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Airport Plans


The ultimate development plan and program for Minden-Tahoe Airport have evolved from various factors, influences, and considerations. Among these are existing and future aviation demand, aircraft operational characteristics, facility requirements, and environmental considerations. Additionally, the general direction or thrust of future airport development, as expressed by the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners, the Airport Master Plan Working Group, airport staff, airport users, and other interested members of the local community, served as a basis for the airport planning process.

Because previous chapters have established and quantified the future development needs of Minden-Tahoe Airport, the resulting elements of the recommended Development Plan are categorically reviewed and detailed here in a narrative and graphic format. A brief written description of the individual elements represented in the set of Airport Plans is accompanied by a graphic description presented in the form of the Airport Layout Plan Drawing, the Airport Airspace Drawings, the Inner Portion of the Approach Surface Drawings, the Terminal Area Drawings, the Land Use Drawing, and the Airport Property Map.

Airport Layout Plan Drawing

The Airport Layout Plan (ALP) Drawing is a graphic depiction of ultimate airport facilities, representing the unified, long-range development scheme required to enable the Airport to accommodate the forecast future demand. However, it is recognized that future demand for facilities cannot be accurately predicted, particularly during the latter stages of the 20-year planning period. Therefore, development flexibility is provided in the plan and emphasis is placed on the initial five-year planning period, where the projections are more definable and the magnitude of program accomplishments are more pronounced. Furthermore,

carefully guided development and continued maintenance during the initial years of the planning period is essential to the proper expansion of the facility and the continued enhancement of aviation development.

The drawing provides detailed information on airport and runway design criteria that is necessary to define relationships with applicable standards. The following illustration, entitled AIRPORT LAYOUT PLAN DRAWING, and the following paragraphs describe the major components of the future airport development plan presented on the ALP.

Runway/Taxiway System

Runways. As explained in the preceding chapter, Runway 16/34 is recommended to be maintained at its existing length (7,400 feet), its existing width (100 feet) and its existing published pavement strength. This length will provide a runway sufficient to accommodate 100% of the general aviation small aircraft fleet and over 75% of the large aircraft fleet at 60% useful load.

The ALP also illustrates a 1,640-foot shift of Runway 12/30 to the southeast. This shift will relocate the thresholds to both runway ends and will increase safety by allowing users of Runway 30 to either stop or turn prior to reaching the intersection with Runway 16/34. The shift will also increase the altitude of aircraft on approach to Runway 12 over incompatible land uses west of the Airport.

Runway 12G/30G will also be shifted both east and south of its existing location. The purpose of this runway shift is to achieve a standard 700-foot (centerline to centerline) separation from Runway 12/30. This shift also allows adequate space for a glider staging area and parallel taxiway between the two runways. The runway is illustrated at 1,800 feet long by 100 feet wide. The inner 60 feet of the runway surface will consist of artificial turf specifically designed for gliders and small aircraft, while the outer 20 feet on each side of the artificial turf will be maintained as a prepared dirt surface.

The final change to the runway layout depicted on the ALP includes the addition of Runway 3/21. This runway was closed many years ago and the ALP sites the reopened runway on the closed parallel taxiway located northwest of the original Runway 3/21. This runway is intended to primarily serve as an alternative landing option for gliders and small aircraft during high southwesterly wind conditions. The same runway surface planned for Runway 12G/30G is also planned for Runway


Taxiways. Parallel Taxiways “A”, “B” and “S” are planned to remain in their existing configuration. Three new connector taxiways are planned between Runway 16/34 and Taxiway “A”. These includes 90 degree by-pass taxiways at each end of the runway and new connector taxiway approximately 2,000 feet north of the approach end of Runway 34. Parallel Taxiway “B” will be extended as a combined project with the 1,640-foot shift of Runway 12/30, however, the taxiway extension will be at a 240-foot runway centerline to taxiway centerline separation rather than the existing separation of 500 feet.

Three future parallel taxiways are planned for serve various runway facilities. First, an extension of Taxiway “C” over the closed Runway 3/21 is planned parallel to Runway 3/21 at a 500 foot separation. The primary purpose of this parallel taxiway is to serve as access to east side glider and small aircraft parking areas. The only connector taxiway planned between Runway 3/21 and Taxiway “C” is near the end of Runway 3 to be used by small aircraft and gliders after landing on Runway 21. The second future parallel taxiway is planned between Runways 12/30 and 12G/30G. This taxiway will be sited at a 300-foot separation from Runway 30 and will extend from the approach end of Runway 30 to the northwest and terminate just past the existing glider staging apron. The third future parallel taxiway is primarily shown for long range planning purposes. This third parallel would be located east of Runway 16/34 at a standard runway/taxiway separation of 400 feet and serve as a full-length parallel taxiway to Runway 16/34.

