Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Air Traffic Controller Speaks

When I commented to this air traffic controller that the Virginia Department of Aviation (VDOA) was vague and evasive regarding issues with the widening of the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) of runway 6 his response was – “He was vague because it is a tenuous issue.” The same thing goes for the Roanoke Regional Airport personnel.
The Air Traffic Controller continues, “These RPZ’s are established for navigational perimeters, providing safe zones and buffers for aircraft operations, maneuverability, etc. As you are aware, many years ago, the FAA installed the instrument approach – for runway six. Prior the only instrument approach was on runway 33, over Hershberger. Whereas the approach for Rwy 33 is a straight in and fully lighted approach – the aircraft/pilot aligns himself with the runway to land; the approach for Rwy 6 is offset – the aircraft/pilot flies at an angle to the runway center line, the lighting system is not full and at a point on the approach, he makes a correction/turn, to align with the runway center line. Also Rwy 33 has an instrument approach only; whereas Rwy 6 also has a reciprocal approach (the opposite end of the; Rwy 24) that makes it more versatile and its longer. The Oakleaf subdivision and the other new one, on the opposite side of Cove (i.e. Quail Drive) are within the noise-abatement zones. When the planes fly the instrument approach, they come over at an angle and you can actually see them make there midair course corrections [at Oakleaf]. When the weather is clear and they are flying visually, they approach further over.”
“It would be prudent, other than the VDOA, to get the position of the FAA, as well as the VDOA – in writing because being pre-existing residential dwellings and within the zone [RPZ], is entirely different than being outside of it and built afterwards (it’s questionable if planning and zoning could give the applicable permits). The owners have a tough decision. There is something known as “Adverse Condemnation”, whereby a landowner can file, request a jury (provides a larger pool of potential jurors, other than just landowners); and, if you prevail, you can now be awarded all applicable legal cost (i.e. cost of expert witnesses and testimony, reasonable attorney, appraisal fees, etc). In the Tidewater area, they have given the localities hell, returning sizable awards. The key is “damages” – if you can show the before/after value of your property effected. Given prevailing trends, a landowner’s chances have changed. These RPZ’s, among other things, are predicated on runway approaches, so I have attached the approach charts [I have them if anyone wants them as they are very complicated]. Check the FAA web site for the most current, because they are frequently updated.”
“Also; get the aircraft traffic counts, for the approaches uses and by types of aircraft. Given wind conditions and the weather conditions, Rwy 6 has a “missed approach” that provides [that a] pilot [can] fly straight out and turn towards Moneta and hold. This enables no delay in following planes to continue there approach and if the pilot deems it safe for him, he lands. Rwy 33 requires a decision point that requires a sharper turn and that following planes be held further back, until the missed plane is clearer of the approach, a less desirable situation for both (pilot/controller).”
Video shot at Countryside’s 12th Fairway includes
C-17 Globmaster III US Airforce:

C-17 Globmaster III take off from Roanoke Regional:

Watch this sucker actually back up:

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,


No Comments

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

Leave a Reply