Airport board shoots down PR campaign | SierraSun.com

Airport board shoots down PR campaign

David Bunker

A narrow vote sunk a Truckee Tahoe Airport Board of Directors motion Wednesday to launch a pre-election publicity campaign about its efforts to control noise.The airport still plans to go ahead with advertising and newsletters, it just decided to delay the campaign until after the election. The newsletter and advertisements will highlight the airport’s work to lessen noise in the area, one of the main issues going into the airport board election in November. After Truckee Tahoe Airport District board members Connie Stevens and Ken Foster wavered on whether to support the publicity campaign, Stevens and Michael Golden voted for the initiative. Foster, Steve Swigard and Don Starbard opposed it.The decision came after airport staff, the public and some board directors opposed to the plan said it was inappropriate and untimely to begin the campaign so close to the election.”I think it is totally inappropriate,” said Swigard. “I think that we are going down the wrong path at the wrong time.”Meanwhile, Truckee Tahoe Airport board candidate Kathleen Eagan said the issue was about timing. “For the sake of a week you are putting your credibility on the line,” she told the board. Other members of the public spoke in support of a newsletter and advertising campaign.”The problems that this airport has encountered are because it has not advertised,” said Tim LoDolce. The airport has contemplated hiring a public relations firm and sending out a newsletter to the public over the last few months, but the board voted .The airport still plans to go ahead with advertising and newsletter plans, it just decided to delay the campaign until after the election. The newsletter and advertisements will highlight the airport’s work to lessen noise in the area.The airport board decided to set Feb. 1 as the renewal date for their program that offers a fuel discount for pilots that complete a noise abatement education program. Pilots already enrolled in the program will have to take the noise abatement test again at that date to continue receiving the fuel discount. The airport released statistics on aircraft operations and noise complaints at Wednesday’s meeting, which included:• The airport has received 787 complaints about aircraft operations so far this year.• Jets accounted for 419, or 53 percent, of those complaints.• Less than six percent of aircraft operations at Truckee Tahoe Airport generate a complaint.• 221 people have registered complaints since the beginning of last year.• Five individuals have made 354 of the 787 complaints. • Aircraft based in Truckee received 32 complaints, according to the available data that only identified the aircraft associated with 481 of the 787 complaints.