Airport master plan surprises residents

Imagine my shock when, while scanning the Nov. 26 online version of the Reno Gazette-Journal, I stumbled on an article titled "Carson airport expansion would take homes in its path, study says."

One would think this story would have appeared in the Nevada Appeal, since this is a local story of grave interest to those of us "in its path." I happen to live on Apollo Drive, so this next paragraph made my head spin.

"Homes in the Apollo Drive and Hiko Court area near Bowers Lane would be affected the most. In one alternative, 75 homes would have to be condemned and acquired. Other options call for removing 40, 33, 24 and 11 homes. HOMES! Our homes! The airport commission has actually entertained the idea of tossing dozens (or more!) of us out of our homes to make way for a longer runway so they can accommodate larger planes. Apparently, five different options were offered by the consulting firm which did the study, all of which involved extending the runway(s) to the east which would require condemning and confiscating properties in its path.

Now for those of you who don't live on our street, or even near our neighborhood, you may think this is of little or no interest to you, since your home has not been considered for "condemnation" and removal. But how many of you think it's a good idea for larger and larger planes to be flying in and out of Carson City? And for what reason?

And what marvelous city project is next that considers it necessary to toss home owners out of their homes? How about the bypass project? And the Graves Lane extension? How many homes were destroyed and property confiscated for these important projects? What's next? In one plan (of the several I guess they've been looking at), "Graves Lane would need to be relocated." This couldn't be the same Graves Lane we've been watching under construction now for months and months and months, could it? It's not even open for use yet and here's a plan which says it may have to be relocated?

My first inkling that something was amiss was when a fence contractor showed up one day and built a fence across our access to the vast area between Apollo Drive and Arrowhead Drive. I approached them and asked what was going on. They simply said the airport had acquired the property and wanted it fenced off "for our safety." This was also done on Hiko Court, and in fact, completely surrounds that heretofore open area between us and the golf course. This is an active flood plain, incidentally, and a "perfect" place for an airport runway, I'm sure.

The article quotes Yvon Weaver, airport manager, as saying, "This isn't designed to be a commercial airport." She also states that residents and city leaders are satisfied with the airport's status as a general aviation field for private and corporate aircraft. If that's so, then who ordered the $120,000 master plan study? And why?

The article goes on to mention that Ron Kitchen, a member of the Carson City Airport Authority Board, said, "I really don't think the community would stand for it." I hope he's right, but in order for the community to not stand for anything, they have to first be informed of it. How did this information turn up in the Reno paper (which I don't subscribe to) and not in the Carson City paper (which I do subscribe to because I'm interested in local issues)?

At the end of the article, a phone number was given for more details on the "Carson City Airport Master Plan Study," 887-1234.


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