Trees near the town of Eatonville’s airfield will be shortened to improve aviation safety.
The town has hired a Tacoma-based engineering firm to determine which trees at the north end of Swanson Field should be topped and how much of them should be removed. After the surveying work by Larson and Associates, a logging or tree-topping firm will be hired to cut the trees down to size.
The project is part of an operations and management plan for the town-owned airfield, which is used primarily by single-engine private airplanes. Funding for the tree work is coming from a grant from the state Department of Transportation.
Trees as tall as 100 feet stand about 600 feet from parts of the runway, according to airnav.com, a web site with air navigation data for pilots. The runway is 2,990 feet long.
In its Airport Layout Plan that was published in 2009, town officials said trees on private property at the north end of the runway “present a hazard to air navigation” on aircraft approaches to the landing strip.
The Town Council authorized the tree surveying work during its March 11 meeting.