Livermore Airport

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Livermore airport task force prepares to report to council
By Bonita Brewer
THE CONTRA COSTA (CA) TIMES

A sharply divided group studying proposed expansion at Livermore Municipal Airport is expected to make recommendations this week to the Livermore City Council. The 21 members of the advisory panel have opposing viewpoints on everything from whether the shorter of two runways should be lengthened and strengthened to whether the proposed plan should undergo a full environmental impact report.

Also being debated is whether the airport should focus on recreational use or on becoming more of a base for corporate and charter aircraft.

The panel will meet 7 p.m. Wednesday at Doubletree Club Hotel, 720 Las Flores Road, Livermore. If an additional meeting is needed, it will be held Thursday at the same time and location.

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

The proposal deals primarily with bolstering the airport’s business plan and lengthening the shorter of two runways from 2,700 feet to 4,000 feet — still shorter and structurally weaker than the 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 by allowing most aircraft types now using the airport to use either runway. Opponents worry about increased jet traffic and noise.

Because of all the opposing viewpoints over the airport master plan, consensus is not expected and the panel will instead submit a report with a range of opinions.

For example, on Nov. 10 at the panel’s last meeting when 16 members participated:

  • Eight said proposals to increase the length of the shorter runway is acceptable, while seven said it is not and one was neutral.
  • Five members supported strengthening the shorter runway, making it usable by more aircraft types. Ten were opposed, one was neutral.
  • Nine wanted to install a new noise monitoring system able to identify individual aircraft. Two said such a system is not needed now and five were neutral. They also debated whether information from the monitoring system should be used to impose fees on loud aircraft.
  • Seven members said environmental studies already done are adequate, while nine members support having a full environmental impact report. However, of those, some say a “focused” report, dealing with specific issues such as noise and air quality, would be sufficient.

    There also was division over whether forecasts for 370,000 takeoffs and landings annually at the airport by the year 2020 are unrealistically high, and over whether additional aircraft storage hangars should be built.

    IF YOU GO

  • WHAT: Meeting of the Livermore Municipal Airport advisory panel
  • WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday
  • WHERE: Doubletree Club Hotel, 720 Las Flores Road, Livermore
  • INFORMATION: www.ci.livermore.ca.us, look for link to Airport Master Plan

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