Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board September 12, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez
Tonight I bring to the board a petition signed by 135 pilots, users, and neighbors of the airport. It reads “I, the undersigned am against the current Vance Brand Airport Noise Abatement Procedures, specifically flying a wide pattern with a large noise footprint, at an unsafe distance (the railroad tracks) from the airport. I ask that the Airport Advisory Board remove this current procedure from the Airport Master Plan and come back with a procedure similar to the 1992 Noise Abatement plan. I am in favor of SAFE Noise Abatement Procedures that are considerate to our neighbors, with a tight close-in pattern to reduce the noise footprint to the greater community.”
It is requested that this procedure go no further in the Master Plan process and not be presented to City Council. These 135 people signed their name and included their home addresses and can not be ignored. They may not always be able to be here at these meetings, or at City Council meetings, but they are concerned and speak through this petition.
In my research into airport and city matters, in my countless hours at the library and City Clerks office, I dug up some interesting paperwork. I found the two previous Noise Abatement Procedures, the latest one suggests a “tight, disciplined pattern” and to avoid a “big, sloppy pattern.” Who came up with the current one, and why does it do a complete 180, suggesting a wide pattern? The previous procedure was the concerted effort of the Longmont Airport Safety Committee, the Citizens for St. Vrain Valley, and City Staff. Who wants to take credit for this current one? And how much money was spent on it?
Also in the City Clerks office I found the September 2000 Grant Agreement between the Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Longmont. This grant was for over $850,000 for airport development and noise program implementation. Does that include this current procedure? And as far as airport development, does that include the South Side Development? The same South Side Development that was hinted may be in jeopardy because of one small insignificant web site?
Let’s see how these two entities weigh in: In this corner, and I quote from the Grant – “The Federal Aviation Administration, for and on behalf of the United States, hereby offers and agrees to pay, as the United States share of the allowable costs incurred in accomplishing the Project, 90%, the maximum obligation being $850,222.” Of that money, some must have been spent on the south taxiway, the noise abatement procedure, requests for proposals, etc. In the other corner a private website that costs $9 a month. Could it possibly have more influence than a grant that’s nearly a million dollars? Talk about a return on an investment.
In an even sillier example of David and Goliath is the one neighbor being placated by this current procedure at the expense of hundreds of neighbors north and south of the airport. Who had the audacity to sacrifice these people and their homes with this policy? These are voting, taxpaying, City residents receiving unfair representation against a non-Longmont resident and a procedure who puts him first above them. They, the City Council, and whoever approved this grant, will all be made painfully aware of this situation, and these petitions, if this procedure goes any further towards inclusion in the Master Plan.