Sun, Sep 30, 2012
Proximity To Portland International Prompted The Proposed Change
Vancouver's Pearson Airport (KVUO) sits near the banks of the Columbia River which makes up the border between Oregon and Washington State. So does Portland International Airport, just a couple of miles away, on the Oregon side of the river. While planes have been operating from KVUO for more than 100 years, pilots using the airport are concerned that new airspace restrictions proposed by the FAA may leave them without a home.
The two airports have operated in close proximity without an incident for 75 years, according to a report appearing on NWCN.com. The new plan was to have gone into effect October 1, but the agency has re-opened comments on the plan after receiving complaints from local pilots.
Pearson Field Airport Manager Willy Williamson said that the airport generates some $27 million for the local economy when operations at the airport and the museum on the grounds are considered. Williamson said that the flight restrictions could delay pilots inbound for landing at the uncontrolled airfield, forcing them to circle over residential neighborhoods while they wait for clearance from Portland. That "basically puts the airport out of business," Williamson said.
Local officials say the answer to the problem is to build and staff a control tower at KVUO. Williamson said that "mitigates all the airspace concerns," as well as those about FAA compliance with its own regulations.
In a statement, the FAA said it is continuing to "engage stakeholders to understand their concerns. Safety remains the FAA’s top priority."
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