Chuck’s Christmas wish

Wow, seems we’ve hit a nerve with out last strip! And to pour some more oil into the fire, we’ve scheduled another anti airport activist related strip for today!

Let us point out that we do not agree with Chuck’s proposed tactics in this case, and that we are all for peace, love and understanding, like Sally. It’s interesting to see how entrenched the camps are in this matter. I have to be honest that I am somewhere in the middle on this.

Do I enjoy the sound of a passing Cessna? Sure! But I can understand that to some people, mainly those who have no fascination for flying, it’s the equivalent to a moped in the sky. And while I can appreciate the awesomeness of an airliner passing over me on final approach, I wouldn’t want to have to listen to that noise all day long in my house or garden.

One difference between America and Europe is that in Europe most towns have been there way before the airports and that it’s much more densely populated in general. A lot of families live in places way longer than even the advent of aviation. But does being somewhere first and the fact that you’re inconvenienced give you the right to demand the shutdown of an airport? By the same logic you could demand highways and railways to be shut down. Or in the place where I live, a lot of new apartments were built on one side, and a connecting street on the other side. Do I have the right to demand people to move out, because the traffic is annoying to me? And it is annoying, especially the mopeds.

It’s not a black and white issue. We aviation enthusiasts need to recognize that not all airports were there first, that, although in some cases it’s blatantly obvious that there’s a different agenda at play or that people moved next to the airport knowingly, there are cases where it’s the other way around and that there is a limit to the noise you can take before it starts adversely affecting your health. The other side has to recognize that not all airports are alike and that general aviation is already a dying field, because once an aiport is shut down, it stays shut down. The only airports that seem to grow are the big hubs, and those are the ones with the really noisy planes.

That’s why I cited the example of the airport in my home town. It really worked out fine for all sides and it shows that when you talk to each other, and, as an airport, take the grievances of the local residents seriously, and when both sides are willing to compromise, that we can all live peacefully side by side.

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5 comments on “Chuck’s Christmas wish
  1. dasca88 says:

    I just have to add a little comment on that discussion, where i got my flight license, near erba (CO), italy an old lady bought a terrain, where she built her house right 250m from the landin strip in the direction opposite to landing and takin off (in airports where gliders fly we take off and land in opposite directions, flying over the same area while landin and takin off, except when it’s really windy, in that case landin and takin off is facing the wind) and at the moment she was very happy that the terrain was cheap because it was near the airport, now she is complainin about noise. Why didn’t she complain about the price of the terrain? It would have been much more expensive in the same area without the airport…and besides all that, in that airport flights take place 2 to 4 days a week in high season, with maximum 75 take-offs and landings, made with stinson L-5 and robin DR-200 (besides some self launch gliders, 2 stroke or electrical engines). I think everybody can have his own ideas about annoying noise, but coherence is needed.

  2. dasca88 says:

    where i now fly, near varese, italy there is even a comitee against noise (with 3 members only but very annoying). It’s a bigger club but we have no more than 100 take-offs a day on weekends, no more than 25 a day durin the week, except monday and tuesday, with some silenced L-5, a silenced L-19 and a robin dr-300. We take off and have a lake after our strip, 90° turn left, always over the lake, 90° turn left, over the lake, 90° left over the lake and after 500m the lake ends and we fly over a small town. at that moment we’re flyin at an altitude of approx 600m over the terrain. The question is…are we really that noisy or is someone passin the thin border between reason and fanaticism?

  3. JP says:

    no, not all airports were there first, but it seems the loudest complaints are at the ones that were.
    I grew up in Michigan right across the road from a railroad crossing. At peak a train went past one way or the other nearly every 20 minutes and our crossing had lights only, no drop arms so the train blew a few extra time for those who seem to never hear anything. We had people buy houses near us and complain about the noise. The person who bought our house knew the trains went by (he and my dad were partners and the business was run out of our garage) but he never could get used to the trains at night, so and instead of complaining to the authorities when he could not get used to it he moved a mile further away from the tracks. His son and now grandson live there now. I can go back for a visit and the first train that goes by at night will wake me and the rest I never notice.

    I’m not sure Chuck is all wrong on this one (~_^) I’ll be nice and not state who might or might not need the first dose.

  4. Grobmotoriker says:

    There is one more aspect: safety. At least in Germany, departure and arrival routes for general aviation aircraft are increasingly designed for noise abatement instead of safety. This would include angled approaches, tight turns immediately after take off and routes deliberately places over forrests instead of open areas, as the latter tend to have villages on them.
    It’s already taken to the next level of madness at Egelsbach, the biggest general aviation field in Germany. There the traffic circuit is very narrowly defined with just a few hundred feet of lateral tolerance. Some equipment is in place in order to determine whether an aircraft is within that corridor or not, and they even try to issue fines to those who strayed a bit outside. As a consequence, everbody has his eyes on the GPS (nearly impossible to fly that exactly with visual reference only, especially with a nose-up attitude during climb out) instead of outside the aircraft.
    In my opinion, it’s only a question of time until somebody crashes while trying to reduce noise.

  5. Ecki says:

    I’m living in the final of DUS (Düsseldorf Airport, Germany) since 1990.
    In between the planes becames really less noisy: In the ninties there were 727s, 747-200s, L-1011s, TU154s, 737-200s, BAC 111s et cetera (VC10s already diappeared).
    But in my village it is the same: a minority complains loudly enough that they are taken serious by the local politicians, who want to limit the starting and landing of DUS now to 10 pm!
    If you ask the people why they are complaining and not moving the answer is always the same: My house isn’t worth enough. If you ask when they moved to the place you get to 99 percent the answer: within the last 30 years!
    My conclusion is that the activists at my place want to get personal advantage out of the situation without thinking about the consequences to the region.

    In the case they succed I hope the houses won’t be worth more due to the fact that a lot of industries will migrate to more convenient places!

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