The coalition will include students, aviation enthusiasts, pilots, educators, and businesses dedicated to supporting the Livermore Airport and the communities around it. The airport has economic, educational and open space value, according to a press release issued by the coalition.
For example, it was noted that the airport limits urban sprawl. If the airport and its protection area were converted to development, as is proposed by a Tri-Valley developer for Concord Buchanan Airport, the impact would be nearly 35,000 new homes. The Airport Protection Area totals approximately 15 square miles and is mostly undeveloped.
The coalition?s mission is ?to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between the Livermore Airport and its community through education and respect of citizens and pilots sharing interest in common ground and sky.?
There are four principal objectives. One is to increase the airport?s value to the community. A second is to ensure that the airport continues to be both economically self-sustaining and contribute to schools and the city. The third is to maintain the airport at the highest safety and operational standards. The final objective is to disseminate accurate information regarding the airport.
Jay Cotton, one of the four organizers of the coalition, said education about the airport is already underway. ?We want to raise public awareness about the airport. Let people know that it is not all bad. ?A website has been established as a way of providing data regarding the airport. It contains actual, traceable data, stated Cotton.
The coalition was one of the instigators of the recent aviation career day. Such events are a method of pointing out the educational value of the airport. The coalition will assist in displays, guidance, and discussions to help students pursue their aviation interests.
Cotton said that he is aware of issues regarding noise. However, he points out that Pleasanton conducted a study that demonstrated there is not a problem. He has no objection to a noise monitoring system. However, he doesn?t believe the data collected will produce a different result from the earlier study.
On one point, the coalition is in agreement with those who complain about the airport. ?We are all for getting rid of loud jets. Most of us are in that camp.? Cotton predicted the loud jets would go away. They are very old and cost incredible amounts of money to fix. When they wear out, they will be thrown away.
As to the suggestion that the airport not provide jet fuel, Cotton said that won?t stop jets from using the airport. ?They don?t fly into the airport to buy fuel. They come in to conduct corporate business, then leave. They can purchase fuel at another location and still land and take off in Livermore.?
The coalition is pro-actively pursuing a voluntary noise mitigation program. New signage, airport maps and pilot briefings are methods being considered. ?Our coalition is taking the lead in education and guidance to other pilots, both transient and local,? notes the coalition?s press release. ?We will strive to keep the airport from being classified as a noise sensitive airport by maintaining aircraft noise levels below state and federal standards.?
?We have talked to pilots. However, once they are in the air, there is no way to yell at them to stop. It?s a tough problem for the airport,? Cotton admitted.
The airport, Cotton noted, is not suited for commercial service. The runway would not support such heavy planes. The coalition does not support any consideration of scheduled passenger service, he added.
The coalition is urging the city council to pro-actively ensure enforcement of property disclosure laws related to proximity to an airport.
One idea currently under consideration is to change the approach pattern for landing. Currently, when a plane comes into land from the Brushy Peak area, it flies over the college, turns and lands at the airport. From the Altamont, planes fly straight-in. Under the proposed change, all planes would fly to the north, turn and land at the airport. ?They would not fly over the city,? explained Cotton.