Discussions on airport issues in full flight | SierraSun.com

Discussions on airport issues in full flight

Airport Community Advisory Team
My Turn

This is the second in a series of articles by the Airport Community Advisory Team (ACAT) concerning our work with the Truckee Tahoe Airport and the Airport District Board of Directors.

The first article on Feb. 1 described the ACAT, the reason we formed, and our role in the community. That article is available on the ACAT web page at http://www.truckeetahoeairport.com/acat.htm under Recommendations and Educational Documents.

This article will discuss some of the work we have done so far. Throughout our tenure, the ACAT has expended considerable effort identifying community groups impacted ” both positively and negatively ” by the airport and its operations. The Investigating Stakeholder Concerns subcommittee has just completed a final report on our findings, the culmination of extensive impact analysis, countless interviews, focus groups, public discussions, and solicitations for input over the past seven months.

During this process, the stakeholder subcommittee has worked closely with the Devising Solutions subcommittee, vetting potential mitigation and abatement solutions with key stakeholder groups. In addition, we have brought the concerns of and suggestions from the stakeholders to the solutions subcommittee in order to be sure any potential solutions we develop address the needs of the community. Moreover, we have identified the areas where the airport is satisfying community needs, and we continue to work with the staff and the Board of Directors of the airport district to ensure that these successes are expanded into other areas.

Though the airport has in the past been a divisive and intensely political issue for some members of the community, there are many areas where we have found common ground, even among the most impassioned and divided stakeholders. It is on these commonalities that the ACAT will concentrate our efforts. We will continue to work to develop collaborative solutions to the perceived impacts of our community airport on its neighbors.

Perhaps the issue with strongest agreement across all stakeholder groups was communication between the airport, its users and the non-user local community. There was unanimous agreement that the airport has not done enough to reach out to the community and educate both users and non-users on airport issues.

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Issues highlighted by stakeholders on both sides included topics as simple and straightforward as “What’s New at the Truckee Tahoe Airport” to some as complex and nuanced as the intersection of federal, state, regional, and local control over land use, airspace, and airport operations.

This article series is a first attempt at improving that communication gap. Improving communications with the community was not the only area of common ground, nor is it the only thing the ACAT is doing to improve the relationship between the airport and the community. In fact, the ACAT has just delivered a set of preliminary recommendations for mitigation and abatement programs that can easily be implemented this summer. Our next article will discuss some of those recommendations, how we decided to present them to the board and most importantly, why we think they will be effective.

We encourage all interested members of the community to visit our Web site and review the Stakeholders Final Report discussed in this article, as well as other relevant information on our efforts.

Finally, we’d like to remind the community that all regular meetings of the airport district board of directors and the Airport Community Advisory Team are noticed and open to the public. Your participation is essential to the collaborative process. The board meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. in the airport terminal.

The ACAT meets the second Monday of each month at 8 a.m. in the same location. In addition, there will be a special Airport Impact Mitigation Workshop where members of the community will collaborate to develop other potential solutions we have not already presented to the board. That workshop will be held May 1 at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on Highway 267. We look forward to seeing you there.

We welcome any questions or comments regarding ACAT and our work. Please contact us at acat@truckeetahoeairport.com

ACAT Members:

Bruce Eisenhard

Sandra Korth

Rob Lober

Don McCormack

George Moore

Bill Quesnel

Tom Van Berkem