Airport won't host drag racing in 2008
Evidence of a couple depressions in the runway sealed Dakota Drag Racing's fate. The Dickinson Airport Authority Board voted 3-1 during its regular meeting Tuesday to terminate its relationship with the drag racing association. The Dickinson Theo...
Evidence of a couple depressions in the runway sealed Dakota Drag Racing's fate.
The Dickinson Airport Authority Board voted 3-1 during its regular meeting Tuesday to terminate its relationship with the drag racing association.
The Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport served as the site of the group's annual event for at least the past seven years.
"The cons outweigh the pros," Dickinson airport Manager Matt Remynse said. "The employees don't like doing it. They like it for five minutes, and then their ears hurt."
Remynse's main concern, though, is evidence of damage to the runway the association uses.
"I can kind of see dips in there," Remynse said. "We had plows out Sunday night and we had two patches of snow (that marked the dips)."
Remynse said he believed the dips match where the drag racers do burnouts. Remynse said he also thinks the tire size matches an automobile more than an airplane.
"We said since day one, we contemplated it could create taxiway damage, and we'd have to stop before the taxiway damage occurred," airport authority Vice Chairman Jon Frantsvog said.
Board member Bob Zent said the airport originally signed on to host only four events. Frantsvog said the events continued because engineers didn't notice any runway damage, other than one event that resulted in a minor damage to the seal coat.
Remynse said new Federal Aviation Administration requirements for a three-minute response time in case of an accident might be difficult to meet during the summer drag race event.
"My primary concern would be safety and just the additional complication it brings to running the whole airport," airport authority board Chairman Tom Reichert said.
Reichert said even during the event, the airport could not close the runway used by the drag racing association. Remynse said, though, nothing blocks an airplane from landing on that runway.
Frantsvog said the board has discussed safety concerns since the Dakota Drag Racing Association began hosting events at the airport.
Remynse said as far as he knows the association plans to open a facility to host events in Richardton in 2009.
"It seems to me they have had plans (to create a facility) since two years before I got here," Remynse said.
Reichert said he would be surprised if the group had the resources to open a drag racing site by then.
Board member Charlie Krug put forth a motion to allow the association to host a race at the airport for one final year to give the group more than a year to find a new site.
"One more time wouldn't kill us," Krug said. "And, then, say we're done."
The motion failed, without a second supporter. Krug voted against the motion to terminate the relationship this year.
"If we're going to terminate the relationship, we should just terminate the relationship," Reichert said.
He said by making a decision now, the drag racing association has six months to find a new location.
Remynse said the only benefits to hosting the event is approximately $2,500 in revenue, which the airport doesn't budget, and exposure.
Remynse said, though, even the exposure doesn't necessarily make people think about flying out of the airport.
Board member Craig Steve was absent from Tuesday's meeting.