My view: We do not need an airport runway extension
Joseph Valerio, a candidate for City Commission, has 40 years of experience in the aerospace business, with most of it in general aviation.
| 2:00 p.m. May 31, 2022
Ormond Beach Observer
by: Joseph Valerio
Candidate for Ormond Beach City Commission Zone 1
I am writing this letter out of concern about the negative impact that the proposed Ormond Beach airport runway extension from 4,005 feet to 4,605 feet will have on nearby residents. The two biggest issues for them are noise and fuel smell. The way the proposed airport extension was presented at the OB Life meeting held on May 10 was misleading.
The concerns about noise and fuel smell were not adequately addressed. I was present at that meeting, and I would say that 70% of the people left feeling that they were not heard.
I have worked in the aerospace business for 40 plus years, with most of it in general aviation. So, I know that jets are very noisy and smell of kerosene during startup, taxi, takeoff and initial climb. I will add that I am against increasing the runway length above the existing 4,005 feet.
There were several talking points brought up in the OB Life meeting that I disagree with:
It was stated that the increase in runway length will increase flight safety. In fact, this statement is misleading. Existing operators/owners/pilots will not operate an aircraft beyond the capabilities of the 4,005 foot runway. It is not a safety issue; it is an increase in runway capabilities to allow operators to takeoff with higher gross weight.
It was stated that the increase in runway length will be less noisy since the aircraft will be higher in altitude during the climb phase. In fact, this statement is misleading as well. As stated above, operators taking off with higher gross weight will not be at a higher altitude during the climb phase.
It was stated that the increase in runway length will not increase jet traffic. If that were true, Ormond Beach would be wasting taxpayer money. What this really means to me is that Ormond Beach plans to incorporate the remaining 400 feet in the near future to allow companies such as Flex Jets to operate at the Ormond Beach airport. Note that a 400-foot future runway extension is still part of the city's long-range plan.