Proposed Jets At North Perry Airport Are A Threat To The Public

Guest Columnist

 (Jim Ryan is a commercial pilot, flight instructor and aircraft dispatcher who worked for several major airlines including Eastern Airline and Pan American.)  

Is North Perry Ready for Jets ?


I oppose the planned runway extensions at North Perry Airport. And the placement of the Navigational Facility known as a VOR.

 These projects will expose the residents of the City of Pembroke Pines and Miramar to a very serious health, safety and welfare condition to all those who live and play in the vicinity of the Airport

I have attended two of the Broward County Aviation Division  sponsored work shops and at both have voiced my concerns. I have talked with the Tower Chief and many e-mails to the BCAD Director.
Viewing an aerial view of North Perry Airport and the surrounding area one can easily see the positional hazards that exist

The runway in question is 9R/27L, the runway that parallels Pembroke Road. During the work shops the runways were to be lengthen to a total length of 4130 feet, from it’s current length of 3255 feet. I have now learned that this now being increased to 4595 feet. And at a cost of 2.8 million.

Since all aircraft depend upon the temperature of the air to generate lift and climb out speeds. The warmer the temperature becomes the thinner the air becomes and the longer the take off roll required.

This, I fear may cause a serious mishap to the surrounding community; consider the many ball fields that are on the airport property, the schools and five-story senior citizen communities to the west and the heavy residential areas surrounding the airport

I know that many will say “well the airport was here first “This is true but the airport only supported small slower prop aircraft. 


On May 8, 2009 I had a meeting with some of the planning staff for the BCAD, and posed some questions’

1. Is it the intent of the BCAD to expand the runway to invite VLJ to North Perry?

Answer No. (But the Sun-sentinel on Feb 16, 2009 wrote regarding the work shop
Among the topics to be discussed are facility improvements, including fencing and landscaping upgrades, extension of the east west runway for light jets and installation of a navigational aid VOR.)

2. Will VLJ be allowed to operate and be based at North Perry Airport in the future?

Answer. Yes

3. Is the current configuration of the runway causing any operational problem to any of the current tenants?

Answer. No

4. If not why is the County spending 2.8 million dollars for the expansion to the runways and how it will be funded…

 Answer. The proposed projects are not funded by general revenue funds or taxpayers.

But the BCAD will contribute local funds through the existing Airport Enterprise Fund. 
This fund collects revenues generated from landing fees, automobile parking, concession, property leases and other airport-related revenue generating elements at both FLL and North Perry

5. My next question was. Are the taxpayers the ones that contribute to the Airport Enterprise fund?

No answer 

I urge the Cities of Pembroke Pines and Miramar by resolution to the Broward County Commission ask that Jets be banned from North Perry Airport.

4 Responses to “Proposed Jets At North Perry Airport Are A Threat To The Public”

  1. Jim's Concerns Valid But... says:


    When Jim Ryan shared his concerns with me about the Perry Airport expansion, I took immediate steps to make sure he got the attention that his concerns demanded.

    I contacted the County Aviation Department Director and requested that he meet with Jim to discuss these concerns. That request was granted and afterward the County Aviation Director told me that his Perry Airport expansion plans had been reviewed very carefully and were found to be safe in all respects. He told me the plans met or exceeded all FAA safety requirements and would be implemented accordingly.

    Now, when you get a assurance that clear, that authoritative, that convincing, from a source as high in the county’s chain of command as Aviation Director, regarding an issue so basic and well understood as airport safety, it leaves little room for argument.

    And still I somehow wish that years ago, when we had the chance, we had done things differently.

    As Jim Ryan suggests it’s certainly better to locate airports as far away from residential communities as possible. Today, we see TV accounts of planes making emergency landings on Turnpikes and highways, and sadly crashing into houses much too often.

    Locating our airports away from houses is an opportunty we lost many years ago.

    Back in the 1980’s, when cities like Pembroke Pines were planning their westward expansions, we could have relocated Perry Airport from it’s current location to out west near US 27. Housing could then have been built where the current Perry Airport stands, and the new airport would be far away from any housing, easily able to accommodate the kinds of jets that it cannot today serve.

    But we didn’t do that. For whatever reasons the foresight was not there. Perhaps it was considered too expensive. Whatever the reasons we must now confront the consequences of that decision.

    The area around Perry Airport is chocked full of houses and activities. There is good reason to raise questions about safety. At the same time, it would be imprudent ignore what our Aviation experts have told us. I have the assurance of the Aviation Director himself — their plans are safe. Without that assurance, my city would have undoubtedly taken other much stronger steps.

    Jim Ryan is a credible guy, a professional aviator who knows government circles. Jim continues to think there’s a problem with the Perry Airport expansion plans. His comments cannot be dismissed. They should be studied and studied until we are darn sure those plans make sense.

    Angelo Castillo, Vice Mayor
    City of Pembroke Pines

  2. Billy T. L. says:

    There are parts of Pembroke Pines and Miramar that should be wiped out. These cities change their names to Strip Mall City.

  3. Phil McConaghey says:

    I have lived at the edge of this airport for 45 years and never complaimed. But allowing VLJ jets is te worst idea I jhave ever heard. Several years ago a jet ran off the runwat and went thru the fence and stopped just short of a childrens baseball dugout. The noise factor and green gases from these jets is terrible.

  4. Carol Peterson says:

    I have lived in Pembroke Pines 40 years and planes from Perry Airport have been going over my house for years. I am opposed to allowing jets at Perry. When the airport was built in 1939, jets were not even on the drawing board. The area around Perry has grown considerably over the years. A College sits on one corner, at the East end of the airport is a Park, Ballfields and Tennis Courts. On the West end of the airport across University sits a City housing developement and another College facility. Over the years there have been several plane crashes…one three houses to the east of 72nd which crashed into the house on 14th St. One plane ran off the runway and almost into the ball fields at the Park. THE NOISE AND DANGER OF JETS SHOULD BE PROHIBITED AT PERRY.