Army helicopters may soon be flying around Pueblo. It's a friendly invasion.
The city is in talks with airport officials about letting helicopter crews from Ft. Carson train in Pueblo. Pueblo City Council president Steve Nawrocki says Ft. Carson is looking for a temporary place to train a new aviation brigade while Ft. Carson rebuilds its airfield. And that temporary training facility could be in Pueblo.
If the agreement between the city and the Army passes, our partners at The Pueblo Chieftain report that 15 to 30 helicopters and their crews will take part in three-week training sessions at the Pueblo Airport.
But the city has concerns. Nawrocki says he wants the Army to pay the city for using the airport to help pay for the airport's fire protection. Right now, there's only one airline flying in and out of the airport and Nawrocki says that does not generate enough revenue. He hopes the Army training could change that.
If both the city and the airport come to an agreement, Nawrocki says he wants to make sure Army helicopters can't fly in residential areas.
"I just happen to live in the patch of the C-130s and anyone landing at the airport and so I know what kind of noise they can make, so I can only imagine what Blackhawks might be making," Nawrocki said.
As for compensation, Nawrocki says City Council will have to talk with the Army about what a fair amount would be. Nawrocki says the city is looking at making a presentation to everyone, that way any concerns can be addressed.