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GA resurgence continuing at Reno-Tahoe

Policies supportive of general aviation are continuing to re-emerge at Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and advocacy efforts by pilots helped make it happen, AOPA said.

On May 17 the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority approved making about 24 vacant hangars on the airport’s west side available to general aviation aircraft. The unanimous vote was the latest example of a two-year trend encouraging general aviation’s return to the airport, and renouncing previous policies, said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airport advocacy.

In a related vote, the Airport Authority approved a $170,000 project to rehabilitate pavement near the vacant hangars. The hangars are expected to become available to tenants after July 1.

“The change in the airport authority’s view of general aviation over the past two years is a perfect example of how involvement by local pilots in the political process can have a tremendous impact on the outcomes,” Dunn said after the vote. Key to the process was the airport authority’s willingness to take a “fresh look “at the role of general aviation at the commercial-service airport and “take appropriate steps,” he said.

During several days in Reno, Dunn also met with several of the authority’s trustees, local pilots and airport authority staff.  He attended meetings of an airport user committee and the airport authority’s finance panel.

He credited continued advocacy by the Reno-Tahoe Aviation Association—which organized two years ago with assistance from AOPA—and guidance from Airport Support Network volunteer Bob Larkin; for helping to bring about the “new view of GA operations” at the airport.

Dunn urged pilots to keep the positive trend at Reno-Tahoe moving forward. A survey conducted earlier this year by the Reno-Tahoe Aviation Association and the authority to measure potential use of general aviation facilities at the airport indicated that demand for hangars continued to exist.

AOPA reported in February that a new atmosphere of welcome for general aviation had begun to emerge two years ago at Reno-Tahoe after a shakeup on its governing board. That panel in the past had adopted policies that drove GA businesses from the field and were applying pressuring on other tenants to leave.

The vote to make the vacant hangars available marked a concrete example of a new management approach, Dunn said.

“This is a significant change in policy direction for the Airport Authority,” he said.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Airport Advocacy, Advocacy, Airport

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