January 27, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The municipal planning board in Southern Pines, N.C., has declined to approve a proposed 232-unit apartment complex that would have been located about 3,500 feet from the runway at the Moore County Airport.
The planning board voted 4-2 to withhold approval of the so-called Tyler’s Ridge at Sandhills development during a meeting Jan. 20 at which six AOPA members spoke in opposition to the plan. AOPA members and Airport Support Network volunteer Colin Webster rallied the local aviation community to participate in the development plan’s public review.
John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy, submitted comments on the plan in a Jan. 19 letter to Planning Board Chairman John McInerney, urging the board to “strive for a more compatible land use” that would avoid potential future conflict between the airport community and residents living adjacent to its boundary.
AOPA and local pilots will continue to oppose the development and urge more compatible land use for the site, which is adjacent to Moore County’s 5,503-foot-long Runway 5/23. Despite the planning board vote, using the site as the location of a residential complex could still be approved by the town council. The project is slated on the town council's Feb. 8 meeting agenda.
“Pilots should keep an eye on the future agendas and appear at the town council meetings to voice their concerns—especially if they are Southern Pines residents,” said John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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