The FAA will take another look at an immense indoor soccer field slated for construction adjacent to Runway 11 at Sikorsky Memorial Airport (BDR) near Bridgeport, Connecticut. AOPA had argued that the FAA was relying on faulty information when it first determined the structure posed "no hazard" to air navigation. AOPA petitioned for a review, and the FAA now concedes there was an error in the original aeronautical study and has ordered a new one.
A local company wants to build a translucent, inflatable dome over a soccer field near the airport. The dome would extend some 70 feet above the ground. The building would be only 380 feet diagonally away from the end of the runway, penetrating the "transitional surface" - airspace near an airport that's supposed to be protected to ensure the safety of landing and departing aircraft.
In its petition, AOPA said the building could pose a hazard to pilots circling to land in instrument conditions or could generate strong turbulence or wind shear on the approach to Runway 11.
If the FAA's new aeronautical study determines the building would be a hazard to navigation, construction would likely stop. While the FAA doesn't have the authority to actually prevent construction of a hazard to air navigation, local zoning regulations or liability concerns usually do once the FAA has determined construction would create a hazard.
September 22, 2004