Don't let developer create hazard, AOPA urges

November 25, 2008

The FAA should determine whether or not new residential and mixed-use construction poses a hazard to navigation before building permits are issued, AOPA told the city of Glendale, Ariz.

In a letter to city officials, AOPA also asked the city to table all zoning requests until the FAA’s final airspace and safety determination is released.

A developer has requested to rezone 47 acres of land for a mixed-use development that will include 1,750 housing units and buildings as tall as 492 feet agl. The development would be located approximately 1.5 miles east of Glendale Municipal Airport.

A preliminary FAA review of the Bella Villagio project indicates the instrument approach minimums and VFR traffic pattern altitudes will have to be raised to accommodate the new development.

“Homes and airports just don’t mix, and the problems are only exacerbated when new construction interferes with existing traffic and approach patterns,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director of airports. “Instead of forcing the airport to accommodate the development, the city of Glendale should ensure that development won’t compromise the safety or utility of the airport.”

AOPA has been working closely with AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Roger Whittier and the Glendale Pilots Association to address the proposed development.