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Why airport noise complainers have no case

Letters from our readers

Wonacott’s Flight Tracker showed nighttime aircraft flying at 295 degrees, not 290.
Wonacott’s Flight Tracker showed nighttime aircraft flying at 295 degrees, not 290.
Flights going west, flights heading east

Free to move about in noise

While I sympathize with residents who have been frustrated dealing with the FAA on this issue, (“Airport Noise - from La Mesa to La Jolla,” Cover Stories, August 1) it is also important to note, as the author stated, that Lindbergh Field has been in San Diego since 1928. What the author didn’t note is this: as is so often the case in cities around the world, especially coastal cities that have limited real estate due to the proximity of the ocean, commercial and residential development tends to “creep” toward existing airports with established arrival and departure corridors. Both military and civilian airfields that have been in existence and operational for decades have begun to field noise complaint calls from local residents and businesses in new developments near these existing airfields, or old developments with new residents.

The FAA and or the military designs arrival and departure procedures, STARS and SIDS, with several crucial factors in mind: obstacle clearance being the main concern, air traffic and flow into surrounding airports and when able, noise abatement is also factored into this equation. A glimpse of Lindbergh Field from on high tells you everything you need to know about the FAA’s task when designing these procedures. Our beloved airport sits in a topographical “bowl”, with the rising terrain of Pt. Loma and Ocean Beach off the departure end of runway 27, the predominant runway. To the southeast, the normal arrival corridor, is the rising terrain of Bankers Hill up to Balboa. To the north are Montgomery Field and Miramar, and to the south is NAS North Island and Coronado.

So the airport literally sits in a bowl of rising terrain on each end of the runway and busy airfields to the north and south. Not a pretty picture for any entity trying to design arrival and departure procedures. Oh, by the way, the “steep” arrival corridor caused by the sloping terrain of Bankers Hill up to Balboa makes for a challenging approach to this field, the reason for many of the missed approaches that cause increased noise as jets “go around.” So, with due respect to the residents and businesses impacted by noise in the arrival or departure corridor to Lindbergh Field, yes....arrival and departure procedures change to accommodate traffic flow, separation, and increasing volume. Also realize that you purchased and or developed property in the arrival or departure corridor of an existing high density airport? If you purchased and or developed these properties prior to the establishment of Lindbergh Field in 1928, I congratulate you on your long life and I sympathize. It is also extraordinarily disingenuous of the author to quote Mr. Schnoor saying the following: Schnoor appeals to Southwest Airlines to help out. “We like you coming to San Diego. So be a good neighbor. It would be good public relations.” His assertion that Southwest Airlines, or any airline, is somehow culpable in these noise complaints because the airline is giving San Diego the air service that the market desires is absurd. The reason flights get “bunched” up as Mr. Schnoor states, is generally due to weather or ATC imposed delays due to an archaic ATC system that desperately needs to be updated. Flights that appear to be “bunched” up are not the fault of any one airline, rather the ATC system in general. That system is controlled by the FAA and funded by Congress.

  • Randy
  • Point Loma

I love airport noise

I read with disgust your recent article on Airport Noise Complaints. How can ANYONE complain about airport noise in San Diego UNLESS they purchased their home prior to 1912 ? ? San Diego has had airports longer than 1928 — Rockwell Field became NAS North Island and existed long before Lindbergh Field was even thought of. It begun operations in 1912 as the US Army Signal Corps Aviation School. No major airport has been built in San Diego County for more than almost eight DECADES! I must admit that I am an aviator. I grew up near Lake Murray and rode my bicycle down to Gillespie Field weekly to watch, learn, and wash airplanes in return for the occasional ride. After active duty service starting at age 17 (I skipped a grade) in the USAF, I returned to SD in 1978 with my wife. We got jobs, and then I started learning to fly at Gillespie Field, later accepting a Warrant and becoming an Army Aviator. Today I am a former US Army Senior Aviator and retired INS/CBP officer (and Medical First Responder) who bought a house (in 1980) just three miles from Gillespie Field. I LOVE AIRPORT NOISE — the sound of FREEDOM and bringer of help and life-saving sustenance to tragedy victims the world over, along with the US Navy and all the other services and local agencies It’s the sound of rescue and emergency help whenever there is a raging wildfire, flood or what have you nearby. We ALL NEED airports! To those who complain, I say you bought your house knowing there were airports nearby. If you do not like the noise, then MOVE to somewhere that has no airport noise. Of course, you then will probably complain about the long drive just to get to an airport...

  • Mark O. Hamersly
  • Santee
York at Ocean Beach meeting

U-T’s soggy paper slop

Re: Pati Weller’s plaint regarding plastic wrapped “free” advertising dumped at household areas (“Union-Tribune vet takes over N.Y. Daily News,” News Ticker, July 23), these ads used to be dumped directly behind car wheels or outside entries, without the plastic, and often in the rain. My thought was to pick up these soggy paper slops with my reacher and drop them on the desk of the person responsible for ordering them distributed. I was always unable to find the actual responsible party. The plastic is an improvement. Use it as your free little garbage bag that will keep smelly discards out of your household trash bags during the week b4 trash pickup.

