Town hall meeting Feb. 14 on Navy pilot training in Franklin

Published 11:28 am Friday, February 4, 2011

FRANKLIN—A town hall meeting for residents to ask questions about the proposed pilot training by the Navy at Franklin Municipal Airport will be held 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center.

Staff will make a presentation on what the city understands will be involved in the touch-and-go operations and give a report on reviewing the Navy’s written proposal. There will also be a talk from the Navy to resolve potentially conflicting information.

The City of Franklin expects to receive $700,000 to $1 million annually from the Navy to host the training.

The document was recently drafted by Navy attorneys and forwarded to the city. The document sets in motion negotiations between the City Council and Navy for the hosting of practice landings by pilots of turboprop aircraft, which transport cargo and personnel to carriers at sea.

The city has 30 days to review the preliminary draft and propose changes. Under the agreement, the city would be paid up to $1 million per year to provide services to the Navy. The document does not estimate the city’s cost of providing those services.

The Navy would conduct up to 20,000 “Field Carrier Landing Practice” passes, or FCLPs, annually, operating 15 to 20 days per month, or up to 200 days per year, for 10 to 12 months. On average, the Navy would conduct 100 passes per day in three-hour increments.

No more than three planes would fly at a time.

The airport would be closed to all other aviation during Navy exercises. Night operations would begin 30 minutes after sunset, with a “goal” of finishing by 10 p.m. Operations could not run past 11:59 p.m.

During the town hall meeting, residents may ask questions. They are asked to have these in writing.

General comments on the concepts of the proposal will not be the focus of this meeting. This limitation is due to expected time constraints, the desire to understand questions from the public and the need to allow all an opportunity to put their questions on the record.

All questions will be recorded and answers will be provided. All answers may not be available at the meeting because some may require research.