July 28, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
After three years of debate, the Venice City Council passed a motion to approve and file an updated Airport Layout Plan with the FAA for Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC) on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The approved plan would shift Runway 13/31 to the south, institute declared distances on all runways, install engineered materials arresting systems at the end of Runway 13, modify the golf course located on airport property, relocate the golf course driving range from the runway protection zone, move a fence line, and move a parallel taxiway along Runway 4/22.
All of the changes are geared to increase the safety at the airport and bring it into compliance with current airport design standards for a facility of Venice Municipal’s size.
"This has been a long process to come up with a plan that makes sense for the city council, the citizens, and the airport users,” said John Collins, AOPA manager of airports. “Without the continued advocacy and educational efforts of our Airport Support Network volunteers John Yurosko and Chuck Schmieler and local pilot groups like the Venice Aviation Society, Inc., and the Venice Airport Business Association, there is little doubt in my mind that the city council would have voted differently.”
Because of the controversy associated with updating the airport master plan, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General received and investigated complaints but found that the FAA followed proper procedures throughout the process. However, the department is conducting a separate audit of how the airport’s finances are maintained.
“We are nonetheless ever cognizant that the struggle to solve the problems at KVNC is not over,” said Schmieler, “rather it has just begun.
“Airport support groups should take heed and a lesson from what KVNC has been through.”
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