Bridgeport & Lee Vining Airport Land Use Planning Areas
The following briefly summarizes the major issues, opportunities and constraints concerning land use and airport operations in the Lee Vining and Bridgeport airport planning areas.
- Airport operations inherently present certain risks to the general welfare of the public and residents within the airport vicinity, particularly the area within the Runway Safety Area. The Runway Safety Area consists of:
The primary surface, runway and 20:1 approach surface (see Figure 1 & 2: Runway Protection Zone Plan and Profiles);
The area underlying the runway approach and transitional surfaces (see Figures 1 & 2: Runway Protection Zone Plan and Profiles); and
The area within the primary traffic pattern (see Figures3 & 4: Primary Traffic Patterns).
The Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airport Master Plans/2020 summarizes detailed FAA criteria and design standards that apply to Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airports, based on approach category A design group 1 aircraft with visual approaches to both ends of the runway. These criteria address runway and taxiway widths, lengths, and clearance standard dimensions. The criteria specifically address the Runway Safety Zone, the Obstacle Free Zone, and the Runway Protection Zones, in addition to other areas of the airport.
- Since aircraft align with the approach/departure surface when landing or taking off on runways, these areas carry the highest volume of air traffic. Aircraft change power settings to take off or land in this area, so they have a tendency to have more problems within these areas. An Approach and Runway Protection Zone Plan in the Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airport Master Plans/2020 contains plan view information for the runway approach areas. At Bryant Field, these drawings indicate that the terrain east of the airport penetrates the conical and portions of the horizontal surface; it is appropriate that the aircraft traffic pattern is west of the runway (Wadell, p. 25, see Figure 3, Primary Traffic Patterns--Bryant Field Airport). At Lee Vining, these drawings indicate the terrain west of the airport penetrates the conical and portions of the horizontal surface; it is appropriate that the aircraft traffic pattern is east of the runway (Wadell, p. 26, see Figure 4, Primary Traffic Patterns--Lee Vining Airport).
- The Runway Protection Zone, located at ground level beyond the end of the runway, is particularly subject to safety and noise factors (see Figures 1 and 2: Runway Protection Zone Plan and Profiles). The Runway Protection Zone is the most critical zone in which aircraft operations might affect the safety of people and property in the airport vicinity.
Several structures are located within the Runway Protection Zone at the south end of Bryant Field, and a number of residential structures are located in the Bryant Field approach surface. The County has actively pursued acquisition of building and property in the Runway Protection Zone. The runway at Bryant Field cannot be extended to the north due to the proximity of Bridgeport Reservoir. It cannot be extended to the south due to the presence of state highways and local roads.
There are no structures in or near the Runway Protection Zone at Lee Vining Airport. Since the land surrounding the Lee Vining Airport is owned by the City of Los Angeles or is publicly owned land, it is unlikely to be developed. The southern portion of the runway is within the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, another constraint to future development within the area.
- Noise readings taken at Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airports indicate that noise does not extend much beyond the boundaries of the airport property (see Figures 5 and 6, Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airport Existing Noise Contours). The convergence of aircraft taking off and landing within the approach/departure surfaces intensifies noise levels within those areas. Sensitive noise receptors in the general vicinity of Bryant Field Airport include residential development in the surrounding areas, Bridgeport Elementary School (approximately 0.5 miles to the southwest of the airport), and the Bridgeport Medical Clinic (approximately 0.75 to the southwest of the airport). No residential development or other sensitive noise receptors are planned within the general vicinity of the Lee Vining Airport. The nearest area where additional sensitive noise receptors (e.g., residential development) may occur is the community of Lee Vining, approximately 1 mile to the west of the airport.
At Bryant Field Airport, the 55 dB CNEL contour projects partially into the residential area to the east of the airport. The airport noise impact to this area is infrequent and intermittent, and therefore not significant; this same area experiences greater and more frequent noise impacts from the adjacent highway traffic on SR 182. Airport activity is not projected to increase significantly during the time frame of the current Airport Land Use Compatibility (ALUC) Plan (2020), and therefore noise impacts are not anticipated to become significant. No residential development or other sensitive noise receptors presently exist or are planned adjacent to the Lee Vining Airport.
- Due to the inherent risks associated with airport activities, some land uses need to be restricted in certain airport zones. Neither Bryant Field nor the Lee Vining airport is situated in a manner that significantly conflicts with existing land use. The majority of land surrounding the Bryant Field Airport is publicly owned land and is unlikely to be developed. Existing and proposed development within the community areas of Bridgeport is small-scale residential, commercial, industrial, and public uses that do not conflict with the airport. The Bridgeport Landfill, located to the east of the airport, which in the past may have created a hazard to the airport by attracting birds, has been converted to a transfer station with covered transfer facilities. The majority of land surrounding the Lee Vining Airport is owned by the City of Los Angeles or is publicly owned land and is unlikely to be developed. The southern portion of the runway is within the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, another constraint to future development within the area.
- Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airports are classified as a basic utility general aviation airport, which serves aircraft with approach speeds up to but not including 91 knots (Category A). On occasion the airport receives transient turboprops and business jets (at Bryant Field). The airport should continue to be developed as a basic utility stage I airport handling A-I aircraft (aircraft with approach speeds less than 91 knots and a wingspan of less than 49 feet). Basic Utility Stage 1 airports serve about 75% of the single-engine and small twin-engine airplanes used for personal and small business purposes. Precision approach operations are not usually anticipated.
- Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airport exceed aviation demand throughout the ALUC planning period (2000-2020).