Truckee airport board approves overnight airplane space | SierraSun.com

Truckee airport board approves overnight airplane space

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoPlanes line up at the Truckee Tahoe Airport before the Seaplane Fly-in on Memorial Day.

Airport noise and open-space acquisitions continue to be top priorities for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

Issues from recommended flight patterns to de-icing capabilities are all being re-examined with their effect on airport noise in mind, while existing noise-impact reduction programs continue to be used and changed.

The district is also considering various open space purchases and defining policy for future open space acquisitions.

A new topic the airport district board of directors discussed at last week’s meeting was the de-icing of aircraft during the winter, a service the airport hasn’t offered in recent years.

“In the winter an aircraft can either run the risk of being grounded by ice or drop off passengers in Truckee and relocate to Reno,” said Dave Gotschall, airport general manager. “One side is if they relocate we incur more operations, two landings and two takeoffs instead of one.”

The other side, Gotschall said, is who the airport would be catering to.

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“We decided we want to be a small rural airport, not catering specifically to the jets,” he said.

Instead, the airport directors decided to add a “hotel hangar” that can be rented on a daily basis for $30 to prevent icing, bringing the number of hangars used for that purpose to two, said Michael Scott, assistant general manager.

“This will serve those not based out of Truckee, and those waiting to get hangars of their own,” Scott said.

The Airport Community Advisory Team has been conducting noise monitoring, Gotschall said, to determine if a change in pattern altitude for multiple takeoffs and landings during flight training could reduce noise.

“If they go down lower they could get to that level quicker and be in tighter over the airport, away from neighborhoods,” he said.

A deal to modify one of the training aircraft based at the airport in exchange for rental credits is also in the cards to quiet repetitive flights, he said.

The airport has two potential open space purchases in the works ” Waddle Ranch and the Ponderosa Golf Course.

“I think at this point the Waddle ranch deal is 90 percent sure, whereas the golf course is 50-50,” Gotschall said.

The current golf course owners, the Himsl family, has proposed rezoning the land for up to 150 residential units, something that was met with strong public opposition during last year’s general plan update process.

The airport district could buy the golf course to keep development from springing up close to the airport, and then turn over the operations to the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, Gotschall said.

Also contributing to the preservation of Waddle Ranch in the Martis Valley, the airport plans on paying $2 million of the $23.5-million conservation deal to purchase the 1,462-acre site.

“We are looking for acquisitions like Waddle Ranch,” Gotschall said. “Our guideline is we are looking for parcels of land meaningful to the airport zoned in size at least five dwelling units or 10 acres.”

Scott clarified by explaining the airport is not looking to purchase homes, instead using dwelling unit zoning as a size measurement of land.