Canyonlands Field is a great airport – easy to access, yet far enough away from town and residential areas that the noise and other airport-related impacts are not imposed on Moab and Spanish Valley residents. However, the new Sky Ranch airport in Spanish Valley that is being planned by Mike Bynum, recently reported in the paper, will be smack dab in the middle of existing and expanding residential areas. Aircraft landings, take-offs and general flight patterns will be directly over Spanish Valley and Moab neighborhoods. The whine of airplanes will only be amplified in the narrow valley.
The original plat (on file at SJCO) is for only six one-acre lots. The most recent proposed plan we’ve seen is for over 50 lots for housing/accommodations plus over 50 hangars (some located on individual lots and over 30 clustered in a hangar area surrounding the airstrip). This is a vast difference. Unlike Canyonlands Field, the Sky Ranch airport will not benefit Moab and Spanish Valley residents, but rather will cater to “fly-in” pilots from around the country that want to land their planes adjacent to their homes and/or lodging accommodations.
Is this really necessary? No. Is this an awesome money-making venture for the developer? Most likely. But does it justify putting an airport in a quickly growing residential area when Canyonlands Field is a short 30-minute drive from the proposed Sky Ranch development?
We can only hope reasonable minds prevail and that the developer will be guided by his conscience and not solely by the bottom line, and that he’ll respect his neighbors and fellow Moabites rather than develop an airport in the valley that will impact most of us and benefit few, if any of us.