November 8, 2011
Sharon Township Trustee Election
Questions concerning OSU Airport noise impacts
and proposed airport expansion
4 candidates seek your vote
1 Sharon Township Trustee position
To assist voters in understanding candidates' position on OSU airport noise, proposed additional hangars and an extension of the North runway, WOOSE submitted questions to the candidates.
Question #1: Please identify what impact positive /negative you believe the OSU Airport and its aircraft operations have on Sharon Township and its residents.
- Lori Gerald: I was able to spend a weekend at the Don Scott Field with a scouting event. The education is invaluable to the community. I found the airport is an asset to the community but like nature there has to be a balance. We need quality of life but we need to have the student educational programs.
- Jeremy Herman: The OSU airport began in 1943 where it served as a training center for military and civilian pilots. Currently the airport is a self supporting entity of The Ohio State University through the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Aviation. The airport contributes millions of dollars to the economy though many ways. Directly through the salaries of the airport personnel, taxes from the sale of aviation fuel, and other avenues. Indirectly airport users visit local restaurants, stay at local hotels, and rent cars for off-airport business. The airport is said to be within a 2 hour flight of 60% of the nation's population and 60% of the nation's manufacturing locations. The OSU airport creates a positive environment for students, faculty and local businesses. Many of the businesses that use the airport are located within Worthington. The airport caters to many students from OSU, from the Aviation, Agricultural, Forestry, Geography, Chemistry and Automotive departments. The reason the students from these departments are able to continue their research is because of the corporate businesses that use the airport, contributing by buying fuel and renting hanger space. This airport allows college students in Worthington, Riverlea and Sharon Township to explore their interests in aviation and in other departments discussed above close to home. OSU also provides shadowing opportunities for local high school students interested in entering a collegiate Aviation program. The Airport also hosts tours of the facility by school groups, scouts, and other individuals I believe the Don Scott OSU Airport brings a positive contribution to the local community.
- Edward Johnston: Most of us are very concerned on how this noise impacts our way of living during the day and many times at night. I have had personal experience with the low flying small Jets. At times the noise was as problematic as the shaking of the windows in my home.
- Phillip Smith : My neighbors and I are bothered by night flights. I know it bothers others further North in Worthington.
Question #2: What impacts do you believe the proposed addition of hangars for 50 aircraft, development of the North side of the airport and the extension of the North Runway at the OSU Airport will have on Sharon Township and its residents?
- Lori Gerald: I was not aware that the addition of the 50 hangers, the development of the North side, or the expansion of the North Runway were moving forward. I would like to have additional information on the statistics of increasing the hangers for air traffic and the impact it would have on the environment.
- Jeremy Herman: The last hangar constructed at the OSU airport was in 1985. I see no impact on Sharon Township residents by the future build of hangars that will accommodate approximately 50 aircraft. It was explained to me by the airport director that the main reason for the plan to build additional hangars is to allow existing users of the airport to put their planes in hangars. If these new hangars would bring in new corporate jets the number would be minimal. It was explained to me that the waitlist for hangars at the OSU airport is great than Port Columbus, so the need for them is there, the space that would be rented would surely bring in more revenue, contributing to the educational system that the airport is there to serve. I see no negative impact on the residents of Sharon Township by the additional hangers. The last time the runway was enhanced was in 1980. After talking to the Director of the airport I understand that the additional footage planned for the north runway will have several benefits to the airport. The extension will allow for the pilots to have more time to make decisions when landing and taking off than before. It is currently around 3,000 ft. and will be extended to 6,000 ft. if the plan goes through. The extension also allows for the corporate jets to take off with a full tank of fuel, where before they were only able to take off with a partial tank. When landing on the longer runway planes will be able to use a glide pattern, which will allow the plane to reduce noise in the neighborhoods because it will not have to rely on the engines to slow itself down, because it has a longer path on which to land on, the landing won't be so immediate. The extension of the north runway to me is not seen to have any negative impacts on the residents of Sharon Township. The ongoing noise from planes is present but as a resident who lives under the flight path of planes that land at Don Scott, I see no negative impact on the community by such noise.
- Edward Johnston: As for the proposed expansion of the North runway, I am concern for our community's safety and the increase noise that could be heard from the ground.
- Phillip Smith: My neighbors and I are bothered by night flights. I know it bothers others further North in Worthington. The airport is too small for all additional planes.
Question #3: How should these impacts be addressed by Sharon Township? What should be Sharon Township's role regarding the addition of hangars, the development of the North side of the airport, the extension of the North Runway, and the ongoing impacts of aircraft noise on residents of Sharon Township?
- Lori Gerald: We need to facilitate public meetings between all parties. Educate the public on what is needed/what is wanted. Form committees of residents to review all of the pros and cons from their perspective and then present their findings. Continue to work together within the community by striving to continue our quality of life while assisting the airport with keeping up with the modern time changes.
