Carson City Airport looks to improve ground rules | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City Airport looks to improve ground rules

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The Carson City Airport’s ground rules – not significantly updated since the early 1990s – will be the focus of an upcoming public workshop.

Members of the Airport Authority will meet at 6 p.m. Monday to discuss possible changes in the city’s code relating to rules on the ground at the facility. Behavior in the air is mostly under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration, said Yvon Weaver, airport manager.

However, “if residents could think of something that would help them and not be dangerous to pilots, then we should look into it,” Weaver said.

For example, airport officials would like to find out what it would take to have pilots fly in and out at a higher altitude pattern than they do now. Making this type of change might only require approval of local or state officials, she said.

Aircraft are 800 feet above ground when they fly over homes on Apollo Drive. Raising that level to 1,000 feet or even 1,100 feet might reduce amount of noise those nearby residents hear, Weaver said.

Changing the altitude pattern level was discussed at a public hearing last month that focused on airport safety, but the topic of airport noise also arose.

“I would hope it would make a little difference,” she said. “We might not have to go through the FAA, but we would have to check.”

She emphasized that pilots can’t fly in and out of the airport from a much-higher level because that would pose danger to the pilots and residents.

The hearing came about in response to a crash that occurred in the neighborhood in June. A small plane lost power and its pilot ended up landing at the corner of Apollo Drive and Hiko Court.

Many of the other changes are expected to have little impact on people residing near the airport, and will be ultimately decided by city supervisors and Legislature, she said.

The airport is owned by the city but controlled by seven airport authority members who operate, control and maintain the airport. The Legislature gave control to the authority in 1989, and many of the rules being used today were created after that change in control.

The types of businesses operating on airport property have changed since then. And nearly $25 million in facility improvements are expected to add to the airport’s overall safety by realigning the runway so the flight path is directed north – 100 yards farther away from homes on Apollo Drive – and adding modern guidance equipment. Many proposed rule changes will be in preparation for this work, Weaver said.

“We want to make sure we’re up to date with what we’re requiring,” she added.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Carson City Airport Authority workshop

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Where: Terminal Building, Carson City Airport, 2600 College Parkway