Crash Sparks Debate About Conn. Airport Safety

June 28, 2011

A small plane crash at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford has reignited debate over a runway safety zone that’s been proposed for years.

Authorities say a Piper PA-32 Cherokee skidded down the runway and caught fire Saturday night after its landing gear hit a fence at one end of the runway. A Westport couple, Paul and Roxanne Sward, were rescued and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The Connecticut Post reports the runway has been deemed safe but no longer complies with federal standards.

A proposal to replace the fence with a softer material that would give way if a plane hit it has been endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration but blocked by opponents. Main Street and piping below the road would have to be moved several hundred feet.

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