Friday, January 22, 2010

Airport And Homeowners Agree For A Change! - Airport Business Magazine

Posted By Ralph Hood for AirportBusiness

An interesting story develops regarding the airspace over the Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) in the Atlanta area and the people who live in the area. The story includes the usual worries about low-flying airplanes, noise, pollution, and safety for the people who live near the airport (an upscale neighborhood in this case).

For once, however, the homeowners and the airport seem to agree.

The FAA proposes to lower the bottom altitude of Class B airspace in the area to straighten the approach and departure of aircraft operating in/out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL). That would lower the bottom of Class B to 5,000 feet over PDK, which is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the Southeast. Many aircraft operating at PDK are jets that operate efficiently only at high altitudes and need to get up there fast. True, they should be cleared quickly to a higher altitude, but the fear is that the clearance will come slower than currently. Departing aircraft could be held down longer and landing aircraft pushed down earlier. And, any way you look at it, the plan will compress more aircraft (many of them VFR) into less airspace and that does have a bearing on safety. Efficiency and safety concern Pat Epps, Epps Aviation, PDK, as does anything that makes life more difficult for his customers. Pat would like to see the proposed altitude changes stopped.

Those with homes in the area would like it stopped too, but for different reasons. They worry about increased pollution, noise, and, of course, safety.

The push for keeping the status quo is gaining, it seems. John Heneghan, a member of the Dunwoody, GA, City Council, publishes reports in his popular Blog. WSBTV has covered the issue in some detail. Perhaps most importantly, AOPA—the most active and effective defender of general aviation airports—is actively involved.

This should be interesting!

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