Delta forum will discuss power lines at airport

DELTA — Delta County will host a public forum next week to allow residents to voice their concerns about the construction of high-powered transmission lines near the Blake Field Airport.

The forum is scheduled for April 14 at 3 p.m. in room 234 of the Delta County Courthouse. The forum is scheduled to last two hours, according to Delta County Administrator Susan Hansen.

In a March 4 report, the Federal Aviation Administration determined the power lines, completed last November, pose a hazard to air navigation and could impair airport efficiency.

The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s 12.9-mile, $21 million power-line project includes a section of power poles one-half mile northwest of the Blake Field runway. The 50-foot-high poles sit on a hill that rises 100 feet higher than the runway and exceed height limits set forth by the FAA.

The report identified nine poles that could impact arrival, departure and en-route procedures for aircraft operating under visual flight regulations or VFR.

The Delta County Commission granted Tri-State approval for the lines last year with stipulations that the company adhere to all federal and state regulations.

After the transmission line was built, Tri-State said it unknowingly entered wrong longitude and latitude data into an online FAA notice tool that alerts a company if notification to the FAA is required for construction near an airport.

The FAA said it has no enforcement authority to make Tri-State change or alter the route to adhere to federal safety standards. That power rests with the Delta County Commission.

The County Commission has not said what changes, if any, it will impose on Tri-State.

“That’s too early to tell,” Hansen said Tuesday.

Tri-State said it wants a resolution between the company, the FAA and the county.

The new line is part of a transmission route between Montrose and Grand Junction.


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