Officials at Williams Gateway Airport are slated today to discuss establishing federally-sanctioned flight paths and allowing Phoenix or other agencies to become minority shareholders.
Officials are seeking Federal Aviation Administration approval on new flight paths. The action would create standards for the procedures pilots use when flying into and out of the former Air Force base.
"Our task is to get a procedure in place to make the environment standardized," said Walt Fix, the airport's director of operations.
Williams Gateway and FAA officials are scheduled to give presentations about the proposed paths at today's meeting, which is open to the public.
The move comes in anticipation of transforming the air base into a "reliever" airport for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Most of the traffic at Williams Gateway is general aviation, military and cargo flights. A goal of the airport authority board is to establish regular commercial service, which could include flights by major carriers.
The airport has received nearly a dozen calls from as far east as Apache Junction about the proposed routes, said Brian Sexton, an airport spokesman. Most of the callers were concerned about the possibility of noise from the proposed routes.
"There's people who don't understand what we're trying to accomplish, who think it will make matters worse," Fix said. “Really, what we're trying to accomplish is (to create) an overlay of already existing routes. They'll just be standardized and published.”
Also during the meeting, the airport authority board will discuss changing the bylaws governing who can buy into the facility.
In December, the Tribune reported that Mesa was quietly exploring sharing ownership of the airport with Phoenix to help lure major carriers and spark development around the airport.
Mesa has a 78 percent controlling interest in Williams Gateway. Other entities with minority interests in Williams Gateway include Gilbert, Queen Creek and the Gila River Indian Community.
Flight path meeting
What: Presentation on proposed flight paths
When: 9 a.m. today
Where:Williams Gateway Airport, 5835 S. Sossaman Road, Mesa