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Public comment period Nov. 9-16 on upcoming Methow airport beacon testing

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Date:  Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Contact: Nisha Marvel, WSDOT aviation communications, 360-651-6310

WINTHROP – Methow residents are invited to comment on the upcoming navigation beacon testing at the Methow Valley State Airport.

Crews will test the airport beacon from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly Nov. 5 through Nov. 7, with additional testing possible Nov. 8. During each evening of testing, crews will activate the beacon at 8- to 12-degree angles and test shielding options. The testing is part of a visual analysis that the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division is conducting to address community concerns about the light from the beacon.

Residents can provide feedback during a public comment period from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, once the beacon testing is complete. People can comment using the online comment form, download a printable version (pdf150 kb) or request a hard copy of the comment form by calling WSDOT Aviation at 360-651-6300 or emailing

After WSDOT completes testing on the beacon and receives feedback from the Methow community, WSDOT will prepare a final report with a summary of findings by early January 2013. WSDOT will then work with the Federal Aviation Administration to select a strategy or identify other options.

WSDOT turned the beacon off July 18 in response to concerns.

Rotating airport beacons serve as navigation aids for pilots flying at night. They are normally required to operate from dusk to dawn at federally-funded, lighted airports, such as Methow.

The airport installed the beacon as part of its recently completed airport layout plan that laid the groundwork for several safety projects, including lighting improvements, obstruction surveying, obstruction removal, perimeter fencing and runway safety area grading.

More information is available at

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