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Potentially dangerous situation at Escambia County airport
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Escambia County is facing a lawsuit over a potentially dangerous situation around an airfield in Beulah.
Coastal Airport is on Nine Mile Road, near Beulah Road.
The owners are filing the lawsuit over tall trees that could pose a threat to low-flying planes.
If something isn't done it could force the airport to shut down.
Pilots say high trees like the ones here near the airport can turn a takeoff or landing into a frightening situation.
Many of those trees are sitting on private property in a neighborhood just north of the 2500 foot air field.
Mike Whitacre, Neighbor: "Who's gonna pay for it? That's the hard part."
Mike Whitacre lives in that neighborhood.
He and others in the community have mixed feelings about how to deal with the problem.
Mike Whitacre, Neighbor: "This is a town house association, we don't have a lot of money. I don't know how we would pay for pullin' down the trees."
Veronica Johansen, Neighbor: "The trees should stay, I mean, I like them. It looks nice. It makes the neighborhood look better."
Coastal Airport says the trees interfere with the approach path for aircraft and that their height surpasses what's allowed under federal law.
It wants the county to force property owners to trim the trees.
The county attorney says previous decisions in similar cases have said the county is not responsible for enforcement.
Meanwhile Coastal Airport says it may soon have to shut down because the trees threaten the renewal of its operating license.
For now the county says its decision on how to proceed will depend on the outcome of the lawsuit.