Braves Stadium Could Affect Operations At Dobbins Air Reserve Base

Nov 22, 2013

Documents WABE obtained from Cobb County through the Georgia Open Records Act  show a proposed Atlanta Braves stadium in Cobb County could complicate operations at nearby Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

A stadium that close to Dobbins Air Reserve Base could pose an issue to airfield operations. That’s according to an email written by base airfield operations manager Clarence Miller.

U.S. Airmen tie down an aircraft after arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
Credit Credit Brad Fallin

He says during stadium events, the base would likely have to restrict aircraft approaches on one the base’s runways. These are issues, but not new ones, because Braves games at Turner Field currently trigger special procedures for pilots. According to Miller’s email, things like blimps used for television coverage and firework displays could further complicate operations.

But when asked about the potential effects a stadium would have on the base, Dobbins spokesman Lieutenant Colonel James Wilson had this response.

“For us here at Dobbins, we just don’t have all of the details yet as to what the impact is going to be. We’ve identified the location where the proposed stadium is going to be built. It’s about 2.4 miles off the end of our runway.”

Wilson says Dobbins has about 50,000 flight operations per year. And he says Dobbins is working with Cobb County, the county’s chamber of commerce and the FAA to determine the potential effects.

“It’s going to take us some time on this. We’re not going to look at this lightly...There’s a lot at stake, and so the process will be very thorough and very involved.”

But Wilson says at this point he’s optimistic any potential concerns could likely be mitigated.

“I have no reason not to be optimistic right now. As we get further into the process that could change. Hopefully it won’t.”

Other documents obtained by WABE show the Department of Defense will require Dobbins, Marietta and Cobb County to commission a joint land use study. WABE contacted Cobb County but a spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

The FAA has not received the official notice from Dobbins needed to trigger an airspace study. The study would examine the potential effects the proposed stadium would have on the air reserve base.