Federal Aviation Administration halts Georgetown Municipal Airport's master plan update

The Georgetown Municipal Airport is in the process of updating its master plan.

The Georgetown Municipal Airport is in the process of updating its master plan.

The Federal Aviation Administration has instructed the city of Georgetown to put a hold on updating the master plan for the city’s airport until FAA officials can review aviation growth data and provide comment, Georgetown Airport Manager Russ Volk said Friday.

Georgetown’s Transportation Advisory Board was set Friday to consider whether to accept a draft version of the airport’s master plan update. The item was pulled off the agenda at the beginning of the board's meeting.

Volk said FAA officials contacted the city by email to have the master plan update halted. He did not know how long the FAA would need to complete a review and make comments.

“In reality, I consider this a positive thing,” Volk told board members. “I’d rather get (FAA) input prior to city consideration.”

The airport needs FAA approval—along with approval from the transportation advisory board, Georgetown City Council and the Texas Department of Transportation’s aviation division—before the draft update is official.

Coffman Associates, a Kansas City, Missouri-based consulting firm selected to complete the airport’s draft master plan update, released a recommended development plan and capital improvement program in November 2017 that lists 52 projects with an estimated cost of $59.6 million to be considered at the airport over the next two decades. Of the estimated cost, 84 percent could be eligible for federal aviation grant funding, according to the firm.

Proposed projects include lengthening the airport’s main runway, which runs north-to-south, by 500 feet on both ends, bringing its total length to about 6,000 feet.

Another proposal would extend runway protection zones beyond the airport’s property line on either end of its main runway. Extending the zones would require the airport to use FAA money to purchase and demolish several dozen homes outside of the airport’s existing property lines.

On Friday, several members of Airport Concerned Citizens, a Georgetown citizens group that has called for the airport to undergo a full environmental assessment through the National Environmental Policy Act, spoke to the members of the transportation advisory board.

ACC member Wendy Dew told the board that city officials should organize a public workshop to allow for further public comment on the proposed update’s effect on economic, social and environmental impacts. Dew said she thinks the update process, which began in 2016, needs more opportunity for public comment.

The city held three public workshops on the update process in 2017 and has been accepting comments online at www.georgetown.airportstudy.com. The draft plan and other associated information are also available on the website.

Rich Gottleib, also an ACC member, said he is concerned that data included in Coffman Associates’ draft update for the airport has inflated benefits of expansion while downplaying negative effects or alternative options.

“This whole process has been an example of crony capitalism; the benefits go to the few, while the cost goes to the many,” Gottleib told board members.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

(Graphic illustration courtesy Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘We’ve got this’: Central Texas librarians step up to help their communities amid coronavirus pandemic

The example in Bee Cave appears to be just one of many stories relating how, amid the COVID-19 crisis, librarians are helping their communities throughout the Greater Austin area.

Economic relief options for small business owners include the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Has your Austin-area small business been affected by the coronavirus? Here are resources you can access.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a short-term loan program intended to help cover payroll and a separate, long-term loan program intended to help business owners stay afloat.

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt. (Courtesy Pixabay)
String of racist attacks via videoconferencing software leads to heightened security concerns

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt.

Austin and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
5 recent coronavirus stories from the Austin area readers should know

Read local updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 6, Georgetown ISD will shift its optional learning model to teacher-designed online learning. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown ISD moves to graded schoolwork as distance learning continues

On April 6, Georgetown ISD will shift its optional learning model to teacher-designed online learning.

Friday's digital telethon will help Austin metro residents through nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations to All Together ATX will help local residents through grants to nonprofits

Friday's digital telethon seeks donations to help the community

Matt Silk, left, delivers food from Modern Market Eatery to a St. Davids Medical Center health care worker. (Courtesy Matt Silk)
Rollingwood resident creates program to help businesses and feed health care workers

Matt Silk said www.atxhospitalmeals.com serves two purposes: It helps struggling restaurants by purchasing food in bulk, and feeds dozens of health care workers with each purchase.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. (Community Impact Staff)
Experts fear child abuse will rise as stressors related to coronavirus pandemic increase

April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

Teams work at the Williamson County emergency services facility during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County calls veterans to ensure they are OK during coronavirus pandemic

“We're going to reach out to every veteran [in Williamson County] that's ever served our nation if they’ll take our call," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell gave an update on the county's fight against coronavirus April 2. (Snapshot Courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell: 'Our resources as a county are limited'

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell gave an update on the county's fight against coronavirus April 2.