Advisory commission delays recommendation

By Curtis Riggs | June 17, 2009

Time for more public comment
SCOTTSDALE – The Airport Advisory Commission has heard enough concerns from citizens to postpone its recommendation to the Scottsdale City Council, providing time for more public input on allowing heavier airplanes to land.

The Wilbur Smith Associates consulting firm recommended the weight limit for landing airplanes be increased from 75,000 to 100,000 pounds earlier this spring. Newer planes, which are capable of intercontinental flight, could refuel at Scottsdale if the weight increase is approved.

At issue for airport officials is the revenue from fuel sales, which are presently being lost because heavier airplanes bypass the Scottsdale Airport and buy fuel elsewhere.

Most of the near 30 residents who attended last week’s commission meeting asked to see no change in the current weight limit.

Ten year Ironwood Village resident Nick Luongo expressed his concern about the heavier planes carrying more fuel, which could cause a catastrophic accident.

“If there were an accident half the neighborhood would be wiped out,” he said.

Matt Metz, who lives south of the airport, said he is concerned about the increase in continuous noise, which could come with more, and heavier, airplanes landing in Scottsdale.
In response, airport director Scott Gray said the increase in airport traffic would be “minimal.”

The commission will meet again on July 8.