Saturday, December 25, 2010

Airport proponents silent

Private airport proponents fall silent
By Davis McAuley
December 16, 2010

Bastrop, TX - When the Bastrop City Council met Nov. 9 it heard a presentation from developers of the proposed Central Texas Airport, planned for some 1,500 acres west of the city between the Colorado River and the intersection of FM 969 and FM 1704 south of Elgin. City officials have heard nothing from the developers since, however.

Developers, led by Austin-based Carpenter and Associates, asked for Bastrop’s consent to annex the tract to an existing water control district and for support to change state law to give the water district additional powers when Texas lawmakers meet in Austin next year. Proponents said the airport will create thousands of jobs and boost tax revenues of the Bastrop and Elgin school districts.

After hearing from the Carpenter group and a number of opponents who live in the proposed airport area, the council decided it would consider the project only on certain conditions, including a requirement that proponents pay the city’s cost to engage expert consultants to evaluate the proposals.

In an interview today Bastrop City Manager Michael Talbot said the city has heard nothing from the Carpenter airport group since the November meeting. He declined to speculate on what that silence might mean.

Under current state law, the city’s consent is required for the creation of new taxing districts in Bastrop’s extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes the proposed airport site. The Legislature, of course, could decide to revise or revoke the city’s ETJ powers in some future session.

Talbot said the city would “respond appropriately” to any such effort in the upcoming legislative session beginning in January.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The city’s responsibility

Part 2: The city’s responsibility
By Cyndi Wright
Bastrop Advertiser
December 20, 2010

Part 2 of this series examines what the City of Bastrop can do regarding regulating development, such as the proposed Central Texas Airport, inside its extra-territorial jurisdiction.

The City of Bastrop’s ETJ stretches west from the city almost to the Travis County line. That’s a lot of area for hungry developers to contemplate turning into profitable growth.

For Mayor Terry Orr, there are many things to consider when a developer comes knocking – much of it revolving around compatibility.

“Is it compatible with the area around it – as far as other businesses and residential?” he asked. “Is it compatible with federal, state, county and city regulations? And last, but not least, is it compatible with the environment?”

And another important part of the equation is getting as much input as possible from the citizens who might be impacted by the development.

“The city does not do its business in a back room,” he said. “We would have full public hearings about something of any magnitude.”

[Read More…]

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The county’s responsibility

Part 1, Central Texas Airport: The county’s responsibility
By Cyndi Wright
Bastrop Advertiser
December 10, 2010

Part 2 of this series will examine the City of Bastrop’s steps in regards to the Central Texas Airport, which will exist inside the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. Part 3 will present citizens voices, both pro and con, for the CTA project.

Is Bastrop County doing all it can to protect its citizens and maintain the great quality of life many people moved here for, while at the same time promoting economic development?

For some residents, especially those who currently find themselves living near the proposed Central Texas Airport in Cedar Creek, it may seem as though there are not enough steps being taken by the county to ensure not only their safety and well-being, but also the safety and well-being of the environment.

[Read More…]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

FAA loses track of aircraft

If the FAA can’t keep track of planes just how are they going to do it at the proposed Central Texas Airport with only private security? Who knows what’s going to be flying in and out of there! Doesn’t sound like a very good idea to us.

FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraft
By Chris Hawley
Associated Press
December 10, 2010

NEW YORK – The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.

The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government’s knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files.

About 119,000 of the aircraft on the U.S. registry have “questionable registration” because of missing forms, invalid addresses, unreported sales or other paperwork problems, according to the FAA. In many cases, the FAA cannot say who owns a plane or even whether it is still flying or has been junked.

Already there have been cases of drug traffickers using phony U.S. registration numbers, as well as instances of mistaken identity in which police raided the wrong plane because of faulty record-keeping.

[Read More…]

Bird strike news

Bird strikes are very real and very dangerous. Here is a report of one from last month.

Bird strike sends U.S. Airways flight back to Norfolk
By Cindy Clayton, Debbie Messina
The Virginian-Pilot
November 2, 2010

FAA data reflect 302 bird strikes from 2000 through 2008 at Hampton Roads airports, including Norfolk International, Newport News/Williamsburg International, Norfolk Naval Station and Oceana Naval Air Station. The majority, 201, occurred at Norfolk International.

A US Airways flight had to turn around and head back to Norfolk International Airport Monday morning after a bird struck one of its engines.

The pilot reported a vibration in one of the engines as the Boeing 737-400 reached about 1,000 feet elevation and was headed toward the Chesapeake Bay, said Robert Bowen, the airport’s deputy executive director.

[Read More…]

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