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Thu, May 18, 2017

FAA To Take Another Look At Marin County, CA Runway Extension

Gnoss  Field Extension Already Scaled Back From 1,100 to 300 Feet

The FAA will be holding a workshop Thursday to discuss a controversial plan to extend the runway at Gnoss Field (KDVO) in Novato, CA which has been scaled back from 1,100 feet to 300 feet. 

The reduced extension was recommended by the FAA following a study by a consultant that predicted a significant decline in the number of operations at the airport by aircraft that would require the longer runway. The agency said that the most demanding aircraft type using the runway is the Class B-II turboprop, which does not require a 4,400-foot runway. 

But the Marin Independent Journal reports that many pilot objected to the reduction, saying the consultant's report was rife with errors. 

Novato resident Peter Gruhl, who has flown in and out of Gnoss since 2009, said that in the event of an engine failure on a wet runway, a Class B-II turboprop would not be able to stop on a 3,600-foot runway. Frequent crosswinds at the uncontrolled field also make a longer runway a better option, he said.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email that after the FAA released the findings, several pilots contended that the actual number of jet operations were undercounted. "As a result of their comments, we are going to take another look at our analysis to determine if we did in fact undercount those aircraft," he wrote.

The Thursday workshop will outline the process for that reassessment, and let pilots know how they can participate in providing documentation on their activities at the airport.

Airport manager Dan Jensen said that there are five jets based at Gnoss Field, and they obviously need the longer runway for safety reasons. 

The workshop is planned for 7:00 p.m. local time Thursday at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.

FMI:  www.marincounty.org/depts/pw/divisions/airport

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