On Aug. 12 the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will host a public meeting to vote on the Mather Airport Master Plan and Environmental Impact Review.
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Approval would turn the small airport into an air cargo hub, which would increase nighttime arrivals by at least 20 more flights per day.
The expansion plans include lengthening runways to allow more landings by upgrading Mather Airport’s navigation aid, or Instrument Landing System, to a Category IIIb, which means aircraft are allowed to begin approach if visibility is greater than 300 feet instead of the current half mile requirement.
Deputy Director of the Sacramento County Airport System Carl Mosher confirmed Federal Express would also move to Mather from Sacramento International Airport subject to the installation of CAT III ILS.
“We maintain there is no need for the CAT IIIb ILS or runway extension,” Bill Bryant said. Bryant is a member of APAC’s advisory on Mather committee and is co-chair of Communities for a Responsible Mather Airport (CRMA). “Move the cargo flights back to Sacramento International Airport, where they came from, with no EIR. There would be no loss of jobs or tax dollars as it would all stay in Sacramento County, just the other end where an International Airport already exists and has room for the cargo.”
In an article published in the Sacramento Bee Aug. 2, “County Must Face Reality on Mather Airport,” CRMA volunteers Glen Otey of Folsom and John Kerhlikar of Shingle Springs wrote:
“The negative impacts of aircraft noise and pollution center on three closely related factors — losses in property values, quality of life and economic competitiveness — and is exacerbated by the fact that a great deal of cargo moves at night. In 2008 — before residents concluded that filing complaints was a waste of time — cargo operations at Mather generated 8,072 noise complaints, 3,431 involving night flights.
“The impact of jet aircraft on real estate values has been studied extensively. The results show losses to moderately priced homes as high as 19 percent, and even higher devaluation for higher-priced homes. The county has identified a roughly 200-square-mile area where large jet aircraft can be expected to operate below 3,000 feet.
“Assuming a mostly residential build-out, the decrease in property values could run in the billions. For example, with a 10 percent drop in values, a loss of $8 billion would occur if one-third of the 200 square miles were used for $400,000 homes at only five per acre. Local governments would lose more than $80 million each year in property taxes.”
Affected areas would include Rancho Cordova, Silver Springs, Rosemont, Gold River, Fair Oaks, Folsom, El Dorado Hills (north and south of Highway 50), Cameron Park, Rescue and Shingle Springs.
The hearing will be held Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Sacramento County Administration Building, Board of Supervisors Chambers. The address is 700 H Street, Room 1450.
“Elected officials respond to public turnouts,” said Bryant. “They know for every person who takes the time in the middle of a workday to attend their meeting to voice their opinion, hundreds or thousands more have the same opinions.”