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"Solano Board of Supervisors to consider Nut Tree Airport options"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Solano Board of Supervisors to consider Nut Tree Airport options 
By Melissa Murphy
The Vacaville (CA) Reporter

Planes take off and taxi at the Nut Tree Airport. A master plan for the
facility will be discussed Tuesday by the Solano County Board of
Supervisors. (Reporter File)The future of the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville
could take another leap forward Tuesday as the Solano County Board of
Supervisors considers a number of alternative plans for its future.

In the thick of creating a new long-term Master Plan for the Nut Tree
Airport, Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday and ultimately
choose a game plan to move forward with to launch environmental review of
the facility.

The master plan will ultimately identify short and long-range capital
facilities necessary to accommodate aviation growth and demand into the

The entire 2012 Airport Master Plan document and preferred plan (called the
Preferred Alternative) can be found online at the county's website,
www.solanocounty.com, under the General Services Department and Nut Tree

The new master plan, an update of a plan created in 1993, also identifies
aviation and non-aviation development areas on the Nut Tree Airport and
forms the basis for seeking funding assistance from the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) for capital improvement projects at the airport.

Once the board chooses a "preferred alternative" plan, environmental review
will be set in motion to be followed by adoption of the final Airport Master
Plan by the board.

Five different alternatives have been identified. The primary central issue
surrounding each, according to staff, is the length of the main runway at
the facility and associated type of runway landing approaches.

   * Alternative 1: Would involve no change. The runway would stay at 4,700

   * Alternative 2: Would move the end of the runway 200 feet north to
comply with FAA safety standards.

   * Alternative 3: Would move the end of the runway 200 feet north and
ultimately extend the runway 800 feet to a length of 5,500 feet.

   * Alternative 4: Would move the end of the runway 200 feet north, extend
it 800 feet in length and reduce Visibility Approach Minimums from 1 mile to
three-fourths of a mile.

   * Alternative 5: Would move the end of the runway 200 feet north, extend
it 900 feet (to 5,600 feet) and reduce Visibility Approach Minimums as well
as add Precision Instrument Approach capability.

After several community workshops and meetings with stakeholders, The Nut
Tree Airport Advisory Committee has recommended a modified version of
Alternative 3.

"It was found to provide the sufficient long-range planning and a runway
length that would accommodate long-term aviation growth and address any
long-term capacity, demand or safety issue," staff said in a report to the

The preferred alternative with modifications recommended by the advisory
committee includes plans for current and long-range aviation capacity and
demand, includes a 200 foot move north, preserves the area necessary for
possible long-term extension of runway 20 at the airport to 5,300 feet,
provides for non-aviation and non-aviation development areas of airport
property, identifies and phases short and long-term aviation capital
facilities and provides for an Airport Capital Improvement Plan as the basis
for FAA project funding and provides the foundation and information
necessary for the preparation of environmental review analysis.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. in the County
Government Center, 675 Texas St., Fairfield.

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