocacy has helped beat back a threat to Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Northern Virginia. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has said no - at least for now - to a developer's proposal to swap land with the county and build some 4,000 new homes right next to the busy airport near Washington, D.C.

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jim Firmani, backed by AOPA headquarters staff, launched a determined information campaign, explaining to the supervisors the value of the airport and the risks associated with allowing dense residential development so close to the facility. Some of the supervisors cited both Firmani's information and an AOPA letter as factors in their decision.

"This was a good win in a tough jurisdiction," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs.

In their resolution against the land swap and rezoning, the supervisors noted that "the Leesburg Executive Airport is vital to the business economy of Leesburg, provides countless benefits to Loudoun County and the greater Washington, D.C. region," and that "the location of residential development in close proximity to an airport historically tends to strangle the economic viability and future development of that airport."

February 23, 2005