It’s final: The city of Watsonville, Calif., won’t be able to build homes north of Watsonville Municipal Airport. On April 28, Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick signed a final order for his March 21 decision against the city’s development plans. The judge also turned down the city’s 2005 resolution that would have eliminated one runway safety zone and shortened another. The Watsonville Pilots Association and Friends of Buena Vista, a neighborhood advocacy group, were part of the lawsuit against the city. “Local pilot involvement is the key to protecting airports,” said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of local airport advocacy. “This win demonstrates the power of an active airport support group.” AOPA is currently supporting a bill, S.B.1119, which would create an airport commission in Santa Cruz and other California counties and ultimately prevent future issues like this.
May 2, 2008