Dania Beach Commission Grounds Runway Expansion Deal
DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Dania Beach Commissioners voted Tuesday night to void an unprecedented deal that would have resolved a long standing fight over a runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and residents who live near the airport.
The runway settlement deal would have paid more than 800 Dania Beach homeowners 20-percent of the value of their homes, but the deal was jeopardized when the FAA rejected the one-time payouts to residents.
The 2011 settlement called for the FAA to pay about $48 million dollars to the homeowners as compensation for the excessive noise created by the expansion of the south runway and in exchange, the residents would have waived their right to sue.
When the FAA nixed the plan, the Commission decided to do the same in order to revert to a 1995 settlement that offers homeowners less but requires the county to consult with the city on noise mitigation and places operational restrictions on the airport. Some of those restrictions include limiting night flights, the size of aircraft and directions of takeoffs and landings.
Despite the commission vote, the county is planning to continue work on the runway expansion project. The $790 million runway, which will rise 65 feet over U.S. 1 and run parallel to Griffin Road, is scheduled to open for commercial jetliners in 2014.
According to the FAA, an expanded runway will increase the airport’s capacity for take offs and landings, and reduce delays for passengers.