Misrepresentations are ‘super-sized’

In regard to the Wednesday letter, “Do we want private field ‘super’ sized?”: I am a local general aviation pilot, who occasionally generates airplane noise around Harvey Field. I have yet to grasp the reasons for modifying the current runway alignment, but the latest set of misrepresentations that passes for facts in has inspired me to write.

It is true the population of the area has swelled; however, the FAA no longer considers it “other than congested” and it is a “congested area.” According to Federal Aviation Regulation 91.119, this increases the minimum altitude from the misstated 500 feet to 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle, unless landing or taking off.

The airspace over Harvey Field is not considered “free.” From the ground to 700 feet is “uncontrolled” but at 700 feet (300 feet below the minimum altitude) it becomes controlled “Class-E” airspace with very specific visibility, ceiling and separation requirements as defined in FAR 91.127. At 6,000 feet, the airspace becomes even more stringently controlled “Class-B” as defined in FAR 91.131, requiring radio communication and approval from Sea-Tac controllers.

Kirkland has the same controlled airspace as Snohomish, starting at 700 feet and becoming more restrictive at 3,000 to 5,000 feet. Much of Seattle north of downtown is similarly classified.

It is true that part of Seattle does have some controlled airspace starting at the ground. So do Marysville, Everett, Renton, Bellingham, Mukilteo, Olympia, Lynnwood, Spokane, Oak Harbor, Port Angeles and Moses Lake! The reason? They all have large airports to which the writer objects!

The airport will not be super-sized. There is no intention of attracting larger or noisier aircraft. The proposed runway changes reduce the useful length of the runway, and increase its distance from hazards.

If the community is expected to make good decisions about a difficult issue, we need to stick with facts.

Roger Weber


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