Even though the FAA put a damper on Bakersfield city officials' attempt last year to close Bakersfield Municipal Airport, the officials are at it again. This time, they want to modify the airport's land-use compatibility plan to shorten the length of the extended approach/departure zone off the approach end of Runway 34. The proposal is to cut the 10,000- foot protected area to 7,000 feet to build homes. "This is the city's latest attempt to harm the airport," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. AOPA wrote the city's planning commission, explaining that the plan could introduce incompatible land-use problems, generate noise complaints from residents moving into that 3,000-foot area, and lead to further attempts to restrict the airport. The city's plan complies with compatible land-use guidance published by the California Department of Transportation. However, AOPA and several county and state aviation officials believe the move would be a step backward.
June 8, 2007