September 3, 2005
Dedicated airport supporters, lead by AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jack Tunstill, have helped negotiate away another threat to Albert Whitted Airport (SPG) in St. Petersburg, Florida.
A developer had planned a 29-story condominium beside the approach path to the airport. But the FAA determined that at that height the building would have been a hazard to air navigation. And that would have necessitated raising instrument approach minimums. (The FAA can't stop construction of a hazard; it can only change air traffic procedures to mitigate the problem.)
Tunstill and other airport supporters met with the city and the developer on several occasions, and at the conclusion of a meeting yesterday, the developer agreed to reduce the height of the building so that it would no longer be a hazard.
"I think this matter was handled in a very professional manner by all parties involved," said Tunstill. "The city was interested in pilots' evaluation of the impact of the building on airport operations. We believe that it's important to work with the city and developers to find ways to allow SPG to continue operations without impacting things like instrument approach or departure minimums or creating more visual distractions for VFR pilots." Tunstill also praised past work by airport supporters in helping secure an effective airport zoning ordinance.
"Because the FAA can't stop obstructions, it falls to local zoning ordinances and effective land-use planning to prevent construction of tall buildings and towers near an airport," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "That's why AOPA continues to lobby for such regulations in all states that don't already have them."
Jack Tunstill received AOPA's Sharples Award last year for spearheading the effort that rescued the airport from the brink of destruction and guaranteed the people of St. Petersburg much-needed green space by keeping the waterfront airport. (See " Anatomy of a victory - How local advocates and AOPA saved Albert Whitted Airport.")
March 9, 2005
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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