Dear Mayor Macedo:
The California Pilots Association assists California’s cities and counties in preserving their public airports. Each public airport, such as the Tulare Airport, is a part of the transportation infrastructure that must be maintained for future generations. CALIFORNIA PILOTS ASSOCIATION
May 3, 2004
Honorable David Macedo, Mayor City of Tulare
411 E. Kern Avenue
Tulare, CA 93274
Re: Tulare-Mefford Airport/Knight Transportation Truck Terminal
Dear Mayor Macedo:
The California Pilots Association assists California’s cities and counties in preserving their public airports. Each public airport, such as the Tulare Airport, is a part of the transportation infrastructure that must be maintained for future generations.
The Tulare Airport is the city’s and the region’s on ramp and off ramp to the nation’s aerial highways. It must be preserved and made available as the population increases and additional businesses relocate to the Tulare area.
Preservation of the airport is largely dependent on compatible uses of land around the airport. Safety and noise are the main operative concerns. Planners are aided in achieving safety and noise compatible planning by the Caltrans Airport Land Use Planning Handbook. This publication is known unofficially as the “Planners’ Bible”.
The proposed Knight Transportation Truck Terminal is in conflict with safety guidelines contained in the Handbook. The project site is situated in the Approach/Departure Zone approximately 1300 feet northwest of the Tulare-Mefford Airport. This is an area where a high per cent of aircraft accidents occur. Above ground fuel tanks should not be allowed in this area. Moreover, density levels of persons within this area should be limited in accordance with guidelines contained in the Caltrans Handbook.
While your City holds title to the land on which the airport is situated, that title is held subject to the public interest and welfare. In particular, it is held subject to conditions, limitations and covenants contained in agreements with the U.S. Government. With each funding grant received from the Federal Aviation Administration, your City agreed to preserve the airport by all reasonable means, including compatible zoning and land uses around the airport. The use of a critical part of this land for the proposed truck terminal would be in violation of these agreements.
These agreements with the FAA are legally enforceable by persons and entities in California having standing. Failure of your City to honor these agreements could lead to loss of future funding grants, and at FAA’s option repayment of funds already received.
The California Pilots Association wishes to serve as a resource to your City in resolving this and other airport-related issues. But, because of safety and noise compatibility issues, we must strongly oppose the Knight Transportation Truck Terminal.
Jay C. White, President