Airport officials say they don't want to condemn homes

More than 80 Carson City Airport neighbors fearing runway construction would claim their homes learned Thursday that airport officials actually want to shift the runway away from any homes.

Property owners immediately south of the airport latched onto a Nov. 26 Reno Gazette-Journal article that focused on one of five master plan options calling for runway expansion into the Apollo Drive and Hiko Court neighborhood.

Carson City Airport Authority members on Thursday, however, said they dismissed that option outright and are now weighing two options that actually move the runway away from the neighborhood to the south.

Runway talks come as the authority works on a new 10-year master plan required by the Federal Aviation Administration. A significant part of the master plan is building a new runway to replace a badly cracked runway.

The seven-member airport authority is favoring two options that don't negatively affect homes, chairman David Carrao said.

-- One option rebuilds the runway parallel and about 75 to 100 feet to the north of the existing runway.

-- The second twists the west end of the runway to the south and the east end to the north, shifting the flight pattern away from the neighborhood.

"Unfortunately, the (Reno) newspaper focused on those options (that would condemn homes), irresponsibly," said Steve Tackes, the authority's attorney. "The Airport Authority said we only want to consider options that don't take any homes. I suspect nothing should be affecting any property values right now. Taking houses is not part of the plan."

Airport engineer Jim Clague wants to submit runway reconstruction plans to the FAA by the end of May and start construction in August. He wants the new runway finished in November.

Carrao explained that preliminary master planning looked at all options, whether they were realistic or not.

"(The consultant) included alignments in every scenario they could come up with," Carrao said. "They thought it would be a disservice not to bring up all the alignments they could think of. It is in my opinion that we are not out to take anybody's property. The two alignments the board seems to be favoring at this point does not seem to encompass anybody's land."

More public meetings will take place before runway plans are final, authority members said.


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