The public in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex heard AOPA's voice ring through about the detrimental effects of a proposed apartment development inside the runway protection zone of Grand Prairie Municipal Airport. The media interviewed AOPA Southwest Regional Representative Shelly Lesikar to get a true understanding of how the potential development would affect the airport. Despite the positive publicity and the efforts of AOPA and local pilots, the Grand Prairie City Council last week voted 6-3 to allow construction of the apartments. AOPA member Victor Catalanotto spoke against the development, as did Lesikar at a prior council session. Councilman Mike Lennard, also an AOPA member, voted against the plan. "We may have lost this land-use battle, but general aviation's message was carried across one of the country's biggest media markets," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "The silver lining on the issue was that the news media accurately reported the airport's vital economic impact on the city and portrayed general aviation in a positive light."
January 14, 2005