Authority Makes Runway Offer

Aviation officials will discuss plans Tuesday for Peter O. Knight Airport.

By MARK HOLAN

The Tampa Tribune

DAVIS ISLANDS - The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority is offering to take several steps to ease residents' concerns about runway and hangar expansion at Peter O. Knight Airport.

Authority officials will outline their plans Tuesday to the Davis Islands Civic Association board.

The authority says it must extend the larger and busier of two runways at the airport by 175 feet to meet federal aviation-safety requirements. The extension will push the end of the 03-21 runway closer to some houses on Severin and Martinique avenues.

Paul Phillips, general aviation director, said the authority will prohibit training activity, such as "touch-and-go" landing and takeoff practice, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. to reduce nighttime noise. Planes will be allowed to land and take off during those hours.

He said officials are exploring where pilots will conduct preflight testing - such as revving the engine for up to 45 seconds - which creates noise that some find objectionable.

The airport also plans to add hangars along the Seddon Channel side of the property. A post on the Davis Islands Today blog suggesting the buildings "look as if they belong in some God-forsaken industrial park" is typical of expansion opponents.

Phillips said the authority would work with residents to include landscaping around the buildings "to soften the edges."

The authority's board postponed its vote on the airport improvements from Thursday to Dec. 13 so officials could meet with the civic association board.

"They've tried to be as accommodating as possible and still run an airport," association President Charner Reese said.

The airport opened in 1935, before most houses were built on Davis Islands. Airport supporters say they would rather deal with a few inconveniences than have the 110-acre property developed for other purposes.

(CHART) IF YOU GO

WHAT: Davis Islands Civic Association meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Sandra W. Freedman Tennis Complex, 59 Columbia Drive

TOPIC: Peter O. Knight Airport expansion plans

CONTACT: dica-contact @mindspring.com

Reporter Mark Holan can be reached at (813) 835-2102 or mholan@tampatrib.com

Photo credit: Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

Photo: The aviation authority says the larger runway at Peter O. Knight Airport must be extended to meet federal requirements.

Copyright © 2007, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com


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