Your Voice: Airport decisions rest on economics
by Chico Juarez, Tracy
Sep 05, 2013 | 4455 views | 4 4 comments | 284 284 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I have been a Tracy resident since 1963. Since graduation in 1981, I have witnessed tremendous growth in this city. The City Council’s decision to disapprove paving the 12/30 runway at Tracy Municipal Airport was not about favoritism but about economics. The maintenance and operation of the airport does provide our city with the revenue that housing developments have provided our city in the last 30 years. The attraction for people to move to Tracy was not the airport. People have made their choice to buy houses, not airplanes, Mr. Nicolau. The former fixed-base operator of the Tracy airport put it this way: "You can’t do business at a facility where there is no business." The council is justified in its decision to choose profit over loss. There are very few who would benefit from airport expansion, mainly the aviators who have their planes stored in the airport hangars. The city of Tracy has invested in the airport in past years, without much return on their investment.

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September 08, 2013
The City of Tracy's yearly investment in the Grand Theater is much greater than the airport, and it runs in the "red", so what is our return? The airport wasn't an issue until the Ellis Project (Surland/Serpa) was given the keys to the City. If you believe the runway decision was not "cronyism", then you have not witnessed the Council in action..
September 07, 2013
There are additional issues here regarding possible non-compliance with requirements imposed by accepting federal funds for airport refurbishment, but we'll let Mr. Nicolau sort that out. Mr. Juarez's point that this was a political decision balancing the interests of the aviation community against the business community is largely correct. The real problem is that this was not discussed and acted on in an open, transparent manner.
September 06, 2013
Sorry Chico, you are not seeing the whole story.

The former Council hired a contractor to repave, etc. the airport runway; the job was inadequate in quality and replacing the then runway to 4000 .

The Council sat on their duffs and did not force the contractor to correctly pave the runway. Now we get to hire him again and have come up with the 3997 feet instead of the 4000 and we get to pay him again.

The airport is a jewel in the making and with the

Cordes Ranch project, it could be an outstanding airport if the powers that be were interested. I thank Mr. Nickalou (sp)for his seeing this benefit. I am not a pilot; I do not have a plane -- just good common sense to see the potential.
September 20, 2013
This is all about instant gratification, unfortunately it will impact the future of Tracy inexorably and the ultimate stature of the Tracy Municipal Airport'.

Sure there is a commercial airport in Stockton and if any larger one is required there is plenty of land that may be swapped to support that. But the question is why are we boxing in the growth potential of our airport in favor of an individual's personal wealth, this seems to be a bit out of touch with what is good for our children's prophesy.

I remember the fireworks there as a young boy and how one day the airport would grown as I did. I enlisted in the Air Force, and once tried to bring in a fighter jet home for display, but the runway was too short, Fed. money eventual made its way to develop the runway length to accommodate jets as an alternate air field. Now the city will lose its FAA listing and any future Fed. money because of negligence and lack of foresight by the city's new handlers in office.

I'm retired now and a global citizen who is probably out of touch with what is good for the city's future economic well being or it's mass transportation needs.

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