Due Diligence for Complaining Airport Neighbors

Guidance for the compatible development of the land surrounding airports has been available since the 1970’s.

When considering the emotional uproar surrounding some airports, like Santa Monica Airport for example, my suggestion to those upset airport neighbors is to go to the California Division or Aeronautics web site and download and read the document titled California Airport Land Use Planning Handbook.

This and similar documents were created as a guideline to provide airport sponsors (city and county), politician’s and local planners as an edification on airport compatible land use planning.

Education of and adherence of these guidelines is the only way to insure that California’s airports are not encroached with incompatible land use causing the now predictable, noise and safety issues associated with many of our airports.

Those residents upset with airports should first look to the city or county officials, as well as local politicians and planners, who ignored this available guidance and created the problems at hand. This is what is known as the core problem associated with the majority of community airport issues, i.e., don’t blame the airport.

One other important point – when airport sponsors, municipality or county, contract with the FAA for money to upgrade their airport, that entity consents to the conditions associated with the funds accepted. These conditions do not expire.

The California Division of Aeronautics has done an excellent job in creating the California Airport Land Use Planning Handbook. We recommend that you take the time to download this important document and educate yourself on these guidelines. It will help you to promote and protect your airport, and to better understand why some airports are threatened.

Editor’s Note: This article was created as a reference for California aviation advocates to be used in airport land use compatibility discussions. 

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