Monday, March 05, 2012

How Bad Is It?

Copper thieves disable runway lights at airport

"MODESTO, Calif. (KCRA) -- The approaching lights that sit along the runway at the Modesto Airport were damaged as the thieves took out copper wiring, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airport said the problems started early this year. The cost of the damage and repairs is estimated to be $100,000.

The FAA is seeing problems such as this at many smaller airports in the region, officials said, adding that in Modesto's case, the approaching lights are on private property. They're not fenced in the airport vicinity, which makes it easier for thieves to go unnoticed.

This is not a safety issue, FAA officials said, adding that operations will not be affected unless the weather gets bad.

In low-visibility cases, pilots will get a notification before takeoff if they cannot land at the Modesto Airport.

United Airlines has four arriving and departing flights a day at the Modesto Airport.

Allegiant Air also has a few chartered flights that leave from the airport on occasion.

Neighbors who live around it said they are not surprised to hear the airport is among the targets.

Billy Woody said people are getting desperate for money, and that copper is a hot commodity."


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