- Jeremy Herman: The possibility of future impacts on the Sharon Township community should be addressed by the Township. The Township's role regarding these developments to the OSU airport should be to participant and learn more about ways to reach the best result for our residents. The Township should seek avenues such as working with all parties involved such as the residents of the community and the airport. By gathering information on how all parties involved can compromise towards goals that better the community our township will have no choice but to benefit from these efforts. If citizens wish to positively contribute to the discussion about additions to the OSU airport I encourage you to attend Airport meetings and township and city council meetings to learn more about these additions. With everyone's efforts Sharon Township will be able to continue its positive contribution to the community.
- Edward Johnston: As for my role as your next trustee, I would want to seek further ways in being an active participant attending one of your meetings, and hope to help WOOSE block any further expansion at the OSU Airport that affects our quality of living.
- Phillip Smith: Sharon Township should tell them to not expand. We should veto it.
Question #4: As a Sharon Township Trustee, what do you see as YOUR role regarding the above?
- Lori Gerald: As a Township Trustee, we need to learn all aspects of the changes to the airport and present them to our residents. We need to provide accurate information to our residents and keep them informed on any airport issues.
- Jeremy Herman: As Township Trustee I wish to continue the positive relationship I currently have with the OSU airport. I have spoke with several of the airport's personnel to gain a better look at the additions the airport wishes to bring forth. Through conversations with these employees I have gained knowledge on how the airport has helped the community and how it continues to do so. As trustee I would take what I have learned through my relationship with the airport and present it to the community. Communities that works together to strive toward goals will always create a positive impact. I am willing to work for the citizens of Sharon Township on these issues to better our community.
- Edward Johnston: I will admit that my knowledge in these concerns for both sides is limited to the printed news and I would want to seek more information from the Airport representative's on the reasons why they are spending so much time and energy on the expansion.
- Phillip Smith: Send me to talk with them.
Question #5: Do you believe there is a need for an expanded Corporate Jet Center at OSU Airport? Why or why not? And what impact would an expanded Corporate Jet Center at OSU have on the airports operated by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (Port Columbus, Rickenbacker and Bolton Field)?
- Lori Gerald: What would a Corporate Jet Center consist of? Is it for expansion of education to the OSU Airport or will it be bringing in more air traffic to the airport? I would like additional information before commenting further on a Corporate Jet Center. The impact on the other airports in the area again would depend on the purpose of the Jet Center. If it is to bring more traffic to the OSU airport I believe it would impact the other airports economically.
- Jeremy Herman: I don't exactly know what is meant by =E2=80=9CCorporate Jet Center=E2=80=9D, but the airport depends on the business of corporate jets because they create revenue which allows the airport to remain self sustaining. The expansions that the airport seeks I believe will have no impact on other airports. I have spoke with the director of the OSU airport about its impact on other airports. I understand that there is nothing significant to worry about. Each airport maintains its customer base and the additions OSU seeks plans to help those customers already currently using the OSU airport.
- Edward Johnston: I feel that with intervention assistance along with the City and Township Trustees joining with your WOOSE group we will bring a plethora of different points to explore and locate possible other avenues for your group to seek assistance with this important issue.
- Phillip Smith: If they do that (expand) we are in trouble; more noise.
Question #6: Do you support the retention of special counsel to represent Sharon Township in future OSU Airport meetings and to provide expert advice to the Township?
- Lori Gerald: I do not believe special counsel is needed at this time. The Township can put a committee together of its residents to study the pro/cons of the expansion and development. Continue the public meetings which include keeping the community informed and educated on the processes. The township needs to be mindful of the budget with the recent State cuts to ensure township taxes do not increase in this economic downturn. If special counsel would be considered it should be on behalf of numerous communities to spread out the costs.
- Jeremy Herman: I do not believe there is a need for special counsel to represent Sharon Township in OSU Airport meetings. I do support the idea of having a representative attend the meetings on behalf of the Township. As far as expert advice, I believe that the OSU airport would allow residents to ask them about information regarding the airport's day to day operations and the impact the airport has on the community.
- Edward Johnston: One of the main concerns is the economic impact for our community, home values, and safety. We do not need the OSU Airport to add a Corporate Jet Center which will increase the number of planes going over our city.
- Phillip Smith: Yes, we need to talk to OSU airport.
- Jeremy Herman: I currently have a positive relationship with employees of the OSU airport and would like to share my knowledge of the airport and these issues discussed above with any resident who wishes to contribute to the betterment of our community.
- Edward Johnston: In conclusion, all of your questions are important to me and I hope in just the few areas I addressed will help you assess my concerns. I have worked with airport industry after 9/11 regarding security / safety and will bring a different level of understanding with my background with Homeland Security / EMA and Law Enforcement.
- Phillip Smith: We need to talk to OSU airport to lessen the noise of air traffic in the Sharon Township community. I have worked on the following projects for our community to: relocate COTA bus turnaround, manage Neighborhood Block Watch, stop Turkey Hill Company in Sharon Township, reduce AEP power outages and to improve street maintenance on Rosslyn Ave. Send me to talk with them.