Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Supervisors Expected to Vote on Airport Tonight

After months of extensive and transparent examination, discussion, and deliberation, the Airport Committee, chaired by Ancram supervisor Art Bassin, is expected to bring its recommendation for meeting FAA runway safety zone requirements before the full Board of Supervisors tonight for a vote. Earlier this week, Bassin distributed a chronology of the events in the evolution of the Columbia County Airport, from its creation in 1966 until today, when the Airport Committee poised to recommend pursuing the solution known as the "Porreca Plan."

New Lebanon supervisor Mike Benson remains opposed to the Porreca Plan and is expected to present his latest argument against it at the Airport Committee meeting this afternoon. Meanwhile, this morning, Bassin distributed a list of the "top ten reasons" to support the Porreca Plan. (NOTE: RSA = runway safety area)

1) Meets FAA RSA guidelines, using approved FAA technique of declared distances
2) Can be done on County land, eliminating unpredictable negotiating risks and delays 
3) Adds 450 feet to the runway, giving us 5800 feet
4) Is more jet friendly and preferred by pilots at 5800 feet than at 5350 feet
5) Neighbors prefer
6) Town of Ghent prefers
7) Leaves golf course and Meadowgreens undisturbed in private hands, with no tax losses to County, Schools and Town
8) Has broad BOS and public support based on open public process
9) Well researched and fact based solution to the RSA problem, driven by public policy considerations, not by land acquisition motivation
10) Costs less 

The Airport Committee meets at 5 p.m. in the Committee Room at 401 State Street. The Board of Supervisors meets at 7:30 p.m. in the main meeting room at 401 State Street.

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