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FAA Delays Restrictions On Vancouver's Pearson Airfield

OPB | Sept. 26, 2012 4:57 p.m. | Portland

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The Federal Aviation Administration has delayed an order to limit flight patterns above Vancouver’s Pearson Airfield. This small airport handles hundreds of flights per week.

April Baer reports all those takeoffs and landings have aviation regulators calling for more traffic control.

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The FAA proposed limiting a rectangular block of airspace about eight miles long above Pearson.

April Baer / OPB

The airfield is close enough to Portland International Airport that PDX’s control tower advises Pearson pilots about the big jets traveling nearby.

But Paul Speer, chair of Vancouver’s Aviation Advisory Committee, says restricting that block to one big aircraft at a time would mean big delays, and ultimately fewer planes wanting to use Pearson.

“Pearson Field is literally the only airport in the United States of its class that does not have a control tower on the field. Rather than incurring the expenses of installing a control tower, the FAA is choosing to lock up the airspace, which pushes the cost onto us and the community, in terms of safety and dollars.”

But with five U.S. Senators and many local pilots asking for more time, the FAA says it will defer airspace changes at Pearson for at least 30 days, keeping the conversation with stakeholders going.


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