June 11, 2009
By Dave Hirschman
AOPA is encouraging the city of Mesa, Ariz., and its recently formed task force to continue working with Falcon Field pilots and airport businesses to cooperatively address airport noise and safety concerns.
In a recent letter to Mesa City Manager Christopher Brady, AOPA said Mesa-area pilots have voluntarily raised pattern altitudes by 200 feet, reached agreements with flight school operators, and worked with FAA air traffic controllers to reduce aircraft noise in the surrounding community. AOPA is also encouraging members of Mesa’s airport noise task force to collaborate with airport users to find solutions.
AOPA Senior Director of Airports Heidi Williams also praised Airport Support Network volunteer Otto Schill for helping city officials, pilots, and business owners find areas of agreement.
“Otto Schill has made extraordinary contributions and really gone out of his way to address the city of Mesa’s noise concerns without sacrificing aviation safety,” Williams said. “His efforts on behalf of his community and fellow pilots are remarkable and greatly appreciated.”
General aviation generates about $1.5 billion in economic activity in Arizona, including $242 million from flight training and aviation education. The vast majority of the $564 million in aviation-related tax revenues collected in Arizona is reinvested in the state’s general fund to pay for state and local government services.
There are about 1,350 AOPA members in Mesa and 9,400 in Maricopa County.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.