Whidbey News-Times


Balance jobs with safety and respect | Letter

July 3, 2013 · Updated 3:23 PM


Impressive how many participated in the Navy Outlying Field meeting June 19.

The Coupeville Rec Hall was filled to capacity, with many more listening outside at each door and window.

I was disappointed when so many “voted” to shift all touch-and-go practice to OakHarbor/Ault Field. We too have ears to be damaged, sleep to be deprived, businesses to be affected. And we are your neighbors.

Oak Harbor has a much larger population, and we already endure plenty of Navy aircraft noise. If we don’t stand together to solve this problem, we will each fail separately. Relocation of the OLF is an obvious solution. But the new location must have an extensive area of Navy base “elbow room.”

More room than exists on Whidbey.  There is likely a compromise solution. However, the Navy’s lack of transparency hinders finding it. Real world flight density records are not available.

Only hypothetical, average noise levels are disclosed to residents. A few pilots make a choice to fly low, turning sharply under greater application of power, increasing noise and risk to those below. Flight pattern, altitude, application of power must be stipulated for all pilots.

If the Navy made a little effort to be considerate to us, their neighbors, noise impact and safety could be improved.

Yes, jobs do matter. But so do the safety and quality of life of residents and Navy personnel. The balanced respect of all citizens is the true sound of freedom.

Tim Verschuyl

Oak Harbor

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