Bajeerah Lowe, Staff Writer
-- Three 20-year expansion options for the Chester County/G.O. Carlson Airport
were unveiled during a recent public information meeting at the Sadsburyville
three alternatives would extend the airport in Valley over the line into
Acquisition of additional acreage would be required, and the plans have the
potential to affect Keystone Helicopters planned facility, causing some
residents to express worries.
Representatives from Delta Airport Consultants Inc. were on hand last week to
answer questions during the presentation. Responding to concerns, Delta
representative David Diehl said: "Were still in the very beginning of the
planning stages. ..We havent even phased it out yet."
With public comment in hand, Diehl said the options will go before the airport
master plan committee, the airport authority, the Bureau of Aviation and the
Federal Aviation Administration.
The first option calls for the expansion of the existing runway from 5,400 feet
to 6,100 feet. More than 100 acres would need to be acquired for the expansion,
including a number of businesses and residences that front the south side of
Business Route 30.
Nick Miccairello, owner of Nicks Airport Tavern, just west of the airport on
Business Route 30, said he was unaware of the expansion plans. "No one has been
talking to me about it," he said in a telephone interview Friday.
When asked about the one expansion option showing the need to acquire his
property, Miccairello had his own thoughts. "It concerns me," he said. "This is
my livelihood. ..I would think someone would get in touch with me. Im
completely in the dark."
The second and third options call for the expansion of the runway to 7,000 feet.
Both options also allow for an additional 900-foot extension at a later date.
That additional expansion, which Diehl said would extend beyond the initial 20
years, could potentially affect more homes along Business Route 30.
The second option moves the entire runway slightly to the south while the third
option angles the runway south. Between 161 and 184 acres of land would be
needed for those options. While the affected property doesnt have established
homes or business buildings, both options would affect the neighboring planned
Keystone Helicopter facility.
Project officer Jim Ferrara said Keystone is well aware of the possibilities.
"The airport has been very open about the plans," he said. While the third
option would likely prevent Keystone from being able to construct its facility
on that property, Ferrara said hes confident the specifics can be worked out.
"Delta, at this point, is simply offering three alternatives from a purely
operational standpoint," he said. "Its not going to threaten Keystones
relocation. We like the area."
Ferraras sentiments were not shared by several Valley supervisors who attended
When asked if the initial expansion was to allow for larger aircraft to use the
facilities, Deltas Frank Kulka said no. "There are no plans to accommodate
larger aircraft," he said.
Valley Supervisor Walter Pietschmann said he had a hard time believing Deltas
assertion that longer runways would not equal larger aircraft. "Why would the
runway need to be extended if the same size planes would be landing?" he asked.
Pietschmann said he was dissatisfied with the plans. "I saw a lot of problems
for Valley Township," he said.
Board Vice Chairman Arlin Yoder said he also has concerns. "Im worried about
the noise, the low-flying aircraft and the additional traffic," he said.
Both men also expressed concerns about the rerouting of Washington Lane that
would be required for the completion of any of the three options. Washington
Lane runs along the western edge of the airport and is one of the main routes
when traveling between the northern and southern portions of Valley.
But Pietschmann said he is sure many of these issues can be addressed when the
airport comes to the township for approval.