TRUCKEE, CA, Oct. 2, 2014 — There has been an alarming increase in business jet traffic, noise and pollution over Truckee and neighboring communities during the past year without any alerts issued to the public by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District which gets approximately $4.3 million in property tax revenue per year from district residents.
Instead, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors is considering construction of a multipurpose hangar used for large business jets which are especially damaging to the environment. The District is now seeking a “Concept and Budget Report” … “to assist in its deliberations and decision making process.”
The study is projected to cost $142,588. The total expenditure for the project may be several million if it is approved. The vast majority of Truckee residents are completely unaware of this initiative and its impact on the environment and their quality of life.
Large growth of business jet traffic over Truckee and the region is already causing considerable damage to the environment. It changes the nature of the resort mountain community and makes life unpleasant for everyone: permanent residents, second home owners and tourists. One recent Sunday afternoon in September, six large noisy business jets were observed flying low over one otherwise quiet and peaceful Truckee neighborhood within one hour — one jet every ten minutes. Night flights have also increased despite a voluntary curfew and are likely to grow even further as some business jet flyers prefer late evening arrivals and early morning departures.
While the Truckee Tahoe Airport District seems intent on making business jet use of the airport more attractive, commercial air travel or flying to nearby commercial airports can be much less environmentally destructive. Promoting responsible air travel and ecotourism can bring much larger numbers of tourists and economic benefits to the area than the use of ecologically damaging business jets by a few individuals in a pristine and fragile environment.
What the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors calls “Hangar 3 Airport & Community Multipurpose Hangar” is essentially an enormous hangar for large business jets — possibly the most ecologically damaging mode of transportation and a major growing environmental problem for this community. The hangar, if built, would be the largest building structure in Truckee, also changing the character and appearance of this mountain resort area. Its construction is expected to contribute to further increase in large business jet traffic over Truckee neighborhoods, Donner Lake, Lake Tahoe, and mountain trails. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is not proposing a study on any possible negative impact of increased jet traffic and jet noise on values of average homes in neighborhoods most affected by such operations.
The term “Community Multipurpose Hangar” refers to what is essentially a large banquet hall added on to this proposed project by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors and staff to make it appear as a pro-community initiative, but without disclosing so far the possible impact on jet traffic, noise, pollution and home values. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District web site news item about this project and the study proposal have no references to jet traffic or jet noise. Terms such as, “business jet,” “corporate jet,” or “air taxi,” are not even mentioned in the document.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport District document promises “community outreach,” but does not include any information on the expected increase of business jet flights to and from the airport which already handles about 20,000 takeoffs and landings per year for all types of aircraft. These operations are heavily concentrated during a few summer months when Truckee residents want to enjoy relaxing outdoors, hiking in quiet environment and engaging in other outdoor activities.
Truckee residents and residents of other parts of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District can contact the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors to express their views. They can also report plane/jet noise to the airport, either online, or by calling (530) 587-4119 or 1-800-FLY-2TRK.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport District says in its mission statement that it “strives for low impact on our neighbors while enhancing the benefit to the community-at-large.”
Members of the public can attend the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board meetings. The next one is scheduled for Wed. Oct 29, 2014 @ 17:30 (5:30PM).