Council Voted 7-1 Against FAA-Approved Practice Space
The city council in Morris, IL, voted 7-1 against the placement of an aerobatic practice box near the Morris Municipal Airport June 6th.
The box, which encompasses an area covering 3,600 feet by 3,600 feet up to 5,000 AGL was approved by the FAA in May. But The council said while they don't object to the existence of an aerobatic practice area, they don't like where it's situated.
The Morris Daily Herald reports that the council members, including one who chairs the Airport Committee, says that airplanes practicing aerobatics in the box could pose a hazard to other pilots flying into and out of the airport. It could also affect "noise sensitive areas" including churches and livestock farms near the area. The resolution opposing the box indicted that it is "in direct conflict with the crosswind and downwind legs and the existing downwind approach pattern for the runway at the airport. The aerobatic practice box is also located in close proximity to two established airways for commercial air traffic approaching both Midway and O’Hare Airport.”
Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said that the box was approved by the FAA without the knowledge or consent of the city. He said the FAA simply approved the request made by the Aerobatic Club Chapter 1, which reportedly indicated the box had the support of the city council. However, council members say it has never appeared on a city council agenda.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that this is the first time the city has taken formal action concerning the box. In the past, it has negotiated with the club, which received a one-year waiver for its operation last year. (File photo)