Truckee Airport – Seeking Solutions

Monday, November 20, 2006
Airport mulling ideas
By Christine Stanley
The Truckee (CA) Sierra Sun

Truckee and North Tahoe residents met with representatives from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District last week to discuss public concerns and to strategize change. “We were looking for ideas and solutions for the airport to further reduce its impact on the community,” said Dave Gotschall, airport general manager. For more than a year, the district and the Airport Community Advisory Team have been working to gather public input – from a community survey and numerous public forums – in order to “capture sentiments about the current state of the airport and desires for the future,” said Kevin Bumen, head of noise and business operations for the airport.

Some of the long-standing public concerns have included noise, safety and communication. Constituents were able to tackle all three issues when they met last week.

Dozens of ideas were produced, but two of the most valuable were the concepts of developing a pilot-training video stressing noise abatement procedures and the concept of rebuilding the main runway 500 feet to the east, according to Gotschall.

Moving the runway could potentially give some relief to residents who live under the flight path in terms of both safety and noise, Gotschall said.

Other suggestions included purchasing land to prevent further development around the airport and conducting high-mountain altitude clinics for pilots.

“One thing that surprised me in a very positive way is that both pilots and non-pilots were focused on taking a look at the myriad of proposals,” said ACAT co-chair Tom Van Berkem. “They really looked hard a things that would be of value to the community, instead of looking at we-they types of things.”

More than a dozen new concepts and projects were produced, and the ACAT will meet to prioritize those findings next month.

The Airport Community Advisory Team (ACAT) will meet Dec. 13 at 8 a.m. in the Truckee Tahoe Airport conference room to discuss the findings for the Airport Impact Solutions Workshops.

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