Pleasanton city officials say they may have to sue the city of Livermore to force an environmental impact study of a contract at the Livermore Municipal Airport to manage fuel sales and leases for 65 new hangars. Livermore officials said they have no specific plans from the new operator as yet and would like to wait until those are available before such a study is done.
Although it is seldom recognized prior to any emergency, and unfortunately quickly forgotten, general aviation airports were instrumental in fighting fires that destroyed property and took lives in southern California last October. Because so many GA airports are open, chances are good that there is one near a brush fire no matter how remote. Hemet-Ryan Airport, which the reporter described as “normally sleepy,” became a base for airplanes and helicopters fighting the fires. Eight controllers came to the airport armed with binoculars to guide traffic. The same was true at Chino Airport, where crews had a central place to eat, sleep, and get fire assignments.
Until the Chino base was established there were stories of firefighters going two days without food and longer without sleep, according to the Ontario Daily Bulletin. Hopefully the public will make the mental jump that if an airport can be an aerial fire station, it can also be an earthquake disaster relief center.
Yes, there are elevated levels of lead near Santa Monica Municipal Airport runways and the nearby community, but the levels reported in a preliminary report are many times below those allowed by federal and state standards. Other particles and chemicals in the study were not found to be a problem. Those are the findings reported by Phillip M. Fine of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. A leader of the group Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution immediately wrote air quality district managers charging the Environmental-Protection-Agency-financed study was inadequate because it failed to assess the health risks from kerosene fumes and aircraft emissions. Fine called the presence of jet fumes a “nuisance.” (Fumes were never to be a part of the study, and a representative of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution sat on the study committee.)
Viewers of One Six Right, the video made as only those in the movie business can do it, sit enraptured as a Douglas DC–3 glides above Los Angeles toward a Clay-Lacy-smooth landing, while Enya chants her popular “Only Time” in the background. Now, however, only time will tell where aircraft with propellers will park at Van Nuys. AOPA is closely watching plans for a “propeller park” that would make way for more jet traffic. To modify a line from Enya’s song, who can say where the tiedown is?
A building near San Diego’s Montgomery Field is finally within FAA limitations by 1.3 feet, ending one chapter in an ongoing legal battle.
The FAA has removed a hazard designation after Sunroad Enterprises finished demolishing the top two floors at a reported cost of $1.1 million. The com-pany told the FAA recently that the building is just under the 160-foot height limitation, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Sunroad will need to finish the roof and the interior after it receives permits from the city.
AOPA, the city of San Diego, and local pilots fought the developer in an attempt to prevent the facility from being built beyond the FAA’s acceptable limit.
At the time it seemed like a winning strategy. FAA rules keep airports that accept federal money open for a number of years, or even forever, but a developer who did not like the rules contacted a member of Congress and closed Rialto Municipal Airport by federal law, clearing the way for a new development called Renaissance Rialto. But the housing market flopped, the developer now isn’t sure whether he wants to continue, and the airport sits in limbo waiting to close. It’s open, but by now the word has spread nationally that it will close, so traffic is dropping. The tenants will move to another airport, but which one? Even that is uncertain. And when? Don’t know.
AOPA Vice President for Airports Bill Dunn said the city chose to allow nonaviation uses of airport property and did not endeavor to promote aviation use of the airport and its facilities.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed an amended SB 10 pertaining to airport planning in the San Diego area. As originally written, the bill would have transferred airport planning and airport land-use planning authority from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to a newly consolidated agency and would have restructured the authority’s governing board. During its passage through the legislature, the bill was amended seven times and significantly rewritten. As passed and signed by Schwarzenegger, the bill retains the airport planning and airport land-use planning functions with the authority. The bill dissolves the authority’s existing board of directors and replaces it with a new nine-member board of directors. The mayor of San Diego will appoint three members of the new board, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will appoint two, and the remaining four will be appointed by committees representing other county regions.
A new MOA now appears on the Los Angeles sectional chart called the Lemoore MOA. It becomes active February 4, 2008, and is divided into five sectors. The floors for sectors A, D, and E are 5,000 feet msl; floor altitude for B is 13,000 feet msl; and that for C is 16,000 feet msl. The top of all sectors is 35,000 feet.
Napa County will begin a study to decide whether it should purchase the Angwin-Parrett Field from Pacific Union College. The college uses the airport for its aviation program. The county has discussed purchasing the airport, which college officials are willing to sell, but must do a study as a requirement for obtaining federal funds. The airport is at 1,850 feet, and therefore above the fog line.
When the KFI radio tower at Fullerton Municipal Airport in California is rebuilt, pilots should be able to see it from miles away. Despite strong objections from AOPA and area pilots, the FAA has allowed the radio tower to be rebuilt. In December 2004, two people died when a Cessna 182P flew into the tower, destroying it. This was the second fatal accident involving an aircraft hitting the tower, which is located within 220 feet of the climb/descent portion of the airport’s traffic pattern.The FAA said it must be painted orange and white and have a dual obstruction lighting system that will flash high-intensity white lights during the day and red at night. AOPA insisted on the dual lighting system after the FAA rebuffed the association’s efforts to keep the radio tower from being rebuilt. The FAA is currently allowing the tower to be rebuilt in the same location; however, the height will be restricted to 684 feet (the previous tower was 760 feet).
Yet another agency has shown confusion over whether it or the FAA regulates airspace. The California Fish and Game Commission sought to restrict the operation of aircraft in an ecological area. AOPA and the commission’s own lawyers advised John Carlson, the executive director of the commission, that the FAA controls airspace, as opposed to state or local bodies. The proposal has been withdrawn. In a letter to Carlson, AOPA advised that not only does the responsibility to control airspace fall to the federal government, but the FAA has already done so. Aircraft are advised to stay 2,000 feet above noise-sensitive areas.