Chuck in a flak jacket

We have a small airport here in the little town that I live. I remember that, many years back, there was a group of anti airport activists who wanted to shut it down. Fortunately, the folks at the airport reacted in the best way possible and started their “friends of the aiport” society, which did some really great PR work, without attacking the opposers, but focusing on a positive message. So the anti airport movement fizzled out soon.

But I think that they optimized the approach routes and traffic patterns too. An airport is part of the community, and it is important to listen to each others concerns. A lot can be done without going all confrontational and demanding the shutdown of an aiport.

I understand that there are legitimate concerns, and some people really suffer, e.g. when they build a new runway at a major hub and suddenly giant freight planes fly over your house throughout the whole night. I wouldn’t want that happening to me either! But then there are also people who buy cheap real estate next to a 100 year old aiport and then complain about the noise.

It’s a touchy subject. Although I guess I know where the bias in our readership will tend to lie! 🙂

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14 comments on “Chuck in a flak jacket
  1. JP says:

    outside New Orleans there has been a Navy Airbase of some sort for many years (Now a Joint Activity as the Air National Guard is there too). Just off base someone built a golf course and then some rather upscale homes that were bargained priced for the N.O. market.
    Of course some of the residents eventually started up a lawsuit about the noise.
    I don’t think they appreciated the judge implying they were morons for buying a cheaply priced 2000+ sq/ft house next to a Military runway and then suddenly noticing the noise.

    One of my old customers from my sales days lived along the area. He holds a party(crawfish boil) the weekend of the Air Show and everyone gets a good meal and a free Blue Angels show.

  2. warbirdali says:

    JP Someone should buy that judge a drink! Unfortunately not all are so commonsensical. Best to have AOPA’s Airport support network on speed dial!

  3. Skymaster says:

    We had an attorney move into a house less than 1nm away directly under the approach path to our main rwy & began complaining of the noise. We (friends of the apt) sent her a registered letter stating since all her noise complaints were public, when she tried to sell her house, we would send copies of all her complaints to every real estate agent around since she had a ‘defective’ property. she screamed and yelled, but the complaints ceased. she moved away a year later 🙂

  4. JKelley says:

    Problem I’ve got is when new housing gets built near an airport that’s been around longer than anyone moves in has been alive (does that make sense?) and they start complaining about the noise from the airport…

    1) It’s a G/A field, not a major jet airport! Runway’s not long enough to handle jets (it’s about two steps up from Aretz, my old home field. Aretz still had grass strips when it shut down…)
    2) It’s not a busy field – a large number of G/A pilots out here still home-field and hangar at SJC.

    Call me cranky – but if you KNOW you’re moving in next to an airport, you’ve given up your right to complain.

    (I could just be weird, but I actually enjoy the sound of light aircraft taking off and landing… I could also stand living next to a rifle range – but that’s just me…)

  5. Cloudchaser Sakonige says:

    I never will get why people move in next to an airport, heliport, racetrack or outdoor shooting range then complain about the noise and the local authorities side with them.

  6. JP says:

    @ JKelly: Except for MU2 and it’s derivatives I too kind of like the sounds of aircraft as well.

    Another sound related story.
    Once I used to drive and maintain a 4 cyl Mustang II dirt car … quite modified and open headers. We were working on it and the lady two doors down would call the police when ever we ran it. We never ran the thing for more than a few moments other than a couple of time we ran it long enough to warm up. Never got complaints about that, but suddenly she got a hair or something. So we were starting the car and checking things, and low a cop is standing next to us looking at the car, then he starts to tell us of the complaint and we shut it down and … at that moment he had to stop talking because the SWA flight taking off from New Orleans International is going over. The airline flights were louder than our car was. He was able to ask my uncle questions over the engine but not over the planes. He quietly told us he would note that MSY traffic was louder than the sound of the car running. We lived just north of the east west flight path for MSY’s 100 foot runway. Shoulda heard the house shake when the Antonov AN24 took off. they are still quite low a mile off the end of the runway. He said he was going to try to make a race if he could get a Friday or Saturday night clear.

  7. JP says:

    oh, not long after, the lady’s son got arrested and his step dad refused to bail him out yet again so she left him and moved out. The son though, after getting out and whatnot, moved back in with his step dad and seemed to clean up his act. Go figure.

  8. alu355 says:

    Yeahhhhhh of course ALL AND EVERY PEOPLE, just happen to have moved to that airport.
    Are you §$%& kidding me?
    We had a “little” airport here, then they started to grow with all the nice lies they tell you about how it will all be so much better and everything.
    My family lives here since way before the airport was a wet dream of someone.
    So it seems I should have the right to shut it down?
    Only me.
    Noone else.
    We were here first?
    It is that kind of dick move and arrogant standpoint from the aviation industry & community that bring people up in arms way before any discussion has started.
    Are you going to pay me the 200k in losses? No?
    Oh yes right, i don’t loose anything as long as I don’t move out haha.
    You know what, please – insert random insult – !
    And for the record:
    Stef is the only one who brought up that he wouldn’t like it too, everyone else commenting here went the “stupid population” way.

