Airport runway decision will be made in March

Property owners neighboring Carson City Airport should expect a package in the mail in the coming week describing two options on how to reconstruct the runway.

Carson City Airport Authority members expect to choose one of those options to realign the runway at their March 16 meeting.

Residents may also visit the Carson City Community Development Department, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 62, to look at the runway options.

The authority put off making any decision Thursday as members continued to discuss the two options and fielded public opinions.

The authority is weighing the merits of rebuilding Runway 9-27 parallel and 60 to 100 feet north of the present runway, or twisting the east end to the north and the west end to the south.

The new runway would be about 300 feet longer, bringing Carson City Airport's runway to 6,100 feet. The airport would remain classified as a small airport.

Chairman David Corrao, however, pointed out that shifting the runway slightly to the northeast would allow upgrading the airport in the future.

But at least two board members and two property owners beyond the west end of the airport spoke in favor of retaining the runway's present alignment.

"If we shift the runway, are we really gaining anything?" authority member Ron Kitchen asked.

Member Will Fletcher saw little difference in the two options, with or without the shift in direction.

"All I see is a minute variance of what we have," Fletcher said. "We're not see a 15- or 20-degree shift. We're seeing a 3-degree shift."

Don Langson and Gene Sheldon were more emphatic in their opposition to the northeast shift. They both own property just beyond the airport's western boundary.

"Our preference would be for a parallel move to the north," said Sheldon, who bought property in March 1999 on Goni Road. "I'm just concerned the skewing of the runway would require condemnation of the upper parcel we purchased."

Langson believes shifting the runway would bring the flight pattern over his property, though Kitchen said he didn't believe either option would affect Langson.

"My preference is to shift the runway directly to the north because it would have less impact on my property," Langson said.

Mary Fischer, owner of the Cottonwood Mobile Home Park on Arrowhead Drive, urged the authority not to try to upgrade the airport for larger planes. She said the small jets and sea planes that use the Carson City Airport already fly over the mobile home park even though the park is not in the designated flight path.

"The two worst are the jets and sea planes," Fischer said. "They spook the horses and barely clear the trees. We were there before the large planes were there. It is not a situation that you knew the airplanes were there."


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