Below is an update from the Watsonville Pilots Association of interest to all local pilots:
On Wednesday evening (1800 hours), November 9, 2011, a public meeting crucial to the future safety and utility of Watsonville Airport will be held at the Armory Building (30 Aviation Way) at WVI. This will be the first of three public meetings called by the City to address future development in the area to the North and West of WVI. It is essential that we turn out a large number of airport supporters at these meetings. We expect airport opponents to appear in force, and we must show the public, by our presence, that a safe, vibrant airport is vital to the future of Santa Cruz and North Monterey Counties.
You are probably aware that the extreme cost of the recent lawsuits to the City of Watsonville has impelled them to seek reasonable compromise regarding development around Watsonville Airport. In the course of a series of meetings with WPA, an understanding has been achieved that limits development to the guidelines permitted by the Manual of the Caltrans Division of Aeronautics as required by Court decisions. In particular, an understanding has been reached regarding zones and densities that will protect the airport from further encroachment affecting aircraft operations, possible runway closures and restrictions, and long-term airport viability. The meeting will present proposed land use planning that deals primarily with the approach ends of all runways, especially Runway 26 in Freedom and Runway 8 in the Buena Vista area. Expect to see an aerial photograph map with an overlay of new safety zones, adjusted in the Buena Vista area to reflect departures from runway 26, with turns to both the left, and to the right as utilized when stratus conditions cover the south side of the airport.
In the past, we have asked you for money and your response has been beyond gratifying – without it, we could never have won the judicial victories that led to these meetings. Now we must ask for your presence at these meetings, as well. We are in the fourth quarter of a grueling game of political football. Please turn out and help us wrap up this difficult situation for the foreseeable future. Many thanks for your continuing support.
Keep Watsonville Airport Safe!
Dan Chauvet – Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Watsonville Pilots Association
John Cowan – Vice President Watsonville Pilots Association
More information on the Watsonville Pilots Association can be found at watsonvillepilots.org