Airport asks public to weigh in on potential third runway

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is asking for community input regarding new flight procedures and the ongoing analysis of a potential third runway.

In 2015, the airport’s master plan introduced a conceptual third runway aligned to direct arrival and departure traffic to and from the north, over the truck scales on Interstate 80.

At the time a third runway was quickly dismissed, but in 2019 the airport board authorized a preliminary analysis of the project.

If a third runway is determined feasible, an airport layout plan with that runway would then be submitted to the FAA for review and possible acceptance. The runway would be 5,900 total feet, and would be located on the east side of the airport. A source of funding for the project would need to be secured and environmental impact study completed. Board Member Rick Stephens stated during an Airport Community Team meeting on the matter that he’s heard estimates of $40 million for the cost of the runway.

Potential benefits of building a third runway include reduced residential overflight, reduced noise impacts, enhanced safety, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced arrival and departure procedures. The district stressed a third runway should not be a means to facilitate growth in operations.

“We do not want this third runway to attract more operations to Truckee,” said Mead & Hunt planner Brad Musinski. Mead & Hunt is the airport’s aviation services consultant. “It’s something that we are considering heavily and that we are continuing to evaluate throughout this study.”

A final study on the feasibility of building a third runway will be completed this summer.

The district will host an in-person open house at the Truckee Tahoe Airport Terminal Building from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 3, to provide the community with an update on the potential third runway and on proposed new flight procedures.

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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