Airport district adopts revised Master Plan | SierraSun.com
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Airport district adopts revised Master Plan

ANNE GROGAN, Sierra Sun

The Truckee-Tahoe Airport District board last Thursday adopted the airport’s Master Plan Update after accepting the related Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, despite opposition from local residents and the Town of Truckee.

“We have a master plan,” Soderquist said. “We’re supposed to have a master plan according to the FAA and we’re supposed to update our master plan about every five years. We’ve been working on this update for about 12 years now.”

At the Feb. 3 town council meeting in which council agreed to present to Soderquist the town’s objections to the Mitigated Negative Declaration, several members of the airport’s surrounding communities spoke in opposition to the Mitigated Negative Declaration and the airport’s master plan.

Former Mayor Kathleen Eagan, a resident of Prosser Heights, said that the character of the airport had changed over the past three years, in part due to increased jet traffic.

“All of the sudden we have a different beast in our midst,” Eagan said.

Ensuring that noise levels remain within safe ranges is not the only noise-related issue, Eagan said, because it is also the quality of sound which determines how well noise is tolerated. She cited the fact that though thunder is loud, the sound of fingernails on a blackboard is less tolerable.

Jim Duffey, another Prosser Heights resident, said that overhead jet traffic was noisy, intrusive and of a harassing nature. He said that airport officials regularly told him that they had no control over the noise issue because the Federal Aviation Administration controlled the flight path.

Duffey’s complaint was specifically related to jet traffic, he said, as smaller private aircraft were not a problem. He rec-

ommended that if neither the town nor the airport district could control the noise, then efforts should be made to limit growth in and around the airport.

Steve Frisch, a downtown resident, said he believed noise levels related to airport use were lower in the downtown area than in other neighborhoods, but that at times the noise was very noticeable. Frisch said he was particularly concerned that the master plan would encourage increased jet traffic.

“The large aircraft segment of this plan is something the public should think long and hard on,” Frisch said.

Just before voting to approve, the airport district board received public input on the master plan and mitigated negative declaration during a public hearing held the morning of Feb. 24.

Northstar resident Stuart Feigin said seven or eight people attended and the outcome of the district board’s vote was not surprising.

“I knew they would simply go ahead with their plans,” Feigin said. “But there are people in the community opposed to their expansion. We have to keep an eye on them to reduce the noise.”

Feigin said he does not believe it is impossible to alleviate current or increased noise levels.

“They have a responsibility to the community,” Feigin said.


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