Extending Albert Whitted runway into Tampa Bay would cost too much | Saturday’s letters

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One proposal is to move the main runway to the east and jut into Tampa Bay so the landing pattern would no longer jeopardize the University of South Florida St.

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I am supportive of a wide spectrum discussion (especially for non-aviation ideas) for an Albert Whitted Airport master plan. The airport is an asset to a few people who own small airplanes, the owners of various flying service firms, the organizers of the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, and for the Hangar Restaurant, which is probably the most profitable enterprise on the property. What does the future hold? Rising sea level will be a concerning issue, the property is in a high-risk zone for flooding, and it would be very costly to raise this property upward or build a dike around it.

One proposal is to move the main runway to the east and jut into Tampa Bay so the landing pattern would no longer jeopardize the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and other properties in the current flight path. The nominal way this is done is to build a coffer dam and backfill it to support a runway. This is not a trivial expense. All of Tampa Bay in Pinellas County is in the Tampa Bay Aquatic Preserve and has stringent standards for water quality. Dredging is very expensive. My experience is being a marine ecology consultant for the Gulfstream Natural Gas Pipeline Project (Port Manatee to Weedon Island, 2006 to 2009). The turbidity water quality standard called for the dredge plume to consistently not exceed one standard deviation above ambient conditions based on daily testing. The operations were stopped chronically because the standard was exceeded time and again. Dredging cost overrun was double the initial estimate. The costs do not justify the benefit to the limited number of people that use this airport. Private aviation has limited possibilities to generate revenue at this location. We do not need to go in this direction. The costs and ecological consequences are not worth the risks.

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Publisher: Tampa Bay Times
Date: 2019-08-09T15:14:22Z-04
Reference: Visit Source

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What If? ‘ The Crow’s Nest – The Crow’s Nest

A small plane approaching Albert Whitted Airport made an emergency landing last Wednesday on a busy street 1.5 miles southwest of the university. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured.

But what if the Cessna 402B had come down a few moments later, when the plane was about to pass over the campus?

Virtually no one The Crow’s Nest interviewed later ‘ university administrators, students, city officials ‘ seemed especially worried about the possibility of a crash on a campus where several buildings lie directly beneath the flight pattern of the airport’s main runway.

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Publisher: The Crow's Nest
Twitter: @USFCrowsNest
Reference: Visit Source

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