Airport buys 19 acres for open space |

Airport buys 19 acres for open space

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is buying 18.9 acres of land near the airport.

The land purchase from the Winters Family Trust was approved Thursday by the Truckee Town Council.

Airport General Manager Dave Gotschall said the airport should, on principal, buy the land because it will most likely be designated unusable when the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan is approved. Under the land use plan, the 18.9 acres is in an “airport influence zone” that is unfit for development because of safety and noise concerns.

“The land was really adversely affected by the [land use plan],” Gotschall said. “Really, it’s just a protection issue.” Gotschall added that the land will be left as, “open space forever – as long as the airport is operating.”

The land wraps around two sides of the residences on Martis Drive, off the end of one runway. (Under the land use plan, no new building can take place in that area; residences that are already established will remain intact.)

The $630,000 it took to buy the land came from a $5.2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Truckee Airport bought 27.13 acres in early September. That land deal cost the airport $3.3 million of the $5.2 million.

With the remaining money, Gotschall said the airport is trying to buy more land that is affected by the land use plan.

“What we’re trying to do is not leave anybody out in the cold,” Gotschall said.

The airport is already in negotiation for a 10-acre parcel of land, near the 18.9-acre plot. The 10 acres would also be left as open space. Gotschall reiterated that the land was not for expanding the airport, and was only to help out and buy property that could not be used because of the airport.

“The Airport District is purchasing this property because of potential safety and noise issues, not for ‘the purpose of expanding or enlarging any publicly owned airport,'” Gotschall wrote in a letter to the Town of Truckee staff.

For more information on the Truckee Tahoe Airport, visit

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