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Emergency Landing Leads Safety Concerns Near Small Plano Airport

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - An emergency landing raises new concerns about a small airport in Plano and its proximity to nearby homes and business.

Cheryl Mullins sells beds.  But this West Plano business owner says working less than 100 yards from a runway is anything but restful.

"I would say it's been interesting being right across from an airport there are some moments I wish I had a back door," says Mullins.

She has watched planes take off and land at Air Park Estates for four years.

It's a private airport that for 50 years, pilots have been able to taxi their planes directly from their houses to the runway.

But recent incidents including an emergency landing into a homeowners fence on Sunday have renewed concerns about whether the thriving neighborhood and airport can coexist.

"The concerns about safety are a bit unfounded," says Mark Shackelford, a pilot who is a former Air Park flight instructor.

Shackelford says Sunday's incident was near one of the three dozen homes with hangars along the runway.

He says even though no one expected the airport to last this long, it was here first.

"This is America these people own the property they have deeded rights to the runway," says Shackelford.

In 2009 and 2014, pilots made an emergency landings on Prestonwood Golf Course.

The flight path of the airport's runway is also in line with this Plano Elementary School.

Some nearby residents question the city's decisions about what has been built around it.

"If anyone is to blame for the hazard it would be the city for allowing that sort of development in so close proximity to the airport," says Matt Tietz, Plano resident.

Cheryl Mullins says she witnessed emergency landings on both sides of her business and believes it's just a matter of time before something happens on top of it.

The FAA says it works with airports like this one to make sure planes are clear towers, poles and other hazards but cities regulate airports and this one is partly in Plano and partly in Carrolton whichis why this unusual neighborhood remains here.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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