From: Nancy Warren
To the editor:
I read on the front page of the June 24 issue of The Republic that the Columbus airport manager and the Board of Aviation plan to “transform” Columbus Municipal Airport into a “recreational and business mecca.”
While I have no objection to either recreation or business, I strongly object to the establishment of any enterprise on airport property that is incompatible with airport needs and airport operations.
Careful and responsible planning, especially with regard to the zoning in and around airports, is the best way to protect an airport.
That was done only six or seven years ago when the Board of Aviation decided to engage Aerofinity, a highly respected and experienced airport consulting firm, in the airport planning process.
With the guidance and recommendations of Aerofinity staff and their consultants, a PUD (Planned Unit Development) was put in place. The PUD was designed not only with then-current needs in mind, but with the needs of the airport far into the future.
Zoning laws were put into place to protect the PUD and surrounding areas. Some of the potential issues and concerns addressed by the new zoning laws or changes to existing laws included:
- Residential and other noise sensitive land uses: homes, churches, schools.
- Places where large groups of people congregate in the approach and departure areas of an airport: stadiums.
- Man-made or natural obstacles that can interfere with flight and flight safety: brightly lit sports facilities.
I cannot overstate the importance of Columbus Municipal Airport to this community. It was and is intended to serve the needs of general aviation, which then serves the needs of the greater community.
Sports facilities, housing and retail development can be established and function in other areas of a city, but an airport is the only place in the entire city where an aircraft can safely and legally take off and land.
Think about it.