The city of Palm Beach Gardens approved a change in its operating agreement with North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport to allow a runway extension from 4,300 feet to 6,000 feet.
The change also requires the Palm Beach County Department of Airports to ask the Federal Aviation Department (FAA) to construct and cover the operating costs of an air traffic control tower at the North County airport after a runway extension to 6,000 feet is completed.
The change to the city’s agreement with the airport is pending approval by the Palm Beach County Commission.
The Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce has urged the city to lay the groundwork for a runway extension at North County airport, citing its potential for attracting and retaining corporate headquarters.
One county commissioner, Hal Valeche, said he expects the commission to approve the change to the airport’s agreement with Palm Beach Gardens.
Valeche, whose district includes North County airport, told the Palm Beach Post that “having the proximity to an airport within a short drive has got to add to our marketability.”
Bob Hodgson, president of the homeowners association at PGA National, said residents near the airport would feel safer if it had a control tower. Airfield safety depends largely on pilot-to-pilot communication
Jerry Allen, deputy director of the county’s Department of Airports, said the proposed runway extension at North County airport is pending an environmental study and would take at least the next three years to complete.
Allen also told the Post that the runway extension would allow the airport to accommodate larger aircraft. [Palm Beach Post] — Mike Seemuth