Listening to the Growlers practice last week at both airports led me to a significant conclusion. I have over 30 years’ experience planning and developing civilian airports all across this country. So I do know about airports, their use and compatible land use in surrounding areas.
Growlers aircraft, because of their maximum noise in a down and dirty flying configuration, affect an enormous area.
At the OLF, about 40 square miles are seriously disturbed. Ault Field, because of crossing runways, possibly affects about 50 square miles. As the noise impact area at the two airports does not overlap, combining both results in a negative impact over an area of about 90 square miles. This negative impact affects quality of life, health issues and economic values for the people living in the area. Is it worth it?
By comparison, at civilian airports such as Bellingham or Paine Field, the negative effect of aircraft operations would be perhaps three square miles at each location. Thus, it would take about 30 civilian airports with similar numbers of operations to cause as much disturbance to residents as we experience here on the north end of Whidbey Island. Modern commercial aircraft are remarkably quiet. The Navy’s 737 is also no problem at all. Is it reasonable for the residents of the north half of Whidbey Island to continue to put up with this abuse over such a large area?
Are the elected representatives such as county commissioners, mayors and other public officials properly representing us?
I thank you, our local paper, for being the help you are.
Robert O. Brown