Glider Turnouts. The ALP shows five glider turnout aprons, two for glider landings on Runway 30, two for glider landings on Runway 30G and one for glider landings on Runway 21. The purpose and need for these turnout aprons is to allow non- powered gliders to clear the runway (and ROFA) and increase the operational efficiency of the Airport. The first apron southwest of Runway 30 is planned prior to the shift of Runway 30. During periods of strong westerly winds, gliders cannot effectively make the turn to the east to the glider staging apron and need to turn west into the wind. A second turnout apron is planned following the shift of Runway 12/30. Glider turnout aprons are also planned near the end of Runway 12G for glider landings on Runway 30G and near the end of Runway 3 for glider landings on Runway 21.

Glider Staging Areas. The existing glider staging apron between Runways 12/30 and 12G/30G will remain in its existing location and continue to serve its purpose until both Runway 12/30 and 12G/30G are shifted to the southeast. Following completion of those projects, the staging area will be relocated to a more central location between these shifted runways as indicated on the ALP. Two additional glider staging aprons are planned at the Airport. Adjacent to the connector taxiway to the shifted Runway 30, a heavy glider staging area is planned. Also, near the

intersection of Runway 16/34 and 12/30, a glider staging area for midfield glider tows on Runway 16/34 is planned.

Approaches. The instrument approach visibility minimums for the Airport are planned to remain visual or 1-¼ mile circling for all runways. However, from a land use planning standpoint, it makes sense to continue to protect for the possibility of published straight in approach procedures to both Runway 16/34 and Runway 12/30. The previous Airport Master Plan recommended the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment such as glide slope indicators and localizers in an effort to lower the minimums for the approaches to both end of Runway 16/34. These ILS related facilities have become expensive and outdated and this Airport Master Plan will not recommend the installation of any additional ground-based navigational aids.

Lighting. It is recommended that the Medium Intensity Runway Lights (MIRLs) and four box Visual Approach Slope Indicators (VASI) be maintained for Runway 16/34. No lighting improvements are planned for the other visual runways.

Design Standards. The two design standard deficiencies identified on the ALP should be corrected as soon as possible. There are penetrations of the Runway Object Free Area (ROFA) both north and south of Runway 16/34 by a road and the airport perimeter fence. There is also a perimeter service road on the south side of the Airport that will need to be relocated around both the Runway Safety Area and the ROFA. The proposed land acquisition shown for the south side of the Airport is necessary to correct the non-standard conditions on this side of the Airport. On the north side of the Airport, Bliss Road will need to be relocated outside of the ROFA.

Property Acquisition. To help insure land use compatibility, to correct non-standard conditions and to allow for the shifts of both Runway 12/30 and 12G/30G, some property acquisition has been identified on the ALP. The two areas recommended for property acquisition are the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) for Runway 34 to provide both approach protection and to allow the Airport to correct non-standard conditions on this side of the Airport. The second area recommended for acquisition is adjacent to the southeast quadrant of the Airport to allow for the shift of both Runway 12/30 and 12G/30G. Additional recommendations for RPZ easements include the RPZ to the approach end of Runway 16 and the approach end to Runway 21.

Landside Development Areas

As illustrated on the AIRPORT LAYOUT PLAN DRAWING, various development areas for landside facilities are also allocated. It is recognized that the development of these areas will be demand driven and, where appropriate, options have been provided for the type of facilities that could be developed in a certain area. There are two primary landside development areas, one on the west side of the Airport and one on the east side of the Airport. There are also a number of landside development areas that have been privately leased on the west side of the Airport.

Taxilanes. Taxilanes differ from taxiways in that they primarily serve as access to and from aircraft parking aprons and hangar areas. Three significant taxilanes are planned for the east side glider/small aircraft development area. The first extends from the approach end of the future Runway 12G to the northwest and connects with the glider/small aircraft tiedown apron. The second taxilane extends from near the planning viewing area to the northwest and also connects with the glider/small aircraft parking apron. The third planned taxilane extends from the southeast side of the glider tiedown apron to the southwest, across the end of the existing Runway 12G and connects with the existing glider staging apron. There will also be taxilane extensions to serve the aviation/hangar development areas shown on both sides of the Airport.

Aircraft Parking Areas. The primary aircraft parking area on the west side of the Airport is planned to remain in its existing configuration and maintained at its existing pavement strength. A new glider/small aircraft tiedown apron is planned for the east side development area with three rows of tiedowns. Additional privately funded aircraft parking areas are planned for the 87-acre parcel in the southwest quadrant of the Airport as illustrated on the ALP.

Aircraft Storage Facilities. The future development of aircraft storage facilities (i.e., T-hangars, individual hangars, or large storage hangars) at Minden-Tahoe Airport will be demand driven. Therefore, the number, size, and location of these hangars will vary depending upon the demand for the particular type. Because of existing infrastructure and existing lease agreements, the primary areas considered for additional aircraft storage facilities are the infill areas northwest of Taxiway “C” on the west side of the Airport, and the hangars areas adjacent to Taxiway “C” and the glider tiedown apron on the east side of the Airport. Both potential development areas could accommodate a mix of T-hangar and box hangar facilities, however, the urgent need for additional T-hangar facilities as evidenced by the hangar wait list, necessitates the need to use the existing west side infill areas for additional T-hangar development.

