LAKEWAY AIRPARK FACTS
115 Flying Scot St. Lakeway TX 78734
A Statement in response to inaccurate reporting in the Impact.
There are some inaccuracies in the Impact article concerning the Lakeway Airpark which need to be addressed..
Inaccuracy #1 [avoidable by the reading at the 3R9 web site]
It states in the article that “Since the airpark is a nonprofit corporation run by members of the Flying Club”. That statement is incorrect. Lakeway Airpark Inc. is a not-for-profit organization run by a 7-person board of directors elected by the membership of the airpark. Membership is open to all citizens living within the boundaries of the Lake Travis Independent School district. Lakeway Airpark Inc. has no financial interest in the Flying Club. The flying club is run by a Lakeway citizen.
Missing Context [available via public records]
It is interesting that the mayor is trying to blame the Airpark for the city’s failure to enforce the sunset to sunrise operational restriction in the 2010 ordinance, yet it remains the responsibility of the city to do so. The mayor has acknowledged in a letter to Airpark President Mike Torbett in November 2021 that it is the city’s responsibility to do so, yet the police have refused to issue citations citing any violators. This has been very frustrating to Airpark members who live along the runway and often call to report these violations. In October 2021 the President of the Lakeway Airpark and an Airpark member met with acting police chief Crowder and 2 of his officers at the request of the Airpark. During that meeting the topics of emergency response and after-hours operations were discussed. The airpark asked why violators to the after hours operations prohibition were not being cited. The response was that the police deemed the sunset to sunrise restriction unenforceable. Following that meeting the Airpark President wrote to the city prosecutor requesting an opinion on the enforceability of that particular clause of the ordinance. The city prosecutor replied that she would prosecute violators and copied the police chief. If the mayor witnessed a violation, why did he not simply file a complaint and ask that the violator be cited? The opinion from the city prosecutor last October clearly indicates this is an option. Instead he continues to blame the airpark. Please note that there has never, in the history of the Airpark, been an accident related to late landings or early takeoffs.
Inaccuracy #2 [avoidable by reading the 3R9 web site or visiting the TCEQ web site]
The mayor has stated that the airpark has lapsed environmental permits, but has not supplied any evidence to Lakeway Airpark Inc. supporting that claim. It is the policy of Lakeway Airpark Inc.to meet federal, state, county, LCRA and city environmental regulations. Lakeway Airpark is unaware of any violations, missing or lapsed permits. If Lakeway Airpark were to be made aware of any such lapses, they would be promptly corrected.
It is true that in the 27 years since the airpark was formed in 1995 there have been 2 fatal accidents. with a total of 7 fatalities. While any accidental loss of life is tragic, it is a small number and is less than the 9 fatalities on Lake Travis last year alone. It is not evidence that the airpark is unsafe. The airpark is operated in a safe manner in accordance with federal regulations and there is a statistical analysis on the airpark website showing that in fact, Lakeway Airpark is much safer than the national average.
Lakeway Airpark is fully supportive of the proper creation of an Aviation Zoning committee to be approved by the city council. We are hopeful that the city council will choose representatives for the committee who will fairly represent the interests of the various stakeholders - the airpark, the airpark homeowners, aviation district property owners, the Lakeway flying community and the general citizenry of Lakeway.
Detailed information concerning the airpark's operations and safety can be found on the airpark website: https://www.3r9.org/airpark-stats
What Does the Airpark Want?
1. To have a positive, engaged, cooperative relationship with Lakeway Citizens, the City of Lakeway and our membership and guests. The Airpark has served this community since 1962 and we hope for much longer.
2. If we are faced with being operationally and financially destroyed by government overreach, then we are asking for:
The City to articulate WHAT urgent problem they are trying to solve for and the SIZE of that problem. So far we've shown the Airpark is much safer than U.S. average and much quieter and less busy than similar airports in Texas. Info HERE and also HERE.
The courtesy of working sessions with city staff and Airpark representatives. The Mayor finally agreed to form a working group but then nominated himself to be in this group, despite his biased, aggressive, demanding, unilateral zoning proposals to date.
Engagement with City Council members to inform, tour the Airpark, Q&A.
HISTORY: WHAT DID THE CITY DO?
It seems that at the behest of two individuals* the City of Lakeway, at the Direction of Mayor Kilgore, and without contacting or engaging the Airpark, re-wrote the AV district zoning ordinance in a way that would defund the Airpark’s ability to maintain itself, and buried it on page 109 of a 125 page agenda item posted on Dec 30th 2021 and scheduled for ZAPCO** on Jan 5th, 2022. The Airpark accidentally learned about it 36 hours before the ZAPCO meeting. Since then, the Mayor has been all over social media making additional false and inaccurate claims without evidence. At one point we received an email from the Mayor telling us that we don't need to educate him. He seems to be informed by some source with nefarious intentions and totally dismissive of having us help explain to him the nuances and details of how his zoning changes would impact the broader Lakeway community and our Airpark community. It is very unfortunate and totally avoidable.
Due to Airpark homeowners not being properly notified, ZAPCO was instructed to remove the item from their agenda, twice (as of Mid Feb 2022). It is now rescheduled for ZAPCO on March 3rd.
City Staff, without notifying us or working with us or reaching out to us in any way, revised (again) their zoning recommendations. They have since revised it again, 6 times, unilaterally.