PUBLIC TO GET QUIET LOOK AT RUNWAY PLANS

The location chosen for a new runway could determine whether planes from Palm Beach International Airport fly closer to Donald Trump's historic Mar-a-Lago landmark and Conniston Middle School or two of the only West Palm Beach neighborhoods east of...


But neighborhood residents are feverishly working to get state officials to classify the area as land that is eligible for the national designation. The state classification will take about three to six months to obtain, and will have to be considered by federal aviation officials as part of their study, Gray said.

"It would eliminate that clear-cut path that they have with the north runway option," Gray said. "Right now there is a gap."

Airport officials say the added runway will help reduce delays at Palm Beach International by allowing planes to take off and land more quickly.

But FAA officials say neither location will leave enough distance between the two runways to allow simultaneous takeoffs and landings.

PBIA controllers are required to keep a distance of 3 miles between departing planes unless there is a 15-degree angle between their flight paths.

At tonight's meeting, residents will not be allowed to publicly comment on the runway plans. Instead, they can submit their concerns in writing or have them transcribed by a court reporter, said Lindy McDowell, the FAA's project director for the study.

Residents opposed to the project have expressed frustration with the set-up. They want to sound off against the project, but not in writing.

"I am very surprised at the way they are going to conduct the meeting," said Jose Rodriguez, president of the Vedado neighborhood. "The public is becoming very uneasy. They don't trust that all their written statements are going to be considered."

- jennifer_sorentrue@pbpost.com

If you go

What: FAA public workshop on PBIA runway extension

When: 5 to 8 tonight.

Where: Airport Hilton, 150 Australian Ave., suburban West Palm Beach.

PBIA's proposed changes

Businesses: Several businesses on the south side of the airport would be moved to the former Golfview neighborhood.

Buyout zone: Purchase these properties. The land falls within the runway 'crash' zone.

Longer runway: Extend this 3,210-foot general aviation runway to 8,000 feet so it could be used by larger commercial aircraft.

Crosswind runway: Shorten this runway from 6,932 feet to 4,000 feet so that it no longer intersects with the commercial runway.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration, the Palm Beach County Department of Airports.

FAA's proposed changes at PBIA

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed building a new 8,000-foot runway to help reduce delays at the airport. The runway would be built 800 feet north of the existing commercial runway. Under the proposal, the airport's crosswind runway would be eliminated. Eleven gates also would be demolished and replaced with new concourses. The plan is one of two being considered by the FAA as part of a three-year environmental study.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration, the Palm Beach County Department of Airports.

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