The FAA folks have really dug themselves into a gopher hole on this one. At my airport we deal with a gopher problem by aiming a tractor or truck tire at the gopher mound. It takes practice but in time, driving the airport property and having a target in sight, things become second nature.
The benefits of pounding gopher mounds are twofold: 1) You level out runways, taxiways and ramps, and 2) You discourage those varmints from settling in on airport property. It’s safer for all particularly during aircraft operations.
Sometimes the gophers get real numerous so we get out the heavy roller and mash down mounds in multiples. Similarly, a drag bar can be used to level mound mottled turf surfaces. Occasionally, when things really get out of hand, we’ll push poison pills beneath the surface. This serves to knock back the most stubborn of mole infestations.
While it seems to me that NavWorx has been busy pounding gophers and pushing solutions, the scripted varmints at the FAA keep burrowing about their business of “We’re not happy unless you’re not happy.” Until the moles can pinpoint some real problem, no one’s gonna be able to iron out an effective solution. It’s certainly not gonna come in the form of an ill-contrived AD.
For the time being we’ll continue flying, gopher mounds and all, while seeking a better solution to keeping our airports and airways safe. Concurrently at the FAA, safety in the workplace appears to take priority over safety in the airspace. It’s far time someone told them this.
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