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Port to look more closely at Lincoln Park tree removal

July 23rd, 2013 - 5:28am

Port Angeles -- Port commissioners told staff to look at options before forming a game plan for the removal of the Lincoln Park trees that are obstacles to the flight path at Fairchild Airport.

The Port Angeles city council has adopted the Lincoln Park Master Plan, but funding for more than half of the 14-point-2 million dollar Phase A has not been identified.

At some point in the next 3 to 5 years, the height of the trees at Lincoln Park will dictate a new displace threshold that will further reduce the available surface for landing on Runway 26.

When that occurs, many larger aircraft may be prohibited from landing here.

The Port budgeted for an environmental assessment in 2013 that will be delayed because the Lincoln Park Master Plan has yet to be adopted.

As a result, the Port has approximately 800-thousand dollars of use-or-lose federal funding that expires in September 2014.

Commission President Jim Hallett says the Port is committed to maintaining the long-run viability of the airport and ensuring Lincoln Park remains a valuable recreation asset for the community.

The Port is committed to working with the City to provide a comprehensive approach to tree removal mitigation, but says the motion passed by the city council is substantially different than the Phase 1 from October 2012.

The F-A-A has indicated they cannot move forward with an environmental assessment until they know that the city is committed to the project.

More specifically, they will need to know -- at a minimum -- what the plan is to acquire necessary funding and when that is expected to happen.

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