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Invite A Journalist For A Flight



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 24th 06, 05:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Today the Los Angeles Times ran a story, that details the alarming
rate at which this nation's airports are being closed for ever. This
story was the result of a local airman contacting the local newspaper,
and it resulted in an accurate and balanced report below:


-------------------------------------
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,1896015.story
Squeezing Out Small Airports
As cities grow around some existing airfields, officials seek to
rezone land for new housing with an eye toward raising tax revenue.
By Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff Writer
April 24, 2006

At 2,000 feet, the view from Ben Meyers' Cessna says it all: To the
right of the runway, Spanish-style homes crowd together; up ahead,
concrete pads await mansions atop a denuded hillside; and to the left,
asphalt-roofed duplexes glisten in the sun.

Meyers was flying over Oceanside Municipal Airport in San Diego
County, but he could have been circling airports in Elk Grove near
Sacramento, Watsonville in Santa Cruz County or Bakersfield in Central
California all of which are being squeezed by ever-expanding
suburbs.

Around the state, sprawl is swallowing the once-vacant lands around
municipal airports just as the number of small aircraft is rising,
putting the need for such airports and the pressures to close them on
a collision course.

"They just don't get it: You can't build homes near an airport," said
Meyers, speaking through a headset to be heard over the plane's
spinning propeller during a recent flight. The pilot bemoaned an
increase in noise complaints that threatens the landing strip.

Vacant land around the state's small airports built in rural areas
decades ago is increasingly viewed by local officials as their last
chance to house residents and raise tax revenue through shops and
big-box stores.

"The city has grown up around the airport, and now a developer wants
to go out there and build houses," said Irma Carson, a city
councilwoman in Bakersfield, where officials have asked the Federal
Aviation Administration for permission to close the municipal airport.

Like Bakersfield, communities around the state are moving to build on
or near their airports, either by seeking to shut them down or by
rezoning acreage that surrounds them from agricultural to residential
and commercial.

The trend has left pilots fighting to preserve California's 324
general aviation airports, used mainly by small aircraft.

"Urban encroachment is the biggest threat to all airports," said Gary
Cathey, a supervisor in the division of aeronautics at the state
Department of Transportation.

Aviation advocates face a tough political fight that often pits
affluent private pilots who don't live in neighborhoods where their
aircraft are based against communities tired of noise and desperate
for tax revenue.

For their part, pilots argue that small airports are needed for far
more than recreation, providing staging areas for firefighting
aircraft during brush fires and important training grounds for future
commercial pilots.

The tug-of-war between pilots and local governments took an unusual
turn last fall, when a local congressman quietly amended a federal
transportation bill to free Rialto in San Bernardino County from
federal obligations to keep its municipal airport open. The City
Council then voted to close the facility and replace it with homes and
shops.

"The airport wasn't even breaking even," said Robb Steel, Rialto's
redevelopment director. "One of the big reasons for wanting to convert
it is to turn that around so it generates a surplus for the rest of
the city."

Congressional intervention to help close the airport unnerved pilots
who had taken solace in the fact that operators who accept FAA grants
to fix or expand their airports are prohibited from closing them.

To prevent a domino effect, aviation officials say they've redoubled
efforts to educate cities about the benefits of municipal airports.

Two of three flights at these facilities are business-related, they
argue, generating $2.53 for the community for every dollar earned on
the airport. Smaller airfields are also critical to the transportation
food chain: They take small aircraft out of midsized facilities such
as Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, which can then accept more commercial
traffic from overcrowded hubs such as Los Angeles International.

"The state has an air transportation system, and every airport is like
an onramp or offramp to that system," said Cathey, the Caltrans
supervisor. "Every time one is shut down it increases capacity
constraints on the system."

Only two airports have been built in the state in the last 20 years
both to replace existing facilities that were constrained by sprawling
suburbs. Most of the state's small airports many are former military
facilities were built in rural areas in the early 20th century to
separate them from neighborhoods. In the 1930s, the Los Angeles basin
had 56 active municipal airports. Today, it has nine.

Many of the state's existing municipal airports are already full, with
pages-long waiting lists for hangar space and tie-downs.

"Lots of airplanes from Van Nuys and Burbank are hangared up here,"
said John Harmon, an aircraft kit manufacturer at Bakersfield
Municipal Airport. He said his rent would double if the airport closed
and he had to move.
---------------------------

The only criticism I have is the omission of the Department of
Transportation's plan to implement the Small Aircraft Transportation
System (SATS) in the not too distant futu
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstud..._for_Taxi.html

The SATS Concept/Vision

A Local SATS Aiport Concept Emphasizing Intermodel Connectivity

SATS will give more time to more people, satisfying a large
portion of the emerging public demand for safe, higher-speed
mobility and increased accessibility, while unleashing the full
potential of the knowledge-based industrial expansion to more
suburban, rural and remote communities. The benefits include
improved standards of living and quality of life for all in the
new global economy. SATS technology innovations will provide the
nation with (1) economic development for communities of all sizes
enabled by localized air accessibility, (2) choices to bypass
highway and hub-and-spoke transportation systems delays, (3) an
efficient means for intermodal connectivity between small airports
and the global aviation system, and (4) an exportable
transportation revolution with affordable "instant infrastructure"
for developing nations around the world.

