AOPA Action in California

What AOPA is doing for California members

July 1, 2005

San Diego airport land-use plans monitored by AOPA

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority in its capacity as the County Airport Land Use Commission published a public review draft of the updated Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan in March.

There are 12 public and four military airports within the county that are affected by the plan. AOPA's Airport Support Network volunteers at seven of the public airports have looked at the proposals, and Rick Baker of McClellan Palomar Airport, Alan Cruise at Oceanside Municipal Airport, and Rick Beach at Montgomery Field have filed comments outlining concerns at their specific airports.

The Gillespie Pilots Association filed comments for Gillespie Field.

AOPA sent a letter to the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority asking to comment on any changes the plan might bring and for details about that process.

AOPA supports bill to keep schools far from runways

AOPA is supporting a California bill that would require charter schools to notify (in writing) the state Department of Education if they are planning to acquire a new school site within two miles of an airport runway. Assembly Bill 1358, which has passed the Assembly Education Committee with bipartisan support, would impose the same requirements on charter schools that currently apply to public schools. Joining AOPA in support of the bill are the California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association.

"There are numerous and compelling reasons not to place schools within two miles of an existing airport," wrote Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, in a letter to the committee. "The current state law for applicable reviews of proposed school locations within two miles of an airport runway or potential airport runway is good public policy, a policy designed to protect the interests of the local community, the airport, but most of all, the students and staff at the proposed school."

A.B.1358 is sponsored by State Assembly member Gene Mullin.

AOPA supporting changes to Los Angeles Class B

Proposed changes to the airspace around Los Angeles International Airport would reclaim about 100 square miles of airspace from the Class B — a move AOPA is supporting in comments filed with the FAA in late May.

In its formal comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking, AOPA praises the collaborative approach taken by the FAA in working with the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group, a panel on which AOPA representative Al German has served for many years.

"The positive working relationship has resulted in users having an earlier voice in the process, which helped to develop airspace modifications that benefit all airspace users," wrote Heidi Williams, AOPA manager of air traffic services.

In addition to shrinking the Class B to the northwest, south, and southeast of the airport, the proposed changes would extend the Class B airspace eastward to better protect approaches to the airport. Both AOPA and the FAA believe the proposal would enhance safety and improve traffic flow.

Watch for noise spies at Corona

AOPA was contacted by a homeowner near Corona Municipal Airport warning that a homeowner near the airport is collecting N numbers of aircraft entering the traffic pattern, and then getting neighbors to go to the pilot's home to protest noise.

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Woodrow A. Anselen is in the process of getting more information and following up on this concern. AOPA would encourage all pilots using Corona to comply with published voluntary noise-abatement procedures to the extent that safety allows.

Closing Rialto is a mistake, Boyer warns

In the continuing debate about the future of Rialto Municipal/Miro Field, AOPA President Phil Boyer sent the following letter to the editor of the San Bernardino Sun.

"On behalf of the more than 400,000 members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, I strongly disagree with the April 11 editorial 'FAA threats could hinder Rialto progress.'

"Rialto Municipal Airport is an integral part of a national system of airports, similar to the interstate system. By closing Rialto Airport, the city would be voluntarily cutting itself off from one interstate system in favor of another, the Interstate 210.

"If, instead, the city kept the airport and developed the land around it as an enterprise zone, it could draw businesses that would be attracted to the easy access by road and air. Additionally, keeping the airport will help prevent the congestion that hundreds of homes built on that property would cause.

"The FAA has an ironclad, congressionally mandated contract with the city of Rialto. AOPA is prepared to work with the city and FAA to find ways to market its valuable airport. But we vigorously oppose any effort to close the airport, and will oppose any congressional proposal to offer Rialto an exemption from FAA grant obligations."

Casino coming to Oakland?

An inquiry from a local AOPA member concerning a proposed casino next to Metropolitan Oakland International Airport has AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Bill Kane monitoring the situation.

The proposed location would be under the traffic pattern for Runway 27R and could pose a problem both as a potential obstruction to navigable airspace and as the creation of a public gathering place.

The obstruction height falls within the oversight of the FAA and the creation of a public gathering place near an airport would be incompatible with state land-use guidelines. There is other local opposition to the casino as well.

Agua Dulce Airpark Ranch filming raises complaints

A dispute over operations at Agua Dulce Airpark has expanded to county, state, and federal officials, the Antelope Valley Press has reported. But a special-use permit issued in the 1950s allowing airport operations, nearly revoked by the county's Regional Planning Commission, now appears safe. However, the county has placed further conditions on airpark operators.

The Antelope Valley Press quoted county planner Sam Dea as saying the conditions would pertain to nonairport-related activities including the making of Hollywood films at the airport. Residents have complained that aerobatic flying done for movie scenes is unsafe. Residents sometimes think formation flying is aerobatic flight.

The FAA has warned Los Angeles County attorneys that county-proposed restrictions on the size and number of airplanes and limits on special operations are illegal because the FAA has authority over such matters, the paper reported.

Local officials have said they don't want to end filming at the airpark, an important source of income, but would rather to fix problems related to the filming. For more information visit the airport Web site ( www.aguadulceairpark.com).

Upcoming aviation events in California

July

3-Oct 23 — Santa Paula. California Oil Museum at Santa Paula Airport (SZP). "Flyers and Floods: 75 Years at Santa Paula Airport." Call Mike Nelson, 805/933-0076.

9 — Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA). Gay Pilot Fly-In Lunch at the Beachside Cafe near the airport. Call 760/458-6787.

9 — Truckee. Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK). Pancake breakfast and Young Eagles flights. Call Charlie White, 530/587-4811.

16 — Riverside. Flabob Airfield (RIR). Festival of biplanes, warbirds, and swap meet. Call Gerry Curtis, 909/446-8410.

17 — Cedarville. Cedarville Airport (O59). Fly-in and pancake breakfast. Call Ken Lucas, 530/279-6677.

23 — Colusa. Colusa County Airport (O08). Old Time Fly-In. Free breakfast, raffles, barbecue lunch. Call Harry Krug, 530/458-0580.

27 — Long Beach. Long Beach/Daugherty Field (LGB). Long Beach Airport Association General Membership Safety Meeting — quarterly meeting of airport tenants and pilots. Call Candy Robinson, 562/290-0321.

August

12 — Auburn. Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN). Thunder in the Sky dinner and dance; $25 per person. Call Susan Wozniak, 530/863-3497.

13 — Auburn. Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN). Thunder in the Sky Airfair featuring warbirds, antique, and classic aircraft; 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Call Susan Wozniak, 530/863-3497.

13 — Truckee. Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK). Pancake breakfast and Young Eagles flights. Call Charlie White, 530/587-4811.

20 — Riverside. Flabob Airfield (RIR). Presentations, home movies, and photos of the EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, 2005. Call Gerry Curtis, 909/446-8410.


"Calendar" is updated weekly on the Web ( www.aopa.org/pilot/calendar/). Weekend flying destinations are posted each Friday in AOPA ePilot.