Mail: Chris from Texas

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jackhodgson
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Mail: Chris from Texas

Postby jackhodgson » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:11 pm

From: Chris from Texas
Subject: Great NY airport diner
Date: December 12, 2007 9:07:36 AM EST
To: podcast@uncontrolledairspace.com

James needs to know about The Perfect Landing cafe on Sky Acres airport in Millbrook, NY (44N). This little airport just east of Poughkeepsie is worth seeing all by itself. It's a converted dairy farm and the FBO, pilot shop and cafe are in the restored dairy barn.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/44N

Keep up the good work on the podcast.

Chris
San Antonio, TX
Mooney 201 based at Stinson Field (also with a great cafe)

ebrendan
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Re: Mail: Chris from Texas

Postby ebrendan » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:46 pm

I was at Skyacres this afternoon and while speaking with the owner I learned it was for sale. My mind immediately went to McMansions & Strip-malls; but she assured me that the new owner would be required to operate it as an airport because of federal funding they had received.

According the the Skyacres website:
"In 1995 the runway was improved to FAA standards, through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Federal funds were used to enlarge and resurface the runway..."

Can anybody-- And I'm looking at you Jeb & Dave-- confirm that if an airport receives AIP $$$ it must remain open as a public airport; even through a change in ownership? I'm no attorney, but as far as I understand it, if you buy an airport you can do whatever you please as long as you don't violate any zoning regulations.
Brendan Reynolds
Pilot, KFRG Farmingdale NY

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champguy
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Re: Mail: Chris from Texas

Postby champguy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:22 am

The agreement to keep an airport an airport lasts, I think, 20 years. That said where there is a will and demorilized or disorganized opposition anything can be done. Studies will express the goals of whoever pays for them. Zoning and comprehensive plans can be rewritten by simple majority of the local governing council. When there is a lot of money on the table, there are always people who sincerely believe it is in everybodies best interest if they grab it.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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Dave Higdon
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Re: Mail: Chris from Texas

Postby Dave Higdon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:17 pm

ebrendan wrote:I was at Skyacres this afternoon and while speaking with the owner I learned it was for sale. My mind immediately went to McMansions & Strip-malls; but she assured me that the new owner would be required to operate it as an airport because of federal funding they had received.

According the the Skyacres website:
"In 1995 the runway was improved to FAA standards, through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Federal funds were used to enlarge and resurface the runway..."

Can anybody-- And I'm looking at you Jeb & Dave-- confirm that if an airport receives AIP $$$ it must remain open as a public airport; even through a change in ownership? I'm no attorney, but as far as I understand it, if you buy an airport you can do whatever you please as long as you don't violate any zoning regulations.


Champguy is correct, Brendan...that "Grants Assurance Agreement" that went into effect in 1995 technically runs out in 2015, to there's about 7 years to go...Champguy is also correct that airports have been allowed to close before the agreement expired -- but damned few and not without a lot of fight...believe the FAA turned back an attempt to repay the funds because a community wanted to close an airport and that effort was turned back...the airport did close, but not until the expiration of the agreement...

You and others can do some good things for the airport out ahead of 2015, such as forming an airport association (if one doesn't already exist), get on any boards that might have sway over that real estate, make sure you've got an AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer who is active and engaged, and try like hell to build up the community using the airport. Maybe even try to put together a group to buy and manage the field...

Last thing you want to do, though, is assume it's safe forever; second last thing you want to do is wait until the sky is falling to start working to assure its survival...

My two cents worth...

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champguy
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Re: Mail: Chris from Texas

Postby champguy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:28 pm

We went through an ugly fight here in Florence a couple of years ago when a developer got a light industrial parcel next to the airport and wanted it changed to residential. I raised 10 AMUs around the airport, hired an attorney, and promised a bunch of people the city Comprehensive Plan, and the Airport Master Plan would protect us. They didn't. It got personal, he retaliated and it cost me 10AMUs to put that away. The appeal to the state land use board cost him 60 grand, I was told so he did have reason to not like me any more. The houses are built. The first row of them are the same distance from the runway centerline that the front row of hangers are. The Council is still supportive of the airport as long as it doesn't interfear with something the Homebuilder's Association wants, so we are at a standoff and things have quieted down.
Lessons learned.
Don't hire a lawyer and expect the system to protect you. It's POLITICAL.
Form an airport support group, and keep it buisy with volunteer projects from building things to bar-b-ques, to airport appreciation days with free rides for everyone including the kids.
Involve the local Motels, restaurants, and golf clubs or whatever who get visitors from the airport. Get them to organize transportation somehow.
Get the Medivac service into the local paper with sincere thanks for saving good old mrs. so and so after years of service to the kids of the third grade.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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