Friday, July 18, 2008

AXH Expansion Update From FBN Blogs--Arcola Council Updates (Letter from FAA)--

This was posted by Tom Hilton to the FBN threads in response to a recent news piece. In the post, council member Hilton reported receiving a copy of a letter from the FAA to Congressman Nick Lampson affirming the plans for the expansion of the Houston SW Airport at Arcola (AXH). Please read:


We are honoring the contract as written, which states; "...either party may terminate this Agreement, with or without cause, by giving at least ten (10) days written notice to the other party." Why put terms into an agreement if they are not there to be utilized if necessary?

We gave written notice to the County to cease work, yet it is the County who has decided not to abide by the terms of the Agreement as they have continued to work.

The FAA recently answered the 10 questions posed back in April regarding the McKeever/RSA conflict. The graphic they supplied indicated that the RSA impinged slightly onto the existing McKeever, but they are willing to overlook that. We are looking to expand McKeever from 22' wide asphalt to either 36' asphalt (as defined in the interlocal agreement) or 41' concrete as we are looking at proposing. Either expansion would exacerbate the RSA conflict.

Our current City Administrator Arnold Brown and former City Administrator John Pape have both had direct conversations with County officials who have stated that there is a need to move McKeever to the north. In fact, Mr. Pape stated on the record that the removal of the trees was a prelude to that very thing. The way the agreement was written, WITH NO PLANS and giving the Road Commissioner the authority to "interpret" the meaning and fulfillment of the agreement, they could do that very thing and the City could not do a anything about it.

I believe they were in the process of doing just that.

If there is a need to move McKeever somewhat, then let's do it in a transparent, open process - not by some vague agreement that alters the scope of work described in the agreement. I don't have a problem trying to work around the existing requirements of the airport - it's been here a long time, and will continue to operate as it has in the past. We asked for information from the FAA showing us how this airport can operate legally within mandated FAA safety standards - we now have that information, so we are willing to design our road based on that info.

The problem is, and has been from the git-go, is that they do not want to work based on the existing requirements of the airport - they want to design our City streets based on the requirements of the proposed expansion of the airport. The FAA's June 23, 2008 letter to Congressman Lampson states; "The airport expects to upgrade to a C-II (expand from a B-II) at some time in the future..." There it is right from the horse's mouth - the expansion is still very much in the works. The County is citing "mobility" for its actions, but reality shows they are simply continuing to further the interests of a private developer using County funds - the best interests of the citizens of this County is, in my opinion, secondary in their actions.

The FAA also states; "It is good the city of Arcola has an interest in resolving issues surrounding South Post Oak, McKeever Road, and AXH (Houston SW Airport)."

So, here we are - trying to resolve these issues - at least the City is trying to do so. We'll see if the County has any interest in working together to resolve the issues at hand.

All the best,

Tom Hilton
Arcola City Council

MCC Comment: Mr. Hilton has worked long and hard to stop this airport expansion and we appreciate his ongoing efforts!




Question: Do you trust Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City, TX, to represent you rather than his Houston corporate backers?




3%  participating said yes  (n20)


91%  participating said no  (n573)


6%  participating responded not sure  (n39)


(N) sample =  632


Stay tuned as more surveys for coming elections are posted!

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