Livermore Airport Expansion

Livermore airport expansion talks tonight
By Bonita Brewer

LIVERMORE – Possible noise related to proposed expansion of the Livermore Municipal Airport will be among matters discussed by a valleywide advisory committee when it meets tonight. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Club Hotel, 720 Las Flores Road, Livermore.

Airport consultants will talk about their findings that the proposed expansion will not result in significant increases in noise — a claim that several airport neighbors dispute.

The 21-member task force is made up of elected officials, residents, pilots and business representatives from Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.

It is expected to meet several times before the end of the year to help clarify what is being proposed and to provide an additional sounding board for the public.

The proposed master plan deals primarily with strengthening the airport’s business plan, adding hangars and lengthening the shorter of two runways from 2,700 feet to 4,000 feet — still shorter and structurally weaker than the airport’s main 5,255-foot runway.

Supporters say the lengthened runway would reduce safety hazards and congestion on the ground and in the air during takeoffs and landings. Opponents worry about increased jet traffic and are demanding a full-blown environmental report.

At a meeting two weeks ago, panel members debated consultants’ projections that regardless of the proposed improvements, airport demand will increase. Consultants said total annual takeoffs and landings will increase from 257,000 in 2001 to 370,000 in 2020.

They also said although flight training and recreational use would continue to account for most aircraft operations, the share of use by jets, including for chartered service, is expected to jump from less than 1 percent to about 5 percent.