Flying Friendly (from the Nov/Dec 2004 Newsletter)
I heartily applaud Ed Rosiak’s editorial comments in the July/August 2003 issue of California Pilot. His suggestion (recommendation?) to pilots to fly friendlier, fly quieter, is a critical component to saving California’s beleaguered General Aviation airports. Pilots, both based at a given airport and those transiting that airport, should “buy into” the concept that they are in control of the airport’s fate by their own actions, or inaction. Citizens living and working around an airport have come to know that complaining about aircraft noise gets visibility with local elected officials and news media folks. Complaining about aircraft noise is another way of expressing concern (fear?) of airplanes coming to earth on the house, office building, etc. Noise complaints are not only about noise, I have found out over the years! The objective of all of us, pilots, airport management, state aviation officials, should be to protect General Aviation airports by taking the initiative away from noise complainers who want to close airports. To not seize the offense means that we will forever be, and only be, fighting a defensive delaying action. The “We were here first!” rallying cry (?) is really a cry of desperation.
If we are to defend General Aviation airports, protect them, and preserve them, we have to demonstrate with every takeoff and with every landing that we can be good neighbors. The noise complainers have staying power. They will not lose. They will prevail. An airport will be closed. Unless? It is in our hands. We have to have staying power coupled with actions to disarm the noise complainers. Flying friendlier, flying quieter is the action we all must take. Cooperate and graduate is what I learned in military basic training. It remains good advice.
(Editor?s note, Mr. Wiswell is the Head of the Department of California Aeronautics)