For city, airport safety falls somewhere behind prairie dogs

I received the following letter and think it’s important enough to spread around. As many of you know, I have defended the airport in the past against city officials who didn’t have its best interests at heart and screwball neighbors who’d rather it close, destroy its businesses or worse.

An ongoing problem at the airport are prairie dogs. Forget about the politics of it that we hear endlessly at City Council meetings, and look at the safety aspect of it. As you’ll see in this letter, and other places in the past, the proximity of prairie dogs, or any wildlife for that matter, to runways and airplanes is a dangerous mix. Continue reading…

Behind The Blue Skies

You may have heard of a donation recently to help keep the Roosevelt Park Ice Rink open this year. The good people at Mile-Hi Skydiving presented the $10,000 check to the city from the Jeff Sands Memorial Blue Skies Fund. You may have also heard of the Blue Skies Neighborhood Park on the southwest side of town, it also was in part a tribute to Jeff Sands. With the anniversary of his untimely passing coming up, I thought some of you would like to know a little more about my friend, Jeff.

Continue reading…

A Tax By Any Other Name

Part of the problem of trying to stay as topical as possible (as in matters of current interests, not a cream), is that as time goes by, it may become less relevant. Keeping that in mind, here is an issue in the upcoming (4/10/07) Longmont City Council meeting: Revised Airport Rules and Regulations by Code.

I was watching a recently Tivo’d council meeting when the idea of charging Mile Hi Skydiving (MHS) a $1 per jumper fee came up. The councilmember for my ward, Doug Brown, is a nice guy that I’ve had numerous occasions of having friendly conversations with. His eyes lit up with the possibility of this fee, he was doing some fuzzy math figuring out the thousands of dollars that could come the city’s way. Continue reading…

Vance Brand Airport doesn’t need an air traffic control tower

Speech made to the Longmont City Council January 20, 2004 by Chris Rodriguez

Mayor Pirnack & members of Council
At a recent Airport Advisory Board meeting and in today’s Times-Call there’s talk of an airport control tower study at Vance Brand Airport. I am an air traffic controller with the FAA, but I am speaking on behalf of myself only. Continue reading…

City is wasting money and resources on anti-airport screwball

Speech made to City Council October 14, 2003 by Chris Rodriguez

Mayor Pirnack & Members of Council,

Now that October is here and fall is upon us, I hear that the weekend monitoring of airplanes out near the Zweck Farm will end. Not that airplanes actually flying over that area will end, as mandated by the procedure you the council approved, but just the monitoring of them for the satisfaction of Mr. Zweck. Hopefully before next summer we can nip this problem in the bud and stop that nonsense from being repeated. The questions are:
Who does the Airport Manager work for?
Who does his boss, and his bosses boss, the Community Development Director, work for?
Who do you, the council work for? Continue reading…

Petition against Noise Abatement Procedure

Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board October 10, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

Tonight I’d like to present to the Board the signatures of 214 people who signed a petition that was at Airwest, Twin Peaks, and Mile Hi Skydiving. The petition reads, “I, the undersigned, am against the current Vance Brand Noise Abatement Procedures, specifically flying a wide pattern with a large noise footprint, and an unsafe distance (the railroad tracks) from the airport. I ask that the Airport Advisory Board remove this current procedure from the Airport Master Plan and come back with a procedure similar to the 1992 NA plan. I am in favor of SAFE Noise Abatement Procedures that are considerate to our neighbors, with a tight close-in pattern to reduce the noise footprint to the greater community.” Continue reading…

Table Mountain Association doesn’t speak for pilots, airport, or safety

Speech made to City Council September 24, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

In an letter to the editor today in the Daily Times-Call about the proposed runway extension, it said the “reasons are merely to ensure the safety of the aircraft that currently use the facility.” Merely? Does this association (Table Mountain Association) and the supposed 1,000 people it speaks for, of which how many I wonder know they’re being represented this way, pretend to put my safety, my wife and children’s safety, and my aircraft’s safety lower than someone else’s? Or any of the users of the airport? Continue reading…

Noise Abatement Plan is unsafe

Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board September 12, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

Tonight I bring to the board a petition signed by 135 pilots, users, and neighbors of the airport. It reads “I, the undersigned am against the current Vance Brand Airport Noise Abatement Procedures, specifically flying a wide pattern with a large noise footprint, at an unsafe distance (the railroad tracks) from the airport. I ask that the Airport Advisory Board remove this current procedure from the Airport Master Plan and come back with a procedure similar to the 1992 Noise Abatement plan. I am in favor of SAFE Noise Abatement Procedures that are considerate to our neighbors, with a tight close-in pattern to reduce the noise footprint to the greater community.” Continue reading…

9/11 and Wrongmont

9/11 and this website, what could they possibly have to do with each other? Plenty. That day was an attack on this country, personal freedoms, and aviation. It put many in the aviation community in a defensive mode. Defending their personal freedom to take to the sky in what has to be one of the best literal examples of freedom. For some flight is just a dream, for some it’s a hobby, for some it’s a livelihood, for many it’s a state of mind and a way of life. Now when people look overhead and see an airplane, any kind of airplane, they look at it differently than they did before that day. Continue reading…

Vance Brand Airport no place for threatening behavior

Speech made to the Longmont City Council August 13, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

First off I’d like to thank the Mayor, the City Council, and the City staff who have returned my calls about the situation out at the airport. I also want to commend them on doing the right thing and stopping the movement of the airport beacon. It is a step, hopefully the first of many, in the right direction. Continue reading…