Crux of the ordinance
None of those for, and few of those against, have addressed what I believe is the true crux of the proposed ordinance.
The original weight ordinance was established by the concerned citizens of Douglas County through the initiative process. This means any changes to the ordinance must be approved by the voters.
This proposed ordinance will take the weight issue away from the voters and give it to the county commissioners.
In the proposed ordinance, Section 3 Limitations on Airport Expansion:
Paragraph A states no action regarding an increase in the current weight bearing capacity of the existing runways can be made without a vote of the people, but a vote of the people is not necessary for the commissioners to increase the weight capacity of the taxiways and ramps to meet that of the runways.
Paragraph B states the commissioners do not have to get voter approval to make an application for an FAA grant to fund the increasing of the capacity of the taxiways and ramps.
FAA Manager, Safety and Standards Branch Aiken, in his letter of April 8, 2009, specifically states the data in the current ordinance is to be replaced with “accurate weight limits of 60,000 pounds single wheel and 75,000 pounds dual wheel for airport Runway 16-34.”
It has been reported the runway is capable of handling weights in excess of 100,000 pounds so why is the FAA talking about only 60,000/75,000 pounds?
Is it because the FAA has stated the maximum take-off weight of an aircraft for a given airport is determined by the weakest weight bearing capacity in the runway, taxiway, and ramp system and the 60,000/75,000 is the maximum weight for the taxiways or ramps?
Neither the 60,000 nor the 75,000 values are shown in the proposed ordinance.
Nowhere are we told if these are runway, taxiway or ramp values.
Nowhere are we told of the actual weight bearing capacity of the runways, taxiways and ramps.
Nowhere is there a definition of airport pavement.
Passage of the proposed ordinance now means the commissioners, by upgrading the taxiways and ramps, without the consent of the voters, can change the maximum weight to 100,000 pounds, or more.
I feel the proposed ordinance should be defeated and a new proposed ordinance be brought back at the next election after the citizens have been properly informed of all the facts regarding the actual weight bearing capabilities of the airport pavement, its’ runways, taxiways and ramps.
I feel the FAA, being informed of all the confusing facts regarding this currently proposed ordinance, will understand the need for the delay until the next election.
I find it very disturbing that the citizens, without being given all the facts and possible consequences, are being asked to give up their control of the airport weight issue to the commissioners.
What ever happened to being open and transparent?
Sanford E. Deyo