We recently received confirmation from Gulfstream Corporation that the Pitkin County Airport Administration has recently given operational approval for the new Gulfstream 650 to fly into and out of our airport. This, despite the fact, that the aircraft has a 99-foot-7-inch wingspan; almost 5 feet longer than the 95 feet allowed by Pitkin County regulations.
Our airport administrator approved this obvious violation of the 95-foot limit, by simply declaring that the outermost 3 feet of each wing would not count. Why? Because, the outer 3 feet of each wing is bent upwards at a 45-degree angle. (If the wing did not have the bend in the outer 3 feet, the wingspan would far exceed 100 feet.)
Now, after we publicly exposed this blatant disregard of the county’s 95-foot wing span requirement, Mr. Elwood is attempting to convince the FAA to rule that the Gulfstream 650’s wingspan is really 93 feet and 8 inches.
We would like to ask two simple questions:
• Would the aircraft fit through a 95-foot door? Answer: Obviously not.
• Would the aircraft’s flight characteristics remain the same if the outer 3 feet of each wing was removed? Answer: Absolutely not.
This attempt to hide behind an FAA ruling is just one example of the same tactics our airport administration has been using to ram this new airport master plan through the approval process. Are you confused as to why we started another 20-year airport master plan in 2008, just four years after we approved a 20-year master plan in 2004/2005? Are you under the false impression that somehow this new master plan has been “mandated” by the FAA? If you are confused and misled, there is a reason: It is being done on purpose.
Citizens for Responsible Airport Development