Survey Results: Problems at Airparks – Part 2

Here’s the second installment of results from the recent Living With Your Plane survey of subscribers informing us how much their airpark is affected by different problems that have cropped up around the country.

As we noted in our first piece, the responses came from 53 individuals representing 23 different states. Even better, none of the respondents came from the same fly-in community so that means we received a broad response.

In our first installment we discussed problems with airpark rules, animals running loose and people on the runway – taxiway.

Attendance at homeowner association meetings

Getting people to turn out for association meetings is an ongoing problem at more than 61 percent of the airparks represented by the survey responses while it is an occasional issue at another 38.8 percent.

Attendance at the meetings is reported as always good at 44.9 percent.

Here are some of the comments:

“A few dominate the association,others moan about it, but don’t show up.”

“I don’t understand why but attendance is abysmal.”

“Always a modest turnout, mostly due to a number of owners who have unbuilt lots, and some who live out of the area. Winter weather is also a discouraging factor for annual meetings in January.”

“Getting better since the word got around that any votes not present at the meeting are distributed as proxy among the directors. Covenants and by-laws can be wonderful things.”

“Generally attendance is good. Just place something on the agenda that is of interest to everyone.”

“Our bylaws require ‘super majority’ for some issues that come up at our annual meeting but we always get a quorum even if it requires a few proxies. Board members are good about attending monthly Board meetings.”

“Association has a board. There is no need to have a large attendance. The Board makes the decisions anyway.”

Using the airpark for touch-and-goes by non-residents

This apparently is an issue at only a small number of airparks since 75 percent of those responding to the survey said it wasn’t an issue for their development.

Only 1 person answering the survey reported it as a frequent problem and another 23.1 percent reported it as an occasional issue.

Here’s what some respondents had to say:

“It has gotten better through enforcement.”

“We like the activity on our airpark!”

“A very occasional low, high speed pass usually along the runway. Not really a problem.”

“Some pilots don’t know one damn thing about safety, and think they do not need to announce on the frequency when in the pattern, etc. This includes NAS Fallon helo pilots, who can be egregious violators. We nearly had a head-on a couple of weeks ago for this reason.”

“Dragging the runway prior to landing is tolerated if not encouraged. We have a pond and therefore a goose problem. Make noise and geese go away or skeedaddle to the other side of the pond.”

“Usually no one gets upset about flying issues until there is an unrelated association issue and this is their form of retaliation, to say the other guy is breaking the rules.”

Off-airport noise complaints about flight operations

Fortunately, this appears to be a completely non-issue since 92.2 percent of those replying to the survey said it was rare to get a complaint. None of the respondents said it was a frequent problem and only 7.8 percent reported to have troubles once in a while.

Some of the reasons why so few complaints are as follows:

“We have annual airport picnic with all neighbors within 5 miles to promote good neighbor relations. We provide food, music and kids activities along with static aircraft displays and actively encourage neighbors to join the community.”

“I will say we’ve had an instance when a non-flying resident called local police to complain about an airplane taxiing past her home! Not kidding!!”

“Never. Know your neighbors. Invite them to your annual picnic. Give them rides.”

“When it happens, it is almost always from someone who built near here after the field opened up knowing the airport was here.”

“We have had one noise complaint in the past 8 years since I became Airport Manager. That was a pre-dawn departure for a cross country.”

On the whole, the problems seem to be quite manageable. In our final installment on the results of our survey we’ll look at the responses to questions about properties being sold to non-aviation folks, enforcement of architectural rules and allowing junked cars, planes, etc. to accumulate on individual airpark properties.

As always, we look forward to reading your comments.