BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration wants to install a wind shear detector near Baton Rouge Airport and airport officials say the Scotlandville Branch Library is the perfect location.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/101FonB) the library system's director wants more information before signing on to the project. A Metro Council member who represents the area is more direct, saying officials need to look elsewhere.
The wind shear detector, which resembles a small cellphone tower, would require a 20-foot-by-20-foot piece of property, said Greg Accardo, the airport's property coordinator. The towers are 60 to 80 feet tall.
Library Director Spencer Watts says that among his concerns are the possibility the installation would become a visual distraction and he'd like to see more technical details.
"Where exactly do they want to place it and in what quadrant?" he asked. "If it's near Mengel Road (on the south side of the library site), you might not even see it."
Ralph Hennessy, the airport's assistant director of aviation, said the library is the perfect spot for the tower.
"The FAA is going to put another one out there," Hennessy said. "We have to find a suitable site, preferably on government-owned land."
The tower would add to the handful of detectors already stationed around the airport, he said, and would make it possible for planes to land on 600 feet of runway currently unavailable for arriving planes.
Hennessy said airport officials approached the library board several years ago with the same request and the board approved it.
"That agreement was never put in motion, never acted upon," he said. "The FAA deemed it unnecessary, but now they want to go forward."
Wind shear is a meteorological phenomenon caused when wind is forced sharply downward, Hennessy said.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com