Aviation, Civic Responsibility, Local Issues

Power Line Proposal – Close Scrutiny Urged

Click to see original imageFor years the efforts of many dedicated individuals and a considerable amount of money have gone into developing and maintaining the Provo Municipal Airport as an economic force in the community.

At present funding is being considered for a branch fire station to be built on airport property.

Three fixed wing aircraft operations are already sustained at the facility.

Many businesses have already found the airport an advantage in flying personnel and parts to the area and out again.

More industries are expected to make the same discovery. Near the airport, an industrial complex is planned which will have the advantage of immediate proximity to a major landing field.

But such development could be threatened and a new flying safety hazard introduced with installation of a high voltage power line proposed by Utah Power and Light C0.

The line calls for the erection of towers 130 feet tall. They are to be built on the east side of the field.

Under normal flying conditions the lines admittedly would not interfere with air flights.

But air tragedies never occur under normal flying conditions.

Just last year a well known pilot in Central Utah lost his life when winds tossed his plane into power lines near the Spanish Fork Springville airport.

Several years ago four others lost their lives when a light plane had difficulty maintaining altitude and crashed into a power line 70 feet lower than the proposed high tension line.

A recent FAA report on the power line indicated that should the line be installed the minimum altitude for entering a descent pattern would be raised some 280 feet.

The change would have the effect of obliterating hopes that the Provo air facility would ever become an alternative route for commercial carriers diverted from Salt Lake International Airport.

There are other alternatives to the route suggested by Utah Power and Light. Considerations for the lines path should be based on more than convenience and cost alone.

The Herald believes planners should take a long look at the power line proposal and the alternatives. Every possible consideration should be given economic, safety, and other factors in determining what is best for the entire community.