Committee looks at airport rules |

Committee looks at airport rules

by Christy Chalmers

A temporary committee will begin studying a voter-imposed aviation policy Monday, and its findings might lead to a major change in airport rules.

The nine-member panel was selected by Minden-Tahoe Airport’s advisory board. The group includes two airport board members and seven people who live in different Carson Valley neighborhoods, plus a non-voting alternate.

The new group will be studying aircraft noise and weight limits.

The county now has a voter-imposed weight limit of 50,000 pounds for multi-wheeled planes, with lower limits for other types of aircraft. The intent of the rule was to avoid noise, pollution and other impacts associated with larger planes.

But airport advisory board members have suggested a review because larger planes aren’t necessarily the noisiest, and aviation promoters think the ordinance may be costing Minden-Tahoe business from larger planes that don’t bring the undesired impacts.

Airport Manager Jim Braswell said he and other airport representatives have been speaking to local service clubs and groups about the airport, and the responses have indicated that noise, not plane size, is the chief concern. He thinks the committee may get similar results.

“There’s not a weight concern. It’s a noise and safety issue,” said Braswell.

If the new committee wants to make a change, voters would have to approve. To meet ballot deadlines, a question would have to be posed as early as May.

Braswell said the new group will also take comments about other airport-related issues, such as a protective zone that has been proposed.

The committee will hold its first meeting Monday at 6 p.m. in the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden. A meeting schedule and objectives are to be discussed.

For more information, call 782-9871.