Pilots hire consultant to challenge Truckee Tahoe Airport | SierraSun.com

Pilots hire consultant to challenge Truckee Tahoe Airport

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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; A group of out-of-area pilots have hired an aviation consultant in hopes of challenging Truckee Tahoe Airport’s new flight tracking system and other noise-reducing measures.

Jon Rodgers of Jon Rodgers Aviation Consulting, out of Van Nuys, Calif., said his job is to make sure any noise abatement programs are reasonable and don’t impact pilot safety.

and#8220;It’s not the pilot’s job to compensate for an airport deficiency,and#8221; Rodgers said of Truckee Tahoe Airport’s voluntary noise-reducing procedures. and#8220;The job of the airport is to manage the communities to accept the noise … don’t bother the pilots and#8212; manage the community to take the noise.and#8221;

But Airport General Manager Dave Gotschall disagreed, saying the airport’s job is to balance the needs of pilots and the needs of the surrounding community.

and#8220;My opinion is airports need to work with the community in every way possible,and#8221; Gotschall said. and#8220;To alienate or go after the community is wrong-headed. Where is that going to get you at the end of the day?and#8221;

Right now Truckee Tahoe Airport has suggested flight paths to minimize noise over neighborhoods and a voluntary curfew to reduce flights late at night and early in the morning, Gotschall said, and has decided to purchase and install a flight tracking system by next spring.

Rodgers argued that by asking pilots to do these things, the airport is compromising the safety of the pilots.

and#8220;By definition it reduces safety and#8212; why would you want to put all that pressure on pilots’ minds?and#8221; Rodgers said.

Gotschall said the airport doesn’t pressure pilots.

and#8220;That’s patently false,and#8221; Gotschall said. and#8220;We always say safety first and#8212; it’s ultimately up to the pilots.and#8221;

The new flight tracking system allows Truckee Tahoe Airport, which doesn’t get radar coverage, to understand how pilots are flying, Gotschall said.

It won’t be used to target specific pilots, he said, rather it would be used to collect aggregate data and#8212; trends in flight patterns on a large scale.

Construction on Truckee Tahoe Airport’s runway could make for noisier takeoffs until Sept. 3, Dave Gotschall said.

People may notice aircraft are lower than normal because the takeoff is shorter, Gotschall said.

and#8220;Some people argued for shortening the runways to limit big jets, but I think people will see little airplanes are lower than they normally would be,and#8221; Gotschall said.

Runways and flights should be back to normal after construction finishes in September.

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