FAA Was "Duped," Says Citizens Group

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A group opposed to expansion at Witham Field in Stuart, Fla., says that when airport officials submitted plans to the FAA for a runway extension, they didn't note that there was already a residential development nearby. A report by Witham Airport Action Majority (WAAM) said that when Runway 12/30 was extended by 460 feet in 1998, the map sent to the FAA by airport managers didn't show the five streets that would have been in the runway protection zone. "The FAA was duped, as was the county commission and the rest of the public," WAAM President David Shore told The Palm Beach Post. FAA spokeswoman Katherine Bergen told the Post that the WAAM report will be looked at and the FAA will ask county and airport officials to respond. Houses are not banned from such zones, Bergen said, but the FAA must grant an exemption to allow them. Meanwhile, in Texas, a homeless airport may be finding a place to put itself on the map. Since two airports near Austin were shut down in 1999, efforts to find a site for a new airport in the region have met with local resistance. Last week, the Texas Aviation Association said that officials in Leander have proposed a site that has local support. Months of work lie ahead to develop the proposal, the association said.