Stockton Airport- Tidewater Crossing Development

From the ‘Stockton Flyer’

Barry Rondinella (Stockton Airport Manager) was kind enough to offer his Director?s Message space for this issue so that I might express some concerns I have about an upcoming project that will undoubtedly impact the Stockton Airport, its tenants, and its future. For those who may not be familiar with the issue, the Tidewater Crossing Master Development Plan Project involves a proposed development area just southwest of the Airport. The proposal calls for construction of homes to accommodate nearly 8,000 residents and a school directly under the downwind leg of one of the Airport?s runways. Although the homes themselves don?t pose a threat to the Airport, it?s the inevitable impact the Airport and its activities will have on the residents. Case in point, the area in question is under the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 29L/11R just South of this runway and adjacent to the airport property. It is no secret that aircraft on approach are noisy, and it is to be expected the residents will object to the noise level. The hours of operation of the Airport?s current and potential future cargo, airline & corporate operations would certainly take its toll on the residents, and the Airport will have to deal with it, legally and otherwise.

I understand Stockton?s lack of noise restrictions was a key factor in its attraction of Emery?s cargo operations and significant corporate jet traffic. Restricting operations based on noise and hours will hurt the Airport?s revenue generation, future growth and will end up costing jobs hurting the local economy. As we have seen at other airports time and again, the Airport is fighting a losing battle in these situations. Clearly, the presence of a residential development in such close proximity is a recipe for disaster, and everyone with an interest in SCK needs to make a strong show of opposition.

Just published in the February edition of Comstock?s Magazine, Dr. Sean Snaith, Director of the Business Forecasting Center, a part of the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of Pacific states, ?It?s true for much of the Central Valley. There is a major demographic shift from the coast inland,? explains Snaith. The forecast notes several significant trends that will have a major impact on Stockton-Lodi, like the rise in wine grape production and growth at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport. Let?s not stymie this growth with the encroachment of populated neighborhoods near the runways.

This project would require an extension of C.E. Dixon St. This would have vehicles crossing two taxiways. There are aircraft vs. auto safety concerns surrounding that proposal not to mention, cutting off Airport tenants from the runway system, infringing on their property rights and making it more difficult to operate their business…which could lead to their departure.

I encourage you to help protect our Airport and the livelihood of our community by contacting the City and voicing your concern. City of Stockton c/o Community Development Department, Planning Division, 345 North El Dorado Street, 95202. Subject: Public Review of the Tidewater Crossing Master Development Plan Project (EIR 2-05)

Rick Tutt is chair of the County Aviation Advisory Committee, founder of the Stockton Airport Pilots Association, and an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Federal Aviation Administration – Oakland Flight Standards District Office. He started his aviation career in 1987 and has been based at Stockton Metro for 15 years and specializes in both initial and recurrent training in pressurized single & multi-engine aircraft.

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