Editor’s Note: See CalPilots Response below. Sadly, it appears that a developers profits came before the 33 year old community airport.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Elk Grove’s Sunset Skyranch Airport Headed for Closure
By C. Johnson
KXTV-TV Ch 10 (ABC), Sacramento (CA)
Elk Grove appears about to lose one of the amenities that gave it a small-town flavor. Sacramento County supervisors have voted to shut down small Sunset Skyranch airport in order to open up more land for development. The airport on Grant Line Road has been operating for about 35 years, serving mostly light aircraft. One of its major draws, though, is its privately-owned hangars. Hangar space is at a premium at most airports and the ones at Sunset Skyranch allow aviation aficionados to build, repair and restore their aircraft. William Woodworker said it’s similar to restoring vintage cars. “That’s basically what we do,” he said. “Only we can’t do it in our backyard. We have to have an airport to do it at.”
Sunset Skyranch is on county land, just outside Elk Grove’s city boundaries. For most of its existence the airport has operated without a county use permit. The five-year use permit it did have has expired. Now, with the owner of 25 acres between the airport and nearby housing developments seeking to build another subdivision that would be too close to runways for safety, supervisors feel it is time for the airport to go.
“There has been plenty of time to recognize that this use might not continue,” said Supervisor Roger Dickinson.
The supervisors want the facility closed within 60 to 90 days. More time might be granted to allow the owners of the private hangars to move the structures, most of which were put up with the proper building and use permits. However, where those hangars could go is another matter. Pilots say other airports have years-long waiting lists for hangar space.
Pilots at Sunset Skyranch have hired an attorney to fight the airport’s closure.