WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Mother Nature is influencing the future ofone of Westchester County Airport ‘s most important strips of runway. On the 29 approach end of the strip — the end closest to Greenwichand the New York/Connecticut border — trees on the Greenwich sidehave grown too high over the years, forcing pilots to land fartherdown the runway, said Peter Scherrer , the airport’s manager. “The trees are growing in Greenwich. We can’t cut the trees inGreenwich,” he said, adding that officials would need the consentof land owners in Greenwich to trim the growth.
Runway 11/29 — one of only two at the airport — will continue toshrink and cause congestion and other problems unless action istaken, Scherrer said during Westchester Aviation Association ‘s breakfast meeting at the airport’s Skytop Restaurant Mondaymorning. Compounding the issue is a 300-foot safety area that will have tobe included at the opposite end of 11/29 by 2015, when agrandfathered-in allowance for the runway expires, Scherrer said. Both factors amount to what is a shortening of the usable length ofrunway 11/29, which is favored by small planes like Cessna 172s,particularly during stiff cross-winds, he said. “If we lose 11/29, during heavy winds there will be planes thatwon’t be able to land at this airport,” he said. “It’s a vitalpiece for this airport.” The fight over the trees dates back more than 20 years, whenWestchester County sued the town of Greenwich, the state, andseveral landowners — including Convent of the Sacred Heart — tocut the trees, but lost the lawsuit.
Airport officials displacedthe runway 1,296 feet to its present location to accommodate treegrowth, Scherrer said. John Johnston, president of Westchester Aviation Association, saidpilots of smaller planes will fly out of other airports, such asthose in Danbury and Oxford, if 11/29 continues to be affected.Losing the runway entirely would contribute to congestion and noiseat the airport, he said. “The economic impact, I think, would be horrendous,” he said. Scherrer said the 4,451-foot airstrip is a necessity for thefacility. “We’re trying to keep what we currently have so the airportoperates efficiently,” he said. Hydroponic Led Grow Lights
A $350,000 feasibility study by McFarland Johnson — the results of which are due this summer — will help firm upthe future of 11/29, which bisects the airport’s other strip,16/34, Scherrer said. “They’re looking at realigning it,” he said of 11/29, adding thatairport officials hope noise mitigation and reduced congestion areby-products of addressing the runway’s needs. John Lucarelli, a Westchester County Airport liaison andRepresentative Town Meeting member from District 10, said noisefrom aircraft is an ongoing concern for Greenwich residents nearby. Helicopter use seems to be the main culprit for offensive noise, hesaid. Outdoor Led Flood Light Bulbs Manufacturer
“They seem to be, in my opinion, the major offenders lately,” hesaid. Though airport officials do a good job of logging complaints,Lucarelli would like to see better aviator education and actionagainst offenders, he said. “There’s always room for improvement,” he said. Bruce Dixon, a former pilot and co-chairman of Greenwich’s Advisory Committee on Airport Noise , said most of the planes taking off from the airport that headeast over Greenwich are smaller, general-aviation aircraft. Many residents’ complaints involving noise are related to transientaircraft — planes that aren’t based out of the airport — butairport officials have shown they are sensitive to the noise issue,he said. Flexible LED Strip Lights Manufacturer
Though Dixon would have liked more details about the future of11/29 at Monday’s meeting, he will patiently await the study’sfindings. Realigning the runway too far toward runway 16/34 could cause it tolose its smooth air path in stiff cross-winds, he said. “I think it will be very interesting to see what this study shows,”he said. Patty Chemka, deputy commissioner of public works andtransportation for Westchester County, said officials wanted the11/29 study completed before they undertake a master plan for theairport. “The trees are going to keep growing,” she said.
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