The VASI Position

Based on its content and clarity, the following e-mail is published here in effort to convey and communicate the VASI position, on all issues affecting the Venice Municipal Airport and General Aviation.

Letter to a concerned citizen from a member of the VASI Board:

My name is Paul Hollowell and Councilman Simmonds mentioned your email to him regarding the increasing noise at the Venice Airport. He mentioned it to me since he and I have had discussions about this very issue. I also live in Golden Beach and I am sympathetic to the problem you discussed with the Councilman. I might add that I am a pilot with an airplane and I fly out of Venice Airport. 

I am also a member of the Venice Aviation Society or VASI. VASI is concerned about the same things that concern you. Our goals are to support the Venice Airport and keep it as a safe well maintained facility. We also believe that it is important that the airport is a good neighbor. Jet traffic grew substantially over the last few years but unfortunately the absence of an airport manager for about 8 years meant that little was done to address the problem as it grew. The new airport manager (who recently resigned) working with VASI did take steps to try and deal with the noise issue. Aircraft takeoffs from runway 22 are a lot less intrusive than those from runway 31 which goes directly over Golden Beach. One of the things that Mr. Hernandez did was to tell jet aircraft that runway 22 was the preferred runway for jet departures. He also installed signs around the airport reminding pilots that the Venice Airport was in a noise sensitive areas. VASI has encouraged all pilots to use runway 22 when the winds permit. People in the area have told us that the procedure when followed has helped. 

However, more can be done and VASI is committed to pushing to get those things done. As an example airport signage and information needs continued work and more needs to be done to make runway 22 not only the airport recommended runway but the most desirable runway for pilots to use. Both runways at the airport are due for resurfacing but runway 22 is in the worst shape. Consequently it is not the most desirable to takeoff from or land on. We are hopeful that the planned runway resurfacing will make runway 22 a very desirable runway for jet pilots in particular. We also think a lot more can be done to educate pilots and in particular transient pilots as to the noise sensitivity in the area. Another important area in noise reduction is vegetation and the construction of berms. Many airports over the last few years have worked around their airport grounds to deaden and muffle sound. Venice Airport can do the same things that many other airports have done and it will make a difference. If all of us work together we think that through a combination of education, changed and improved airport operations procedures, better signs, changes to publications, noise reduction measures and investment around the airport much can be done and it will make a difference. However, there will be conditions, weather winds or other factors, that will necessitate the use of runway 13/31. But again a lot can be done to make runway 22 the preferred and desired runway.

VASI has gone on record in support of a modest appropriate business park development on the airport since we believe the airport needs the money not only for needed maintenance over the next few years but also for noise reduction measures. In my opinion folks who have fought so hard to stop any investment at the airport since they thought it would just mean more airplanes may have actually contributed to the problem since it meant there was very little money for much more than cutting the grass. None for noise abatement. The data I have seen suggest that overall airport traffic has not increased (and may actually be down overall) but jet traffic as a percentage of the existing traffic has increased. The increased jet traffic is a function of the growing affluence in the area and the building of more high end developments and homes. The good news is that the newest jets are really much more quiet. The old jets are noisier and though they will be around for some time as I mentioned above we can do a lot to deal with the problem. We will have a new airport manager soon and though I can not speak for him I know that he is aware of the concerns. I apologize for the length of this email but I wanted to let you know some of what many of the local pilots (VASI) are doing to respond to the problem you mentioned to Councilman Simmonds. 

Paul