25 May KVNC Tower Update — May 25, 2022
Today VASI gave a presentation to the Venice City Council recommending an Air Traffic Control Tower for the Venice Municipal Airport. This is a direct result of your input during the past year and the overwhelming majority of you (83%) voting in our poll to recommend a tower for KVNC. Earlier VASI had requested to appear before the City Council and an invitation was extended for today’s Council meeting. Your VASI team has been working on this presentation for quite some time, and appreciate all your suggestions and input. We assembled a presentation complete with a Power Point slide show to present a convincing argument to the Council.
I, and Board Member Paul Hollowell made the presentation. We had been advised to limit our time to approximately 10 minutes. So, over the weekend, we practiced trying to trim it down to the concise facts of our argument. In reality, we ran over a few minutes, but observers in the audience report that we held the attention of the Council throughout our presentation. Upon completion, the Council held us another 30 minutes asking questions, every Council Member had a question. How, when, how much, noise mitigation, safety, etc. Our “ASK” was for the Council to take some action, not just let it die on the table. Where to go from here?
City Manager Ed Lavalle stepped up and suggested that the Airport Master Plan be revised, updated to include the possibility of a tower. This would get the FAA involved as to the need and feasibility of a tower for KVNC. A hired consultant would research and update the AMP, paid for 90% by FAA. Mr. Lavalle emphasized that it is prudent to get as much factual information as possible for the Council to proceed and getting the FAA involved is essential in this process. This discussion was followed with a motion by Councilor Pachota for same, and it carried 7-0! Success!
So, the bottom line is, we have started the ball rolling. We have action by the Council, which previous efforts failed to do. Although we would like to take credit for the Council’s action, it is probably the fact that the times have changed and KVNC is no longer just a small town airport on the Gulf! It will be a long arduous journey with no guarantee of success.
No doubt the success of this meeting and all the publicity will peak the interest of residents both for and against this project. A reminder to all members that you can serve as our ambassadors to help educate and enlighten your friends and neighbors about the facts on this project – to that end we have enhanced the VASI FAQ document accordingly. The last two pages address basic facts about a tower at Venice that may get lost in rumors, newspaper articles or letters to the editor. We are not asking all members to support this project (since 17% said No) but to help spread the facts so that all pilots, residents, and businesses form their opinion based on reality and not misinformation. Furthermore, we should all expect that there will be further discussions on this matter at future council meetings and we need be prepared to restate the facts to prevent any distractions. Feel free to download and read the FAQ here and share it with anyone whom you think may benefit from it.
City Council meetings are on Zoom ( some members reported viewing) and recorded by the City. Check link below to view. Also attached are my opening remarks and Pauls’ talk with Power Point.
P.S. The Council meeting proceeded faster than thought, we were called up about 9:20 and were finished by 10am!!! Many thanks to the “Blue Shirts” that showed up to support only to learn we were finished!!!