Last night the Watsonville Airport Advisory Committee met at the council chambers. Before I hit some of the highlights, I’d like to encourage all of you to attend future meetings. Discussions are centered around airport-related subjects and the public is encouraged to participate. In addition to your input on current agenda items, you will help us create future ones as well.
Rayvon presented the 2020-2026 capital improvement plan for the airport that includes a budget of $20 million! It includes new paving throughout the airport, new drainage, a completely new surface (and extension) for runway 20-2 and new 1100’ hangers near the gas pumps. This is a partial list, but there are some great things in store for KWVI.
We talked about obstructions around the airport. Currently all (dangerous) obstructions have either been eliminated, cut down or illuminated. Property owners surrounding the airport will soon receive a notice from the city regarding their responsibility to keep trees trimmed. If they don’t, Watsonville can get the work done and then place a lien on their property.
Abandoned aircraft were discussed. Aircraft that are inoperable or not airworthy will be removed from the field and sold for parts. This includes obvious aircraft on the ramp, as well as others long dormant in hangers. Rayvon explained that there are exceptions, like aircraft making progress towards flight or kits. But gone are the days where a derelict aircraft keeps others from renting a hangar.
The WPA asked about creating a new pilot’s lounge, one that would include a private room, a place to nap, a computer for weather and access to bathrooms. We talked about the need to access the lounge, after hours. Turns out there is a master plan for the terminal that includes a pilot’s lounge, but it isn’t in the 2020-2026 capital improvement plan. There are constraints, but Rayvon encouraged pilots to meet and discuss this subject in a town hall meeting, if it’s of interest. Personally I think that Watsonville needs to up their game when it comes to the pilot’s lounge so I encourage the WPA, EAA and pilots to address this issue.
Finally... the city showed a proposed hiking/biking trail that extends from Pajaro Valley High School to the railroad tracks (to the south), about 1.5 miles. A very small portion of it is within Zone 6 at the airport and they wanted our opinion. It doesn’t appear to conflict in any way with airport operations, but we’ll check with our attorneys.
That’s a (relatively) quick summary and again, please come to future WAAC meetings so that you can be heard.