Airport Authority Worried "Miracle On The Hudson" Accident Could Happen Here

By Scott Sarvay
By Laura Donaldson

July 6, 2010 Updated Jul 6, 2010 at 5:53 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Airport Authorities say a new neighbor wants to build a 50-acre landfill less than three miles from a runway. A business idea that airport authorities say is a safety risk.

A federal law adopted in 2000 states that landfills can't be within six miles of an airport because they attract birds that can get stuck in aircraft engines.

But in 2004 the Board of Zoning Appeals or BZA approved a slightly larger landfill on the same land near Smith and MacBeth roads. The land has been sold to a new owner who wants to reduce the size of the prior landfill proposal and begin construction. But airport spokesperson Tory Richardson says passenger safety could be at risk if the landfill is built.

Richardson says, “We would see this as an incompatible land use and have documentation and the FAA on record stating this is an incompatible land use. So our issue is this is not a safe condition to allow. The BZA would have to make that determination ultimately. And if that proceeds and moves forward then obviously the next course of action is with the FAA."

There is a landfill near the airport now. Richardson says airport authorities work to reduce the number of birds in the air near the runways but another landfill would increase the risk of birds in the area. The Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to vote July 21st.




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