When Will SATS Become Operational?
The Proof of Concept research and technology development phase
lasts for five years, or until 2005. Pieces of the SATS technology
and several SATS aircraft already exist. Once the 5-year proof of
concept SATS Project is complete, it is anticipated that SATS will
continue development through the next decade. During that time, it
is hoped that federal regulations, airspace procedures, and
industry products will be developed to accommodate SATS traffic.
The system full deployment phase at federal, state and local
levels could occur as early as 2015. SATS could be mature and
fully operational by 2020.

Of course, if shortsighted civic leaders close their airports, they
will cause their municipalities to be incapable of participating in
the SATS vision of 21st century air transportation, as it is unlikely
large enough parcel of vacant land could be found for a replacement
airport. Even if a site could be procured, its cost and the new
airport construction costs will frustrate reestablishing a municipal
airport.

Fail to plan: plan to fail.

Ads
  #2  
Old April 24th 06, 05:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

The second page of the LA Times story is he
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...=la-home-local
  #3  
Old April 25th 06, 05:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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I do not like the part about affluent private pilots. Most are regular
people that put their disposable income into airplanes rather than
boats, country clubs, etc. I had a run in with our local mayor years ago
when she said the the local airport is for the towns 18 wealthy people.
(We only have 18 hangars, so I guess if we had more there would be more
wealthy people). I was on the phone with her for an hour explaining that
I did not live in the affluent housing areas where the doctors and
lawyers lived (well a lot of them). I think she understood and apologized.

Ross

Larry Dighera wrote:

Today the Los Angeles Times ran a story, that details the alarming
rate at which this nation's airports are being closed for ever. This
story was the result of a local airman contacting the local newspaper,
and it resulted in an accurate and balanced report below:


-------------------------------------
snip

Aviation advocates face a tough political fight that often pits
affluent private pilots who don't live in neighborhoods where their
aircraft are based against communities tired of noise and desperate
for tax revenue.

snip

  #4  
Old April 25th 06, 11:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

On Tue, 25 Apr 2006 11:19:03 -0500, Ross Richardson
wrote in
::

I had a run in with our local mayor years ago
when she said the the local airport is for the towns 18 wealthy people.


That seems to be a popular, albeit shortsighted, view. Unfortunately,
it overlooks the fact that an airport is similar to a freeway on/off
ramp to the National Airspace System, and the convenience a local
airport will provide residents in the future when SATS is implemented.
Then hub airports and their environmental impacts will be moved to
rural areas, and the local airports will provide passengers with
airline access via air taxies.

If the mayor decommissions her local airport, she will be forcing her
municipality's residents to commute to those airports that remain in
other cities. Of course, if the neighboring cities close their
airports too, it's going to a long commute. And this doesn't even
begin to address future airport use by commercial establishments, and
their decision to locate in her city, or not.
  #5  
Old April 25th 06, 11:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

Larry D wrote:

And this doesn't even begin to address future airport use by commercial establishments, and their decision to locate in her city, or not.


Having a viable airport in a town or city (not just a 2500ft strip) is
often an economic engine for the whole area.

  #6  
Old April 26th 06, 12:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

On 25 Apr 2006 15:55:48 -0700, "Kingfish"
wrote:

Larry D wrote:

And this doesn't even begin to address future airport use by commercial establishments, and their decision to locate in her city, or not.


Having a viable airport in a town or city (not just a 2500ft strip) is
often an economic engine for the whole area.


It's also critical to emergency services.

Don
  #7  
Old April 26th 06, 02:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Invite A Journalist For A Flight
by Don Tuite Apr 25, 2006 at 11:12
PM


On 25 Apr 2006 15:55:48 -0700, "Kingfish"
wrote:

Larry D wrote:

And this doesn't even begin to address future airport use by

commercial establishments, and their decision to locate in her city, or
not.

Having a viable airport in a town or city (not just a 2500ft strip) is
often an economic engine for the whole area.


It's also critical to emergency services.




Yeah. Of course. And sport pilots can get another taxpayer funded perk
in the process.




  #8  
Old April 26th 06, 03:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

Yeah. Of course. And sport pilots can get another taxpayer funded perk
in the process.


If all airports closed and became parks and condos, because pilots
couldn't pay the fees, would you be happy?

Jose
--
The price of freedom is... well... freedom.
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
  #9  
Old April 27th 06, 11:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Invite A Journalist For A Flight

Yeah. Of course. And sport pilots can get another taxpayer funded perk
in the process.


If all airports closed and became parks and condos, because pilots
couldn't pay the fees, would you be happy?


Wow, wouldn't it be great if Skylune had a medical emergency, and there
was no air ambulance available because there were no local airports for
these companies to operate out of?

 




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