  9. JKelley says:

    @alu355 – the problem is that the airport has not grown (in fact, I believe traffic has declined in the last 15-20 years – Amelia Reid Field, San Jose, CA) but it was there a good 40 years before the housing there was ever thought of.

    And, it was known that this housing was built within range of the airport.

    Which is the fact to which I take exception – if you KNOW you’re moving in next to an airport, I don’t see as you have any right to complain about it after-the-fact, unless there’s a major change (non-cyclic or unplanned consistent uptick in traffic, for instance.)

    I grew up about a half-mile from a four-track crossing typically used for cargo trains. Some were measured in miles.

    Was it noisy? Yeah. Did trains go by often? Probably 5 or 6 a day. Bitching rights? The railroad right-of-way was older than the City itself.

    The big problem I have is when people know about these things going in, and then complain about it like it’s a “new” problem. Most of the people complaining about the airfield? The airfield was older than THEY were, let alone their houses.

    It’s also that people are unwilling to negotiate. They’d rather shut it down entirely. “All or nothing,” apparently.

    I see no problem if they’d be willing to negotiate something like “no non-emergency traffic between 2200 and 0800,” but no-one wants to meet in the middle these days.

    In all cases of which I was aware, Reid Field was perfectly willing to negotiate – but the new residents wanted it STOPPED. I think a compromise was finally forced on them (the residents) by a Court, because Reid Field is still in operation.

    But, the people complaining about the airport moved into BRAND NEW, JUST BUILT housing, so it’s not like it’s a sudden batch of people who wanted to make things difficult.

    – Reid Field was in operation while the area was naught more than empty fields.
    – Reid Field was in operation when Eastridge Mall was built (as I recall)
    – Reid Field was in operation while this housing was being built

    And they wanted it shut down – no willingness to negotiate.

    Who’s guilty of the “dick move and arrogant standpoint,” again?

    (NB: Most of the people who moved into that housing had “ricebois” – you know, they put an Integra engine in a Honda CRX, put that coffee can exhaust tip on it, open up the exhaust, and zoom around well above the shift point? I’m an old-line hotrodder, and I like engine rumble as much as the next man, but those things sound like Weedwhackers with kazoos rammed in the exhaust. And the relatively infrequent airport noise was a problem? You hear those wretched “riceboi” cars running around ALL THE DAMNED TIME.

    (And then there’s the Harley riders who do the same thing. Don’t open up the exhaust to make it cackle, don’t cruise down a residential street at 2300 at 4000rpm, please! Besides, letting the exhaust mute the engine pulses a bit gives a nice rumble, reminiscenf of aircraft engines. After all, a Harley engine is just the #1 & #2 cylinders of a five-cylinder radial anyhow…)

  10. alu355 says:

    I was commenting on the situation me and my family is in.
    My “problem” is located in Germany – but it is a global problem.
    So yeah, I still stand my point of “Who’s guilty of the “dick move and arrogant standpoint,” again?” you can whine about (how fitting) that as much as you want it doesn’t change a thing only because unbelievably one airport could not push the boundaries.
    We have a TÜV here, they check cars for their noise.
    Too high or loud and that car is not going back on the road again until it is fixed.
    Hey but wait, if those cars and bikers weren’t allowed to do what you referred to, I bet you would be the first around bitching about some civilian rights of “put that coffee can exhaust tip on it, open up the exhaust, and zoom around well above the shift point”.
    They are the “perfect” excuse.
    That is like someone saying “Hey if that guy gets away with stealing, shooting someone should get the same treatment too” and the like.
    But you should be familiar with wide generalization – “Most of the people who moved into that housing had “ricebois””. Does that ring a thing? Oh yeah .. all germans are nazis I know it – they all drink beer and the nazis did too.
    This “discussion” is none – and further wasting my time is not in my interest.

  11. alu355 says:

    They are the “perfect” excuse.
    That is like someone saying “Hey if that guy gets away with stealing, shooting someone should get the same treatment too” and the like.
    And to make that statemnet a little more clear before shuffling off:
    I bet the people with their kind of sound/noise pollution think to themselves “hey if the airport can do it – I can too what does it matter.”
    You listen to music? You like any song out there? Now try listen to it while it is played a few dozen times at nearly the same time, every one starting a little bit later then the others.
    That song you liked is now only a very disturbing mixture of sound.

  12. Awesome says:

    JP, how did an AN take off of a 100 foot runway? I’d like to see any non-VTOL plane take off of a runway that short. Actually, is it even CALLED a runway if it’s only 100 feet? I call that a driveway. Hahahaha

  13. Figgy says:

    The airport near me has a runway only 100 feet long, but 5000 feet wide.

    The main east-west runway at KMSY is 10,104 ft, for the record.

  14. Fabo says:

    I have lived all my life under a departure path of an international airport (albeit a minor one). All the folks who movoed in there, realized that there would be a jet departing 2000ft above their heads a couple times a day. Problem? No.

    Actually most folks support airport growth because they realize it will mean cheap trips all over Europe once a LCC settles in. A good deal both ways.

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