AOPA works with Idaho pilots to fight encroachment

July 2, 2008

Pilots in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are fighting for the future of their airport and they’ve enlisted help from AOPA.

The pilots and AOPA are objecting to plans to build a housing development about one mile from the Coeur d’Alene airport, an incompatible land use that’s likely to create future problems for the airport and residents of the planned Hayden Canyon subdivision.

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Greg Gfeller and Coeur d’Alene Airport Association President Frank O’Connell have worked together and rallied area pilots to oppose the development.

In the meantime, AOPA has weighed in with a letter to the mayor of Hayden, warning that allowing residential development so close to the airport would violate the county’s federal grant assurances, which specify the importance of protecting the airport from incompatible land uses. The letter also points out that with 174 based aircraft and some 123,000 annual operations, the airport is a vital transportation asset for the region.