May 28, 2016
The Federal Aviation Administration recently completed a local airspace study on behalf of Solberg Airport. The study examined the airspace around the airport with regards to potential runway expansion from the current 3,735 feet to 5,600 feet. The study was requested by the airport owners in October 2015; it was completed and released back to Mr. Solberg on March 18, 2016.CLICK HERE to view the document.
We have spoken to the FAA to learn what this analysis means for residents. In short, the FAA has no objection to a 5,600 foot runway based on their study and determined that it has no impact to navigable airspace. This 'No Objection' approval has a time limit of 12-18 months. In other words, the runway must be completed and operational in that time period, otherwise the airport must resubmit the form for another study.
What it's not: This is not an approval to build. Many additional requirements include consideration of local and state zoning, as well as land-use, noise, environmental or other impacts.
What this does show, concretely and publicly, is that the Solbergs are actively taking steps toward a large runway expansion. Readington Township has steadfastly been the largest obstacle to that expansion.
Some residents have doubted the Solbergs' intention to expand the runway. In 2005, Mr. Solberg stated to the community that they had "no intention of expansion...today". The day has apparently arrived.
The Readington Township Committee recently voted to appeal the Armstrong legal decision regarding land use for the Solberg property*. Mayor Fort, Deputy Mayor Duffy and Committeeman Smith voted in the affirmative in favor of that appeal. Citizens for Readington supported that action then; this new confirmation by the FAA has fortified our continued support for that appeal.
With the Primary Election less than two weeks away, residents can consider this recent Solberg petition to the FAA when making an informed decision on June 7th.
*To read more about the appeal and the land use decision, see our article "Solberg Litigation: Post-Trial Motions Filed to Determine Development Potential of Solberg Property