My Turn: Friends of the Airport change minds about non-pilots
October 14, 2008
Dear FoTTA supporters,
In April of this year, FoTTA solicited for individuals seeking support for the November election for three seats on the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board of Directors. Although two individuals quickly responded expressing interest, neither completed the prescribed application process, which requires written application, a personal interview, and receipt of comments from interested persons.
At this late date, no others have expressed interest in seeking financial and administrative support from FoTTA. As a result of this situation, FoTTA will not be soliciting funds from you during this election cycle There are adequate funds in the coffers to sustain the organization and begin the campaign process two years from now.
You will recall that four years ago, FoTTA was formed to oppose three non-pilot candidates supported by CARE for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors. After a tempestuous campaign, they were elected.
At that time, we feared for the very continued existence of the airport. We feared that they would take vengeance on the pilot community and impose unreasonable financial burdens. Some feared that runways and facilities would be eliminated or not maintained.
After a very favorable survey, we observed that the new board was not intent on eliminating or closing the airport. They were interested in increasing community involvement and reducing noise impacts. While some scary scenarios were discussed, actual changes have been few, the most notable being an increase in hangar rents, with an attendant voluntary curfew program. Low-noise props were fitted to glider tow planes and land acquisitions for noise buffering have continued.
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During the election two years ago, the political atmosphere had improved to the point that two FoTTA-supported moderate pilot candidates were elected As moderates, they also had the support of CARE, the very organization that FoTTA opposed four years ago.
At this point in time, as FoTTA executive directors, we have come to the realization that non-pilot candidates, per se, are not the enemy. In fact, while there are still strong resentments in some quarters of the local pilot community, the airport appears to be on strong financial and administrative ground. We have observed that it is better administered and managed than in the past, with less influence by special interest groups and individuals.
As FoTTA directors, our focus is on the support of moderate, clear thinkers and opposition to extremists who would return us to the days of unreasonable confrontation instead of cooperation.
Fred Zapponi, Treasurer
Steve Macica, Director
Friends of the Truckee Tahoe Airport