New Pahrump Airport in the Works

March 30, 2009 - Pahrump, Nevada

A possible new airport on the California/Nevada border in Pahrump Valley may be built on land leased from the Bureau of Land management, with some alternative plans a mile of the Nopah Range Wilderness boundary. One plan calls for the airport to be on the wilderness boundary. The total length of runway and buffer is 2 1/4 miles. Phase I would include building a 5,000-foot runway, a parallel taxiway and  entry-exit taxiway, parking apron, perimeter fencing, electrical and phone  service, airfield lighting, automated weather observation station, parking  lot, 30 hangars, hangar taxiways, fuel tanks, an on-site water well, on-site  septic sewer system and on-site stormwater detention basin. It is designed to serve corporate jets with wing spans of 78 feet and weights of 30,000 pounds. The approach road is from the north (away from the border). The development would be 650 acres.

Noise and night lights would threaten wilderness values, also increase the danger to desert tortoises. Two other airports exist north of town, and we wonder why not expand one of those, especially if they are on private land?

One mitigation that could be demanded would be to require 8-10 miles of tortoise fence on the border from CA Highway 178/NV Highway 372 southeast to keep out ORVs.  It would do nothing about noise and light pollution, but would at least give the animals more protection than they now have.

The Federal Aviation Administration is given as the lead author of the required Environmental Assessment. We think this really needs a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement.

Date on the notice is March 16, 2009. Final deadline for comments on scoping for the EA is April 20, 2009.

(Thanks to Steve Tabor, Desert Survivors, for information about this.)

See the story >>here.

^Site of the potential airport in Pahrump Valley next to the Nopah Range.

Send Comments

Doug Pomeroy,
Environmental Protection Specialist,
Federal Aviation Administration,
831 Mitten Road, Suite 210,
Burlingame, CA 94010.
Dear Mr. Pomeroy,
We would like to submit these comments for the environmental assessment on the proposed Pahrump Airport.
A 650 acre airport will have significant impacts to the Mojave Desert, flora and fauna including the Pahrump Buckwheat and the desert tortoise, effect the character of adjacent wilderness areas in California -- The Nopah Range Wilderness and the Pahrump Valley Wilderness. It will inflict noise and visual impacts on nearby Death Valley National Park and destroy the property values of near by residential areas.
Due to the high volume of potential impacts, an Environmental Impact Statement should be written instead of a weak Environmental Assessment.
Thank you,

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