Pilots pan planned airport subdivision

Allowing Statesboro to begin building homes would start ‘long decline in airport’s viability’

KINGMAN - The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is weighing in on the proposed Statesboro development near the Kingman Airport.

The association's vice president of regional affairs, Bill Dunn, recently sent a letter to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. In it, the association urges the Board to deny a request for a minor amendment to the county General Plan that would allow the construction of the subdivision. Last month, the County Planning and Zoning Commission denied a request from a developer to build the subdivision near the Kingman Airport.

The two main concerns raised by Airport Authority personnel and residents were noise and proximity to the end of one of the runways. The airport has future plans to expand the runway another 3,000 feet, which would put it about 2,500 feet from the subdivision.

The subdivision would also be under the direct approach line for incoming aircraft to the airport.

"The airport is a tremendous economic engine for the local economy and must be uninhibited in fulfilling that role. Allowing residential development near an airport simply is not wise land-use planning," the letter states.

The association also states in the letter, "based on our 68 years of general aviation airport advocacy, the association has seen, first-hand, that residential encroachment around airports is the first step in the long decline of an airport's viability and economic development opportunities.

"AOPA believes very strongly that prevention of incompatible land use now is easier than mitigation later," Dunn said in his letter.

The letter was sent to all three supervisors, County Manager Ron Walker, County Planning and Zoning Department Director Chris Ballard and David French, the executive director of the Kingman Airport Authority.