Eastern W.V. Regional Airport/Shepherd Field in Martinsburg, W.Va., is updating its airport rules, regulations, and minimum standards for commercial aeronautical activities, but the update is sparking concern among local pilots. During a Dec. 1 hearing at the airport, AOPA, Airport Support Network volunteer Ron Porterfield, and pilots were able to discuss the proposal, which was made available on the airport’s Web site in October.
Many were concerned about limitations that would be imposed on what could be done in a hangar, such as maintenance, petroleum storage, and other activities. Representatives from several through-the-fence businesses, including a maintenance shop and aerial photography company, expressed concern about limiting such operations. Limiting their access would hurt business and cost the airport revenue, they said.
During the hearing, AOPA encouraged the airport tenants, management, and airport authority to work through the issues and develop feasible solutions for all parties.
“Many times these types of issues become emotional because there isn’t good communication between the airport management and the users and tenants,” said John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy, who attended the meeting. “It’s important to look at what the desired outcome is and then work together to put a reasonable regulation in place to achieve that goal without being overly restrictive.”
The association also submitted written comments highlighting the need for a collaborative effort and encouraged the 50 people in attendance to also submit written comments on the proposal.