  • Dee Bratspies
  • Otay Mesa
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Wonacott’s Flight Tracker showed nighttime aircraft flying at 295 degrees, not 290.
Wonacott’s Flight Tracker showed nighttime aircraft flying at 295 degrees, not 290.
Flights going west, flights heading east

Free to move about in noise

While I sympathize with residents who have been frustrated dealing with the FAA on this issue, (“Airport Noise - from La Mesa to La Jolla,” Cover Stories, August 1) it is also important to note, as the author stated, that Lindbergh Field has been in San Diego since 1928. What the author didn’t note is this: as is so often the case in cities around the world, especially coastal cities that have limited real estate due to the proximity of the ocean, commercial and residential development tends to “creep” toward existing airports with established arrival and departure corridors. Both military and civilian airfields that have been in existence and operational for decades have begun to field noise complaint calls from local residents and businesses in new developments near these existing airfields, or old developments with new residents.

The FAA and or the military designs arrival and departure procedures, STARS and SIDS, with several crucial factors in mind: obstacle clearance being the main concern, air traffic and flow into surrounding airports and when able, noise abatement is also factored into this equation. A glimpse of Lindbergh Field from on high tells you everything you need to know about the FAA’s task when designing these procedures. Our beloved airport sits in a topographical “bowl”, with the rising terrain of Pt. Loma and Ocean Beach off the departure end of runway 27, the predominant runway. To the southeast, the normal arrival corridor, is the rising terrain of Bankers Hill up to Balboa. To the north are Montgomery Field and Miramar, and to the south is NAS North Island and Coronado.

So the airport literally sits in a bowl of rising terrain on each end of the runway and busy airfields to the north and south. Not a pretty picture for any entity trying to design arrival and departure procedures. Oh, by the way, the “steep” arrival corridor caused by the sloping terrain of Bankers Hill up to Balboa makes for a challenging approach to this field, the reason for many of the missed approaches that cause increased noise as jets “go around.” So, with due respect to the residents and businesses impacted by noise in the arrival or departure corridor to Lindbergh Field, yes....arrival and departure procedures change to accommodate traffic flow, separation, and increasing volume. Also realize that you purchased and or developed property in the arrival or departure corridor of an existing high density airport? If you purchased and or developed these properties prior to the establishment of Lindbergh Field in 1928, I congratulate you on your long life and I sympathize. It is also extraordinarily disingenuous of the author to quote Mr. Schnoor saying the following: Schnoor appeals to Southwest Airlines to help out. “We like you coming to San Diego. So be a good neighbor. It would be good public relations.” His assertion that Southwest Airlines, or any airline, is somehow culpable in these noise complaints because the airline is giving San Diego the air service that the market desires is absurd. The reason flights get “bunched” up as Mr. Schnoor states, is generally due to weather or ATC imposed delays due to an archaic ATC system that desperately needs to be updated. Flights that appear to be “bunched” up are not the fault of any one airline, rather the ATC system in general. That system is controlled by the FAA and funded by Congress.

  • Randy
  • Point Loma

I love airport noise

I read with disgust your recent article on Airport Noise Complaints. How can ANYONE complain about airport noise in San Diego UNLESS they purchased their home prior to 1912 ? ? San Diego has had airports longer than 1928 — Rockwell Field became NAS North Island and existed long before Lindbergh Field was even thought of. It begun operations in 1912 as the US Army Signal Corps Aviation School. No major airport has been built in San Diego County for more than almost eight DECADES! I must admit that I am an aviator. I grew up near Lake Murray and rode my bicycle down to Gillespie Field weekly to watch, learn, and wash airplanes in return for the occasional ride. After active duty service starting at age 17 (I skipped a grade) in the USAF, I returned to SD in 1978 with my wife. We got jobs, and then I started learning to fly at Gillespie Field, later accepting a Warrant and becoming an Army Aviator. Today I am a former US Army Senior Aviator and retired INS/CBP officer (and Medical First Responder) who bought a house (in 1980) just three miles from Gillespie Field. I LOVE AIRPORT NOISE — the sound of FREEDOM and bringer of help and life-saving sustenance to tragedy victims the world over, along with the US Navy and all the other services and local agencies It’s the sound of rescue and emergency help whenever there is a raging wildfire, flood or what have you nearby. We ALL NEED airports! To those who complain, I say you bought your house knowing there were airports nearby. If you do not like the noise, then MOVE to somewhere that has no airport noise. Of course, you then will probably complain about the long drive just to get to an airport...

  • Mark O. Hamersly
  • Santee
York at Ocean Beach meeting

U-T’s soggy paper slop

Re: Pati Weller’s plaint regarding plastic wrapped “free” advertising dumped at household areas (“Union-Tribune vet takes over N.Y. Daily News,” News Ticker, July 23), these ads used to be dumped directly behind car wheels or outside entries, without the plastic, and often in the rain. My thought was to pick up these soggy paper slops with my reacher and drop them on the desk of the person responsible for ordering them distributed. I was always unable to find the actual responsible party. The plastic is an improvement. Use it as your free little garbage bag that will keep smelly discards out of your household trash bags during the week b4 trash pickup.

  • Dee Bratspies
  • Otay Mesa
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