Carlsbad Airport Meeting Draws a Crowd

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Carlsbad airport meeting draws a crowd
By BARBARA HENRY
The San Diego (CA) North County Times

CARLSBAD —- Some 80 people packed into a Carlsbad conference room Tuesday evening to discuss the latest draft of a noise report on McClellan-Palomar Airport. Roughly half the crowd consisted of people who live near the airport or under the flight paths. They pleaded for more quiet, saying low-flying aircraft disrupt everything from their nighttime sleep to their daytime phone conversations.

“We’re hilly,” said Melrose Drive area resident Robert Woelffer, as he described his neighborhood, “and sometimes it feels like (the planes are) coming through our houses.”

Meanwhile, the other half of the crowd —- primarily pilots —- asked the community to see the issue from their perspective. One flight instructor said his students have to do some nighttime training in order to receive their licenses, while the president of a helicopter training company said his machines save lives.

“I realize helicopters make noise, but they’re there for a purpose,” said Civic Helicopters President Chin Tu, adding that people have to live with other noisemakers including garbage trucks and police sirens.

Tu added that in times of need, including during the last year’s Hurricane Katrina, people depend on helicopter pilots to get them out of danger.

“We ask for some compassionate consideration, so we can continue that good cause,” he said to general applause from the pilot segment of the audience.

Speakers from residents’ perspective ranged from San Marcos resident Charles Buckley, who said it was time for a mandatory ban on all nighttime flights at the airport, to Carlsbad resident Maureen Kube, who wanted the airport to put a noise-sensing machine in her neighborhood and to rethink details in the new noise abatement report.

Kube said she knew when she moved in that she would face a noisy place, but said she wanted airport officials to “give” a little bit to make residents’ lives more comfortable.

Airport officials noted at the meeting’s start that they only would be collecting comments. Responses will be posted on a Web site by late February, a consultant producing the noise report said.

As she has stated in the past, consultant Deborah Murphy Lagos with URS Corp. of Florida stressed that her report does not ask for any mandatory changes at the airport. The place isn’t generating enough noise to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards for mandatory measures, she said.

Instead, the $327,000 San Diego County-funded report recommends a lengthy list of “voluntary” suggestions to make the region around Palomar airport quieter. Those recommendations include expanding the voluntary nighttime flight ban and encouraging pilots to delay making left-hand turns until they are west of Interstate 5.

If all the measures are followed, dozens of homes near the airport could see noise levels drop, Lagos said.

All the recommendations will need authorization from the Federal Aviation Agency, which is expected to review the document later this year. For copies of the latest version of the report, visit www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dpw/airports/150noise.html.

Comments On This Story

Joyce wrote on January 11, 2006 2:44 PM:”People who RECENTLY moved near the airport shouldn’t complain. Those of us who are on the flight path acknowledged SMALL planes would be around when we bought our homes. Years later, the larger commercial aircraft came in and THEN it was too late. Why not get some altitude over the WATER before reaching the neighborhoods?”

Cindy wrote on January 11, 2006 1:59 PM:”I would ask that reasonable quiet hours be observed. I was awoken last month by an aircraft flying over my La Costa home (NOT normally on the flight path) at 4 a.m. Why was a plane off its flight path and landing at Palomar at 4 a.m., anyway?”

Bob wrote on January 11, 2006 12:47 PM:”We signed a waiver from the developer and actually camped out on our lot to listen to the noise which was minimal at that time. Due to commercial and residential development, the mix of planes for business has increased which has included many more flights during quiet hours. FBO’s acknowledge that “sure, I will fly someone anywhere anytime if I am getting paid”. Homeowners signed the disclosure giving the VNAP departure of 250 degrees and the Quiet Hours. It was assumed that this would be followed, and that is all residents are asking for. SIMPLE COMPLIANCE so we can all live in harmony. We only expect what we agreed to. Ho”

ME wrote on January 11, 2006 9:15 AM:”Can you beleive these people! They buy a home near an airport and have the ba##s to complain about noise! Did they think oh I will buy this house and then ask the airport to close. Talk about stupid. Pretty soon they will want the fire dept. to not use the sirens and lights because it’s too musch noise. WA WA WA “

Kevin wrote on January 11, 2006 8:40 AM:”Didn’t these people know they were in the flight path when they purchased their homes? If they built or bought next to the freeway, would they ask to have it shut down at night? The only people who should quite down are the people inconsiderate enough to ask others to be inconvenienced because of their bad decision. If you don’t like the way it is, and was when you moved in, then consider relocating.”

Volcker wrote on January 11, 2006 7:43 AM:”Here’s the downside of all those wonderful, “award-winning” developments in the city of Carlsbad: they’re all in the flight path or vicinity of this expanding airport. As I watched these developments go from paper plans to construction, I mused about how long it would be before the residents started complaining about the airport noise about their million-dollar houses. Guess what, folks, this county airport was there when the land your home sits on was farmland, and isn’t going anywhere. You bought it, you live with it.”

Ross wrote on January 11, 2006 7:37 AM:”I agree with Steve: part of the attraction of businesses to locate in Carlsbad is proximity to a good airport that is not congested like SD or Orange County. Those businesses pay a lot of taxes that help build the infrastructure and make the city and surrounds nice. I’ve lived in SW Vista for 18 years and heard of complainers on my own block…I can’t believe them! Get a hobby! If anything comes out of this, I would hope manufacturers and aircraft owners would do whatever they can to muffle the engines, but that would be an engineering miracle…Somebody should collect all the disclosure/waivers that were signed when people bought homes in the noise zone, and invalidate all of their comments completely. Current mandatory FAA rules can be enforced without a bunch of public hearings.”

Ray wrote on January 11, 2006 7:27 AM:”The airport was there long before the homes. Each and every buyer signed a disclosure at the closing of their escrow acknowledging that they were aware of the airport and potential noise. It is irresponsible and unreasonable for them to ask the airport to make changes.”

Ted wrote on January 11, 2006 7:11 AM:”I predicted this the day I say the bulldozers moving dirt. I agree with Steve. What did you think that was over there when you bought the house?”

Steve wrote on January 11, 2006 3:30 AM:”Definition of a moron: someone who moves in next to an airport, then moans, whines, and complains (more loudly than the aircraft) about the noise and traffic at the airport. Their homes should be taken away from them, by eminent domain, they should recieve no compensation, and they should be black-listed from ever buying a home, ever again. The same goes for the developers who built the homes, and especially for the politicians who took the graft to allow the building to go on.

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