Drag Racing Dangers at GA Airports
Recently, the Discovery Channel aired a new reality series called "Street Outlaws". The network describes the show as "…a driver’s seat view into the world of American illegal street racing." Currently, the filming is taking place in Oklahoma City as the show alleges we boast having the "fastest street cars in the country."
What, you ask, does this have to do with airports? The answer is simple. The Oklahoma City Police Department is working tirelessly to fend off these illegal activities and as a result these delinquents are fleeing to our airports to feed their addictions. On one episode, it was stated that the group had an insider that worked at an airport and allowed them temporary access to the taxiways and runways to perform their races. Not only is this absurd, it is illegal.
Public use airports that condone activity of this nature expose themselves not only to exorbitant safety risks, but if grant funds have been used on the airfield, they could also be fined civil penalties for violation of FAA Grant Assurances. Neither outcome is worth the risk.
What can we do? Many of you have already been contacted by various groups requesting access to the airfield. Some of these groups are professionals and some are just ‘wanna-bes’ but either way report any activity to your local police, including inquiries. Also, take and submit to police, photographs of any acceleration marks you find on your taxiways and runways. The marks will help the police determine the nature of the racing as the professional racers use ‘slicks’ or tires with no tread resulting in thick black acceleration marks usually surrounded by a sticky substance for traction. The result will look like the image below (the area that looks wet is a resin called VHT used for traction):
We can all do our part to keep our airports safe! This activity is dangerous, illegal and is a growing problem in our State. Please report all activity to local, county, or state authorities.