AOPA heads off future threat to Pearson Field in Vancouver, Washington

January 26, 2005

AOPA heads off future threat to Pearson Field in Vancouver, Washington

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Keep a stiff backbone, support your planning commission, and protect Pearson Field airport (VUO). That's the message AOPA has sent to Mayor Royce Pollard of Vancouver, Washington.

A developer is appealing a Vancouver Planning Commission decision to prevent construction of a shopping center in the approach zone to VUO's Runway 26. "Allowing a higher density land use underneath the approach to Pearson Field is not good public policy and could ultimately lead to unreasonable restrictions at the airport," AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn wrote the mayor.

He reminded city officials that federal and Washington Department of Transportation Aviation Division guidelines prohibit residences and places of public assembly within the runway protection zone. Shopping centers are considered high-density places of public assembly.

"It is our experience over more than 65 years of advocating for general aviation airports that if compatible land-use measures are applied correctly, many concerns that airports and neighbors might have never become problems," Dunn told the mayor. "Under the city's responsibility under federal grant assurances, we respectfully urge you to uphold the planning commission's decision, and further encourage the city to continue to practice compatible land-use planning around Pearson Field and other airports within city limits."

January 26, 2005