Proposed Delano Airport Land Use for Non-Airport Purposes

Dear Mr. Salem:

The California Pilots Association assists cities and counties in maintaining their public airports. Each public airport such as the Delano Airport is part of the state and national transportation systems. Our Association members are concerned about a proposed use of Delano Airport property for an athletic facility.

Read the whole letter below.

CALIFORNIA PILOTS ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 6868
San Carlos, CA 94070
1-800-319-5286

April 20, 2004

Mr. Abdel L. Salem
City Manger, City of Delano
P.O. Box 939
Delano, CA 93216-0939
Via FAX TRANSMISSION (661) 721-3312

Re: Proposed Delano Airport Land Use for Non-Airport Purposes

Dear Mr. Salem:

The California Pilots Association assists cities and counties in maintaining their public airports. Each public airport such as the Delano Airport is part of the state and national transportation systems. Our Association members are concerned about a proposed use of Delano Airport property for an athletic facility.

The Delano Airport is the City’s on ram and off ramp to the nation’s freeways in the skies. It serves business visitors and others who help Delano remain a prosperous and desirable place for its residents. This will become increasingly important as the area population increases and additional businesses locate to the area.

Although the City of Delano holds nominal title, the airport is not the sole province of the City. Attesting the airport’s importance as a transportation facility, the U.S. Government has by way of monetary grants invested heavily in maintaining it as an important part of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

In return for each grant, the City of Delano has signed a binding agreement with the government. Each agreement limits the uses that can be made of the airport land. These uses are limited to aviation-related uses only. Likewise, the original Quitclaim Deed contains this limitation.

In 1999 your City unsuccessfully sought a release from these agreements for purposes of using airport property for non-aviation use. In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Delano City Community Services Director requested a release of 5 acres of airport property for the purpose of establishing a trucking business. By letter dated November 23, 1999, the FAA refused the request and responded by stating:

“As a general policy, a total release permitting the sale of property acquired for airport purposes under the Surplus Property Act, shall not be granted unless it can clearly be shown that the sale of such property will benefit civil aviation.”

The FAA letter stated that if the city would like to further pursue the land sale, it should submit the following:
“* Justification and reasoning to show that the land would not be needed for any aviation purposes in the future;
* Evidence of interest of the potential buyer or buyers;
* Determination of fair market value through recent land appraisals;
* Provide a “review appraisal” by an independent appraiser firm; * Documentation related to the land and plan showing exact location and dimension of the land;
* A list of the projects that the revenue will be spent on, including the description of the projects, costs and schedule;
* Review of alterations the city has considered and/or may still consider.”

Your City should be aware that aside from required prior FAA approval of any airport land release, the California Pilots Association is committed to preserving the Delano Airport in a viable and safe condition by all means available. Your City must honor all grant and deed agreements. The airport must be preserved as part of a transportation system that will be vital to future generations of Delano residents and others.

Please consider our Association a resource related to this and other airport matters.

Very truly yours,

Jay C. White, President

CC: Mayor Callahan

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.