New Jersey Seeks Runway Extension Ban?
A couple of New Jersey assemblymen believe they can reduce noise at airports by limiting runway length. AOPA claims that legislation proposed by Democrats Herb Conaway and Jack Conners will stifle airport development and compromise safety without necessarily cutting noise. If passed, their bill would prohibit an airport from widening or lengthening a runway that is within 3,500 feet of a school, 1,000 feet of a house or if there are more than 7,000 homes within two miles of the runway. In a letter to the legislators, AOPA Vice President Andy Cebula says banning runway improvements won't necessarily cut noise. Cebula explained to the assemblymen that the longer a runway is, the more opportunity pilots have to gain significant altitude before crossing the airport boundary. He also said that lengthening a runway doesn't necessarily bring larger airplanes or more traffic to an airport. Cebula told the politicians that there are much more effective ways to reduce noise complaints around airports, chief among them not allowing incompatible (read: residential and school) development near airports. "No legislation should be enacted that would prohibit an airport from making necessary safety improvements or enhancements," he said.