TDK deal not done yet

Thu, 09/21/2006 - 3:08pm
By: John Munford

Airport Authority involved to improve safety at Falcon Field

The real estate transactions that will provide land needed for the extension of TDK Boulevard into Coweta County have not yet been completely finalized, officials said Thursday.

But the deals will be done by the end of the month, said Airport Authority Chairman Jerry Cobb.

Falcon Field is involved because officials secured a $2 million grant to buy land to the north so it can extend its runway safety area. Without that grant, the road extension would not likely be possible, as there was no other money on the table to acquire the additional land needed to route the road path around the airport’s runway safety area.

A number of residents have opposed the road, particularly in light of the 3,100 home development proposed for Coweta called the McIntosh Community, which would be built right off the proposed extension and funnel an estimated 22,000 car trips per day onto Ga. Highway 74.

FAA officials were concerned about the previous design of the road path, which featured TDK Boulevard being built right up against the airport property. That could have put some larger vehicles into the airport’s flight path, officials said.

The authority eventually plans to lengthen the runway from its current length of 5,220 feet to 6,000 feet, but that’s only so the larger business jets have more room to take off with a full load of fuel in the summer; currently some aircraft have to take off with less fuel so the aircraft weighs less to facilitate takeoff in the warmer months.

While the Airport Authority has never intended to have larger aircraft such as commuter and cargo jets fly into Falcon Field, the airport has a built-in reason for not allowing such operations, Cobb explained. The airport’s pavement is not equipped to take the much heavier aircraft with a special weight rating for maximum aircraft weight.

Last week, the authority approved a resolution committing to the future maximum runway length of 6,000 feet and also the current slopes for takeoffs and landings. That way, Cobb said, developers around the airport will know where and what they can and can’t build.

The resolution was requested by Pathway Communities as part of the agreement to purchase some of Pathway’s land nearby that’s needed to relocate three golf holes at Planterra Ridge Golf Club. Because the new holes will need to grow, it could take at least a year or more before the TDK extension work can begin for the lion’s share of the road project.

Fayette County, which is in charge of building the road and bridge over Line Creek, will be able to start the bridge work almost right off the bat as soon as the real estate closings are completed and right of way is assigned for the bridge area, officials said.

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