Information on EAA Chapter 1310, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and General Aviation

February 2009Monthly Archives

Comments on TSA Large Aircraft Proposal

It looks like 4,150 comments have been received on the TSA proposal to require passenger and crew screening for all flights in aircraft 12,500 lbs and greater. Was yours one of them?

Of course, we all know how well they listened to the 20,000 comments they received on the Washington airspace issue. The ball is in their court now. I’ll bet they have a hissy fit and take the ball home with them.

AOPA Air Safety Head Speaks on NPR

On February 4th AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director, Bruce Landsberg spoke about the Buddy Holly Crash. You can listen to it here.

Hearing on the Purchase of Robertson Airport

A public hearing was held on Monday February 9th regarding the possible sale of Robertson Airport in Plainville to the town. Statements were made by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the FAA, the current owner and the current airport manager. A presentation was then made by Clough Harbour & Associates LLP based on their analysis of municipal purchase of the airport. The full report was over an inch thick, and I didn’t look at it. The presentation covered the existing and proposed physical, environmental financial and management aspects of the airport.

The discussion covered how airports are closing in Connecticut, and won’t come back. The airport property is 75 acres with a 3600′ runway and parallel taxiway. It has 3 storage hangars plus a maintenance hangar, a terminal building, fuel facility for regular and jet fuel  as well as 100 tiedown positions.

The FAA will contribute 95% of the funds for purchase. The State adds 3.75%. So the town will have to pay 1.25% of the cost, or about $107,000. The financial projections showed a small profit made by the airport. Operations are expected to be leased out, likely to the existing FBO, Interstate Aviation. Profit from operation is expected to be minimal, so to increase the profit, additional T and box hangars were recommended. Federal and State money would contribute to these improvements.

About 60 members of the public spoke. The vast majority were in favor of the purchase stating the benefits of the airport, the memories, and the future potential. However many of these people were not from Plainville, but they use the airport. At the end, two residents expressed their concern about the possibility that the airport could become a financial burden if there are losses. Questions were asked whether another corporation could be persuaded to purchase the airport. That wouldn’t be favorable to them since it would require a large investment with limited return. The Federal and State contribution wouldn’t be available. The airport owner, Michael Tomasso stated that the only interest he had in the purchase was from people who wanted to close the airport and develop the land.

The next step in the process is a referendum for Plainville which has yet to be scheduled.