Alas, Travis AFB still needs protecting. This time, it’s not from home developers, it’s from wind turbine builders.
Already much of the distance between Rio Vista and the base has been covered with turbines. Now turbine builders want to breach the Highway 12 line to the north and come even closer to the base.
It’s important to remember that the training of air crews is a fundamental mission of Travis.
Young pilots come here with only a few training flights. This is where they find out how to fly the big birds. Much of that training should be realistic, low-level landing training – especially for the C-17 and its new assault landing strip. Five hundred-foot-high approaches are required in C-17 training. Yet new wind turbines reach up to 450 feet.
This is a clear safety problem. It will push approach landings higher, making for much less realistic training. Does the turbine company, EDC in this case, care about realistic training? Of course not.
Encroachment occurs in nibbles. This is a huge nibble. Supervisor Skip Thomson is correct in his insistence that the Board of Supervisors study this problem, looking seriously at a moratorium on further encroachment. But there’s really not much to study. All you need to know are the basic facts above.
chair Citizens’ Committee to Protect Travis AFB
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