Town Manager Dave Bullock informed the Longboat Key Town Commission Wednesday in an email Mayor Jim Brown has drafted a letter urging the Federal Aviation Administration to follow procedures that would keep planes from turning too soon over Longboat Key and creating noise problems.
Emerald Harbor resident and Planning and Zoning Board member Andrew Aitken told the Longboat Key Town Commission and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport chief executive officer Fred Piccolo earlier this month at a meeting that aircraft are still turning improperly over the Key.
Aitken, a retired Navy pilot, brought it to the commission and Piccolo’s attention in March 2011 that pilots are not following procedures, particularly near the north end of the Key.
Pilots cleared for takeoff on Runway 32, the airport’s most western runway, Aitken said, must fly west for a minimum of seven miles before beginning a turn toward their destination.
But Aitken has noticed that aircraft with a northern destination to places such as Atlanta, are beginning their turn at between three and four miles, which takes them over the north end of Longboat Key. The move means that planes are gaining altitude over the Key when most of the plane-ascension noise is emitted.
Piccolo told commissioners the airport has tried to comply with the law but doesn’t control the air traffic control operators who direct pilots when to turn the planes.
The town’s letter to the FAA is the latest step in trying to get air traffic control to comply.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].