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Prevention is the key to protecting airports

Much like an aircraft accident, airport closure often stems from a series of events that likely could have been prevented. That's why AOPA is taking a proactive stance to save airports.

During the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) annual conference in Portland, Ore., this week, AOPA discussed airport advocacy, land-use, security, and funding issues — all key to breaking a negative chain of events and creating a thriving airport.

"Improper airport land use is often the start of many problems. If a city allows a developer to build houses close to the airport, it will lead to safety issues and noise complaints that can cause airport operation restrictions or even closure," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "AOPA is working with state directors to provide airport advocates with key information to break the airport closure chain."

NASAO was particularly interested in learning how local pilots can help protect their airports and recognized AOPA's Airport Support Network (ASN) is a model example. During the conference, ASN Director Stacy Platone Swigart explained how to create a guidebook for airport advocates.

AOPA and NASAO are developing an airport land-use best practices program to guide local governments and airport advocates through ways to protect their airport from obstruction hazards, encroachment, and noise complaints.

September 13, 2007

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