There are also hangar facilities planned for some of the private lease parcels on the west side of the Airport. However, the details of these hangar layouts have not been illustrated on the ALP to allow the leaseholders and the County flexibility in developing the leaseholds in response to market demands. If hangar and taxilane facilities are illustrated in detail on the ALP, any changes to the layout would necessitate an ALP revision.

Access and Parking. The existing ground access to the Airport is via Airport Road which extends east off of US Highway 395. Access to the southwest quadrant of the Airport is adequate via the recently improved Heybourne Road. Access to the northwest quadrant is also adequate via Heybourne Road, Firebrand Road and P-51 Court. Access to the east side of the Airport is also adequate via the recently constructed Bliss Road which extends west from Firebrand Road. However, a portion of Bliss Road will need to be relocated to avoid the ROFA for Runway 16/34. A couple of vehicle access changes are proposed for the west side of the Airport. From the access gate near Soar Minden, a vehicle service road is planned along the northwest and northeast sides of the aircraft parking apron. Where the vehicle service road connects with Taxiway “D”, the service road would turn to the southwest and be collocated with Taxiway “D” until it intersects with Taxiway “F”. From this point at the intersection of Taxiways “D” and “F” to the vehicle access gate near the fuel facilities, Taxiway “F” would be converted into a vehicle service road. For safety reasons and in an effort to segregate vehicle traffic from aircraft, no aircraft would be allowed to taxi on this reconfigured portion of Taxiway “Fnortheast of the T-hangars. Aircraft departing from these T-hangars would need to use Taxiway “G” located southwest of the T-hangars to access Taxiway “C”.

Airport Airspace Drawing

In order to protect airspace and approaches from hazards that could affect the safe and efficient operation of aircraft, federal criteria contained in Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 77, Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace, have been established to provide guidance in controlling the height of objects in close proximity to airports. FAR Part 77 criteria specify a set of imaginary surfaces that, when penetrated by an object (structure, tree, or terrain), designate the object as being an obstruction.

The AIRPORT AIRSPACE DRAWINGS, illustrated in Figures E2 through E6, are based on FAR Part 77 criteria and provide plan and profile views of the imaginary surfaces as they relate to Minden-Tahoe Airport. The drawing is based on the ultimate runway configuration, the ultimate protected for approaches to each runway end, and the ultimate airport elevation. Therefore, the Runway 16/34 Part 77 surfaces will continue to be based on greater than utility runway criteria (i.e., aircraft weighing in more than 12,500 pounds, gross weight) with a precision standards to both runway ends. Because Runway 12/30 has a published pavement strength larger than 12,500 pounds, this runway is grouped into the larger than utility category for Part 77 purposes, however, the runway is planned for continued small aircraft only use.

The primary surface, a surface longitudinally centered on the runway, is 1,000 feet in width and extends 200 feet beyond each runway end for Runway 16/34. The primary surface is 500 feet in width for Runway 12/30 and 250 feet in width for Runways 12G/30G and 3/21. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation on the nearest point on the runway centerline. Transitional surfaces extend upward and outward from the edges of the primary surface with a slope of seven to one. The horizontal surface is a horizontal plane established at 150 feet above the airport elevation. Swinging arcs establish the perimeter of the horizontal surface with radii of 10,000 feet from the center of each end of the primary surface for Runways 16/34 and 12/30 and for 5,000 feet from the center of each end of the primary surface for all other runways. Connecting these arcs by lines tangent to these arcs, establishes the perimeter of the horizontal surface.

At the periphery of the horizontal surface, the conical surface extends outward and upward at a slope of 20 to one for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet. Finally, approach surfaces are longitudinally centered on the extended runway centerlines, extending outward and upward from each end of the primary surface. For the Runway 16/34 approach surfaces, the inner edge is 1,000 feet in width and expands uniformly to a width of 16,000 feet at the outer edge. For the Runway 12/30 approach surfaces, the inner edge is 500 feet in width and expands uniformly to a width of 3,500 feet at the outer edge. For the Runway 12G/30G and 3/21 approach

surfaces, the inner edge is 250 feet in width and expands uniformly to a width of 1,250 feet at the outer edge. The Runway 16/34 approach surfaces extend for a horizontal distance of 50,000 feet at a slope of 50 to one for the initial 10,000 feet and 40 to one for the remaining 40,000 feet. The Runway 12/30 approach surfaces extend 10,000 feet at a slope of 34 to one. The approach surfaces extend for a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet at a slope of 20 to one for all other runways.

As illustrated in Figures E2, E3 and E4, none of the imaginary surfaces to Runway 16/34 at the Minden-Tahoe Airport are penetrated by terrain, trees or other known fixed objects. There are existing penetrations of the Runway 12 approach surface, however, these penetrations will be resolved by shifting Runway 12/30 to the southeast. For FAA airspace review purposes, FAA Form 7460-1, Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration should be completed and coordinated with FAA prior to construction of any future facilities as indicated on the Airport Layout Plan.