ATC Expert Backs Opponents To Texas Airport
The Jetport West Airport project
proposed for the city of Fulshear (TX) "presents an irreconcilable
conflict with several local airports, making it fundamentally
unsafe and a hazard to navigable airspace."
So says an aviation consultant hired by the town, in an
affidavit filed with the FAA Tuesday. Donald Hensley, a former
controller and commercial pilot, believes building an airport when
there are already six inside a five-mile radius will cause
insurmountable problems throughout the area.
But Rick Asper, who speaks for Florida-based Aviation
Professionals Group, says the airport his company wants to build
won't cause any problems at all.
"It should be noted that there are literally hundreds of
airports that are far closer to equivalent airstrips than these
are, and that these airports and airstrips have coexisted for
decades without incident," Asper said in an interview with the Katy
Hensley, however, says there are already enough potential
problems in that small area. Quoting FAA rules, he writes in the
affidavit, "The traffic pattern airspace associated with an airport
proposal may not overlap the traffic pattern of an adjacent
But Asper says the FAA has already made an exception in that
area. "Two of the airstrips to which they refer overlap each other,
and in some people's definition of air traffic, have coexisted for
30 years without incident," Asper said.
The proximity of the proposed jetport to five other strips isn't
Hensley's only concern. He says there are at least two obstructions
just south of the 525-acre site pose a "hazard to air
Again, however, Asper says his company is addressing those
obstructions -- and other concerns about the 7,000-foot jetport
runway. "We are proposing a control tower. We will at our expense,
fully man and operate a control tower. This is actually an increase
in airspace safety."