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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Pahrump ready for a small regional airport

I absolutely disagree with the need or the wisdom of having a general aviation airport.

A Pahrump General Aviation Airport is limited to non-scheduled aviation and non-scheduled transport. It does not serve the needs of the vast majority of the population. General Aviation covers corporate jets, flying clubs, gliders, and flight training, agricultural aviation and light aircraft maintenance.

A Pahrump Regional Airport in contrast would provide scheduled flights and a commercial airline providing passenger flights to and from Pahrump would be classified as a regional carrier.

Regional airports are meant to serve a relatively small or lightly populated geographical area and normally will not have customs and immigration facilities. Aircraft using these airports tend to be turboprop aircraft, smaller business jets, or jetliner varieties. They usually go a short distance to larger regional hubs.

The Federal Aviation Administration considers a turbojet-powered aircraft with more than nine passenger seats to be a scheduled domestic flight operation.

A Pahrump Regional Airport, accommodating medium-haul aircraft, could provide a convenient shuttle service to McCarran International Airport of Las Vegas as well as LAX Airport of Los Angeles. Southwest Airlines is a carrier that happens to provide frequent McCarran Airport service through Terminal-1 and also has flights to LAX.

With the 160 Highway from Pahrump to Las Vegas being a single lane for a good percentage of its length, having a regional airport would be a big break from our semi-isolation.

Therefore, the availability of a shuttle service would be very welcome to the approximately 37,000 people of Pahrump, as well as to the nearby communities. Amargosa Valley is 45-miles from Pahrump with an approximate population of 1,600. Beatty is 74-miles from Pahrump with an approximate population of 1,020. And Tonopah is 168-miles from Pahrump with an approximate population of 2,500.

Potential benefits

We will be able to attract NEW businesses that currently have no reason to be interested.

We have a favorable dry climate, no state income tax, and no snow or severe weather disruptions. Our commercial and residential real estate is very competitive. Direct local access to Los Angeles could serve as a major catalyst for improvements in Pahrump. With direct flights it becomes convenient for visiting, vacation or world class state-of-the-art specialized medical care. It also becomes easier and more likely for people to visit you in Pahrump. Many businesses, in both directions, will find all kinds of possibilities especially in the area of Import/Export.

Some of the businesses that would benefit are Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, the wineries, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, Mountain Falls Golf Course, and the ability for Pahrump itself to serve as a springboard to Death Valley.

Employment in the service industry as a whole will see growth. However, businesses specifically located by or serving the airport such as taxi service, car rental, bus tours to Death Valley, retail outlets, motels, and parking facilities will be direct beneficiaries. The one item that will benefit everyone will be the increased tax base for the Town of Pahrump.

First of all it is necessary to locate the airport a good distance away from any residential areas.

To accomplish that, Nye County will need to expand the current southern borderline southward to just a little past Tecopa Road which connects to Highway 160. That would require the willingness of Clark County to release that area and there is no good reason for them not to. The area is open range without any infrastructure or tax base and to provide service to an area on the other side of a mountain range is logistically not exactly an attractive prospect.

Therefore, Nye County and the Town of Pahrump have to immediately and purposefully make a decisive and clear change in direction to focus on the development of an airport located near Tecopa Road off Highway 160 as soon as possible!

For Pahrump, there are some very valid reasons for locating the airport to that area. Airport pollution has been known as a threat to human health since the 1970s. And there is no need to be close to an airport to be affected by the emissions.

Emissions that occur during an airplane flight are not a danger because the pollutants are expelled at higher levels of the atmosphere. But at ground level, during takeoff and landing and while idling, high concentrations of harmful gases and particulate matter enter the air. Based on studies at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, the following should be a serious concern regarding an airport location.

Takeoff emissions are spread over an area 12 miles long by 12 miles wide.

The landing emissions area is somewhat smaller, 12 miles long by 6 miles wide.

Nye County needs to proceed expeditiously to arrange with Clark County for the transfer of the required land as specified. All relevant airport planning would need to adjust accordingly for the construction and establishment of a Regional Pahrump Airport.

There are a tremendous amount of benefits at stake for all of Pahrump. The process in getting the airport needs to be fully transparent to eliminate the possibility of losing a huge chunk of funding as it happened previously, when $600,000 was lost. Also, if someone is causing a problem, we can know about it. People deserve no nonsense, honest service, with no incompetence, foot-dragging or BLM Bureaucratic hindrance.

Where there is a will, there is a way!

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