AOPA, pilots fight to prevent incompatible development

January 9, 2008

AOPA, pilots fight to prevent incompatible development

By AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Paul Rooy are working with local pilots to fight proposed rezoning that would open the way for residential development slightly more than 500 feet from the crosswind runway at Florida’s New Smyrna Beach Airport.

In a recent letter to state officials, AOPA points out that the proposed rezoning and addition of 139 housing units so close to the airport would create noise complaints, safety concerns, and other problems for both residents and airport users.

The Florida Department of Community Affairs has also denounced the rezoning plan as being incompatible with several state statutes. Meanwhile, the Friends of New Smyrna Beach Airport, an airport support group headed by Rooy, has submitted its own comments opposing the plan. The Friends of New Smyrna Beach Airport is also working to gather broader community support by participating in an open house scheduled for Jan. 12.

The issue comes at a time when the airport is already under attack. An anonymous letter recently appeared in the local newspaper, complaining about safety hazards and noise problems associated with the airport. Rooy responded, offering facts about the airport’s safety record and value to the community.

The Florida Department of Community Affairs is expected to review a proposed amendment to the airport’s comprehensive plan that includes the zoning change in the coming weeks.

AOPA will continue to work with Rooy and others to monitor the situation and ensure that the airport’s future viability is not compromised by unwise development.

January 9, 2008