Special interests weigh in
Yet another letter to the editor by a special interest (lobbyist?) for the new airport ordinance. Terry Lalonde is a pilot, Minden Airport Association founding member and Airport Master Plan Committee member. His letter is well written but does not answer the main questions posed by the con side. Are there loopholes in the ordinance? The answer is yes, read it yourself.
Mr. LaLonde wants to obfuscate this with a lot of irrelevant statements. If we want to start personal attacks as he seems to do, we will not resolve the issue.
Pinon Aero may be wasting their money but I wouldn’t bet on it. They have a business plan and there presence indicates they disagree with the academic studies. After investing more than $2 million I think we can all agree that they see a long term jet growth opportunity that others do not. I might add that our country has been governed by academic types for a couple of years now and I am not impressed. You will note that Mr. LaLonde does not say that Pinon Aero has no plans for more jets to be landing and taking off from our airport.
Of course this isn’t the only issue. They say if we don’t pass this ordinance we won’t have any ordinance, nonsense. We have an ordinance in place that has been on the books for the past 16 years, not enforced but on the books. It would still be in place, and just by its existence (enforced or not) it provides some discouragement against a jet invasion. The problem with Question 1 is the number of loopholes in the ordinance that will allow larger, faster planes to land at the airport. Did you notice it has no maximum weight limit that we can see and touch? Every ordinance that the citizens have passed in the past has had a specified weight in the ordinance. Why not this one? Is it so a new study can be done which might show 100,000 pounds or more? I know and have talked with the engineer who claims it is 30,000 single wheel and 50,000 pounds duel wheel. The county continues to ignore this study, why?
Until the answer of the actual weight that the runway, taxiways and aprons is resolved to my satisfaction and the ordinance presented to us has a specified weight limit based on the agreed upon weights.
This could be completed easily in two years; we can live that long without FAA funding. I will vote “no” to protect what I feel is the right thing to do for the citizens of Douglas County.
To me it really is simple. I want the airport to be for gliders and local general aviation into the foreseeable future.
The best way to do that is to make any upgrading very difficult. If you like what we have, vote “no” on Question 1. Want to see the gliders disappear, vote “yes” on Question 1.