Expanding a landfill near California’s Stockton Metropolitan Airport could create hazards for pilots and render the airport less useful during poor weather conditions, AOPA told the San Joaquin County Aviation Advisory Committee June 19.
The association is concerned that expansion of the Forward Landfill would attract birds to the area, creating a hazard for bird strikes. The FAA recommends that at airports with turbine-powered aircraft operations, such as Stockton, that “hazardous wildlife attractants must be 10,000 feet from the nearest air operations area.”
“The current landfill is mostly inside that distance,” wrote John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy. “The expansion would not only move the open landfill area closer to the airport, it will expand it underneath the approach and departure path for Runway 11L/29R.”
AOPA also noted that instrument approaches to the airport could be negatively impacted as the landfill grows and is capped: The resulting hill “could raise approach minima and decrease the all-weather utility of the airport.”
AOPA reached out to the advisory committee in advance of a June 26 meeting to encourage the group to help protect general aviation and provide input to the San Joaquin County Planning Department that is considering the landfill’s expansion.