Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Moratorium on larger planes at Lunken gets committee OK



By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati City Council Tuesday moved to place a moratorium on bigger planes flying into Lunken Airport.

A five-member council committee voted unanimously to issue the moratorium after hearing arguments about raising the airport's weight limit from 70,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds. The moratorium would maintain the status quo at Lunken until a master plan and separate noise study are completed. The full council votes today.

In the meantime, Councilman David Pepper suggested the city stick to its practice of issuing waivers to planes that exceed the weight limit. "By moving (the weight limit) up we are losing control and opening the door to more than just our local people," Mr. Pepper said.

The decision comes a day after the board advises City Council on Lunken voted 7-1 to recommend that council raise the weight limit for a period of 10 years.That recommendation angered neighbors of the airport, who say bigger planes mean more noise, pollution and air traffic over their homes.

The airport's advisory board thinks bigger planes are needed to stay competitive and keep corporate users of the airport in town.

Some members of the Lunken Airport Oversight Advisory Board said the committee's decision might cause some airport users to take their complaints to the Federal Aviation Administration for resolution.

"That is my fear, and that is why we tried so hard to reach this compromise," said Krissi Barr, a member of the advisory board and Mount Lookout resident. "The FAA can get involved in ways that could adversely affect neighborhoods far more than what we are proposing."

E-mail: kaldridge@enquirer.com




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