Northern Air Traffic Pattern on the Horizon at Stafford Airport
February 11, 2015
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  • The Stafford Airport Authority is looking to open the northern flight pattern once more.

    The pattern has always been in the airport plan, airport manager Ed Wallis said, but it has been on hold due to the possibility of bird strikes. Cells at the Stafford County landfill prove to be a draw for the airborne wildlife, which could cause problems for airplanes.

    Airport officials must now obtain authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to reinstitute the plan.

    Authority members will be speaking at the Feb. 17 meeting of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors about proposed changes in the county comprehensive plan.

    Plans for a land swap with the Stafford County Economic Development Authority is near completion, authority Chairman Henry Scharpenberg said, and the two bodies are still working out the “language” in the proposal.

    Brian Johnson, founder and executive director of Discover Aviation Now, a nonprofit dedicated to introducing aviation fields to youth, proposed that the Stafford Airport be used for a future event for his organization.

    “We want to get kids excited about careers in aviation” and how to create a path to those careers, he said.

    The event would feature exhibitors from colleges, engineers and others from aviation careers. A pilot himself, Johnson said he plans to take some students up in a plane and looks for about 200 to attend.

    Johnson has taught aviation engineering at Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C., for 3 ½ years.

    Fuel sales were robust in January, manager Ed Wallis said. The spike was due mainly to military aircraft operating from Fort A.P. Hill.

    In comparison, the airport sold 17,000 gallons of fuel in January 2015 and 26,500 of fuel last year.

    Interest in the March 22 “Runway Runaway” is strong, Wallis said. More than 100 people registered for the event thus far. “The organizers of the event find that unprecedented,” he said.

    The airport will be hosting the event, which is a fundraiser for the Experimental Aircraft Association. Registration is $20 through February, $25 from March 1-19 and $30 after that. The race will start place at 8 a.m. More information is at www.staffordrunwayrunaway.org.