California bill mandates airport land-use planning

January 30, 2008

California bill mandates airport land-use planning

By AOPA ePublishing staff

In a move with strong support from AOPA, California Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) has introduced a new bill in the California Senate to strengthen state laws governing land use around airports in an effort to manage safety and noise concerns.

The bill requires all counties with at least one public-use airport to have an airport land-use commission. It will affect Marin, San Bernardino, and Santa Cruz counties.

Such land-use commissions were required statewide until 1993 when counties were allowed to disband their commissions in favor of allowing local governments to regulate airport land uses. But Negrete McLeod says California’s rapidly growing population means stronger measures are now needed to protect airports and their neighbors from the safety and noise hazards of encroaching development.

AOPA has been working over the past two years to strengthen the law, and the California Transportation Commission has endorsed the idea.

“Taking action to protect airports is essential to pilots and local communities,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports. “Public-use airports are valuable community assets, and preventing incompatible development protects them for the future. Sen. Negrete McLeod is showing strong leadership on this issue. AOPA will be working hard in Sacramento to see the bill passed.”

January 30, 2008