PUNTA GORDA — The question is still out as far as who exactly will be affected when Punta Gorda Airport changes its flight patterns next year.
Currently, the airport’s sole carrier Allegiant Air uses runway 4-22 while construction goes on at its triangular runway 15-33.
In September 2021, PGD plans to begin rehabilitation and extension work on 4-22, moving all flights to 15-33.
“It’s hard to say how many neighborhoods will be affected at this point,” said PGD Communications Manager Kaley Miller. “Allegiant is using this 4-22 all the time so when it closes they will be using 15-33 all the time (which runs parallel to the terminal). Neighborhoods off of Jones Loop and others (to the northwest region) will see more flights taking off and landing.”
The Charlotte County Airport Authority approved a deal Thursday to hire AECOM to help with public outreach on the changes and the noise that comes with them.
The date of that meeting is still being determined, but the goal is to hold it sometime in December or January 2021.
“(In) hiring AECOM, and asking the Federal Aviation Administration to come, people (will have a better) understanding of what to expect,” Miller said. “I can’t say which way the planes are going to go but where the turns are, that is where people are going to start seeing planes in different places that they may not have seen before.”
This isn’t the first time PGD has worked with AECOM.
The engineering firm also worked on the airport’s 2018 master plan update and are currently mapping the approach and landing routes for runway 15-33.
“They know exactly where the planes are going to be coming and leaving because they are mapping out that path so that’s why it makes sense (to hire them),” Miller said. “It also makes sense to have an independent engineering contractor so it’s beyond just our local staff.
“With their expertise (and the) FAA representatives (we will be able to) verify that these are the best routes to take to avoid the most densely populated neighborhoods.”