SNF Grass Runway Extension Not Ready

Glasair Sportsman at Paradise City
Photo: Glasair Aviation

The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) is warning those flying into Paradise City at Sun ‘n Fun that the runway extension is not ready for prime time. In an urgent message to light aircraft exhibitors, performers and attendees, LAMA said the new sod on the extension isn’t grown in yet and that could be a dangerous problem for anyone trying to use it. “While the runway has indeed been lengthened, the added length will not be useable,” LAMA said in an email to members and media. “You must assume the runway length continues to be the 1,400 feet (430 meters) it has been for the last few years. The reason is that fresh sod has been laid and any aircraft using the extended portion to the west of the former end could experience problems plus it could damage the sod and create expense.”

The organization is urging anyone planning on using the grass strip to not land long when landing to the west and not land short when landing to the east. While the useable runway will, indeed, be longer in the future, it appears that it’s not really intended to be used and the historic runway length of 1430 feet should be observed. That’s because the longer runway might be inviting for bigger airplanes and that’s not the intent. “Please assume the maximum usable runway length is 1,400 feet (430 meters). This is more than enough for Light-Sport Aircraft, light kit aircraft, and the ultralights that normally use the Paradise City runway but it is not enough for high-wing-loading aircraft with approach speeds faster than 70 mph.”


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