If you had to make an emergency landing, which would you prefer as a potential landing site, a vacant field and parking lot or a car dealership? AOPA worked in conjunction with local pilots to defeat on Tuesday a rezoning proposal near San Jose's Reid Hillview Airport. The proposal would have changed the zoning on a 6.6-acre parcel from agricultural to industrial park and general commercial, creating safety issues for pilots in the air as well as citizens on the ground. The city council needed eight votes to pass the measure but fell short by one. Local pilots made passionate pleas before the council to prevent the zoning change, and AOPA argued in a letter [ download] that the land in question is clearly within the FAA-required runway protection zone. "When local pilots pull together, good things can happen," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "But this is a battle we will continue to fight to maintain compatible land use around this popular and vital airport."
August 11, 2006