Chatham Airport Commission Plans Workshop to Discuss Tree Removal

From the Chatham Airport Open House event in 2017.

CHATHAM – The Chatham Airport Commission is setting up a public workshop as the group plans tree removal work which may affect some property owners.  

“Once this workshop is done, hopefully the general public will have a better idea of why we’re doing it, what’s involved with it, and the effect it might have on various property owners,” said Commission Chair Huntley Harrison.

The group will meet on April 13.

Commission officials reported that trees in the approach paths of several runways at the airport are causing obstructions, putting the airport out of compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The trees are also a possible safety concern.

According to the commission, FAA safety regulations require some areas of trees in the vicinity of the airport need to be trimmed back or removed, even if they occur within wetlands. State law allows for this at airports with certain precautions in place.

A date has not been set for the workshop yet, though it’s likely to be scheduled between May 16th and May 29th.

The discussion will feature an informative presentation and will be followed by a Q & A period. Harrison said he expected the meeting to last about two hours and that it would be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

The commission chair underlined why public awareness is necessary with matters concerning the airport.  

“I think that getting the word out about what we do is very important, adds a little transparency,” Harrison said.

Another workshop happening in the summer will cover proposed approaches to the airport and explain why the non-directional radio beacon will be decommissioned.  

Harrison stated there will be a series of discussions for the public to attend in the future with topics that may include answering questions about the airport master plan and information on runway protection zones.

Though the workshops won’t be formal commission meetings, Harrison ensured that he would set the forums up in a way that there would be no issues with Open Meeting Law.

Emails can be sent to for public comments or questions.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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