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The Closure of “Crosswinds Runway” at The Northern Colorado Regional Airport Continues to Cause Safety Concerns

By Jessica Schneider

The Loveland Voice

September 18, 2023


Watch: Video flying in and out of The Northern Colorado Regional Airport.


Listen:  Audio of an experienced pilot trying to land in a crosswinds situation without access to the blocked runway.


Jer Eberhard performs safety checks on the Cessna before flight.
Jer Eberhard performs safety checks on the Cessna before flight.

While pilots at The Northern Colorado Regional Airport eagerly await the approval of the remote, or “virtual” air traffic control tower, the closure of the “crosswinds runway” also known as “6/24,” is causing a major safety concern, and limiting flight school students' ability to learn, pilots and flight school instructors say.


“It’s a problem and it’s a safety issue,” said Kelly Freeland, co-owner of The Flying School, which operates out of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL). 


“We have wind in our airport that comes up very quickly and can change very quickly,” Freeland added. “Crosswind landings are a very dangerous situation… The (landings) are a very advanced pilot maneuver. We have students out there, and we depend on that runway as a backup.”


A construction trailer being used for the new terminal building is the immediate issue, multiple pilots have told The Loveland Voice, but the terminal, when finished, will continue to block the runway until, and unless, the remote tower is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The new terminal obstructs the line of sight from the temporary control tower to the approach end of runway 624 potentially making the first 640’ of runway unusable until the remote tower is operational,” said Pilot Rick Turley. (Listen to audio of his recent landing at FNL without access to the crosswinds runway).


Learn More

The airport commission will meet this Thursday, September 21, and the issue of “airport governance” is on the agenda.


To learn more about how FNL is governed, and to access upcoming meeting agendas and minutes from previous meetings, visit https://www.flynoco.com/airport-commission/

        

About the FNL Series by The Loveland Voice:

Between hangar evictions, spending decisions and the abrupt departure of director Jason Licon, the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL). has been the subject of local controversy in recent months.


The Loveland Voice is interviewing pilots, aviation experts and local leaders to understand the implications that recent decision making regarding FNL may have on the larger community. This is the third part of a multi-part series about those issues.


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