Sunday, March 10, 2013

Size matters

When T. R. Reid confirmed in the October 31, 2010 Austin American Statesman article Airport faces headwinds that larger aircraft such as 737s would not be barred from the airport, those of us opposing the CTA project felt vindicated as we had been predicting for some time that would be the case.

On the other side of the equation, county employees and elected officials generally expressed surprise and denial. We had been told again and again they believed the airport would only be used for smaller aircraft. But a recent discovery indicates that T. R. Reid’s ‘revelation’ should not have come as a surprise to those who masterminded the 381 Agreement with the CTA.

The Perryman Group’s May 2009 PR snow job titled The Sky’s the Limit leaves no doubt that large jets would be using the proposed CTA. In fact, accommodating those aircraft was presented as a major selling point. On page 15, a bullet point under the section Lack of similar facilities states:

The 7,500 foot runway would allow for the landing of any type of jet if needed, a service not offered at other general aviation airports nearby. The longer runway planned for CTA can also accommodate the requirements of larger corporate aircrafts.

It is interesting to note that sections of the scanned document that we received from an ORR to the County appear to have been highlighted. The bullet point quoted above was one of the highlighted passages.

So there is no doubt that the County was on notice about the aircraft that would be using the airport even before the first draft of the 381 Agreement was submitted on September 1, 2009. Hopefully, that will put the we-didn’t-know myth to rest once and for all. You’ve been busted so let’s move on.

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