the tops snipped and carted off to fill in the
bottom land. Once you decide on an elevation
for the runway, all the other elements (taxi-
way, ramp, hangars, jet center, FBO building,
fuel farm, and on it goes) seek the same level,
which means great tons of dirt work.
from the station were in the middle of the air-
port's approach and departure path.
a short two miles south. It's hard to imagine
the school district supporting an airport that
points its airplanes directly over the school.
ty. I'm already wondering what a bridge costs.
the runway as proposed puts aircraft in the
flight path of Austin-Bergstrom International.
I couldn't risk the possibility of a mid-air col-
lision involving a Bird's Nest taildragger and
a Boeing 777.
pen. In the presentation Dayle and Tre and
Rick put together, they inked in a 5,500-foot
runway in a more or less north-south axis, sort
of overlapping the existing runway. The prob-
lem was that the new longer runway would
have to cross several creeks. Let's agree it
was not impossible to reroute a creek, but
whether you could get the U.S. Army Corps
tion the city, the county, and creek-loving en-
vironmentalists and water resource crazies
from all corners--was another matter. And
even if you could get everyone on board, my
guess was the process would take five to ten
years with no guarantee of receiving approv-
al. An alternative was to set aside the north-
south runway alignment and instead go with a
northeast-southwest alignment which stayed
well clear of any creeks.
Dayle and Tre and Tim trying to read my
face, hoping for a sign.
"I need some time," I said. "To think about
"Like what?" I asked.
"That's the thing," Dayle said. "I don't even
by time and experience and truths only we
can understand. Some feel pitfalls ahead and
move with caution. Others smell advantage
and act quickly. I'm tempted to say I look at
the world around me as I might a machine--
though that strikes me too cold--as a thing
of many moving parts. When I can, I'll take
a thing apart and learn how it works. And
when I can't, like now, I imagine all the parts
slowing down. When the parts are moving
this slowly, it's easy to see how an adjustment