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Election: November 5, 2013
Worthington City Council Candidates
reply to questions concerning
OSU Airport expansion submitted by WOOSE

4 candidates seek your vote for
4 seats on Worthington City Council

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. The questions are followed by candidates' replies listed in alphabetical order. A brief background on the proposed expansion at OSU Airport follows the Q/A .

WOOSE encourages all residents to vote Tues., November 5, 2013.

Question #1: Please identify what positive and negative impacts you believe the OSU Airport and its aircraft operations have on the City of Worthington and its residents.

Rachel Dorothy: OSU Airport aircraft operations have a positive impact on the City of Worthington and its surrounding communities by meeting the region's demand for training both new pilots and aviation administrators. Negative impacts to Worthington include increased noise pollution of residents within the flight path of loud jet engine or pusher propeller planes.

Scott Meyers: Positive: Facilitate corporate transportation to the northwest portion of the Columbus area with accompanying economic impact. Negative: Noise and traffic. Most of us live in the flight path.

David Norstrom: When I served on Council testimony indicated the following. On the positive side some local businesses with aircraft housed at OSU have indicated that their location in Worthington is partially influenced by the access to OSU airport. While no specific information has been provided, OSU Airport has an economic impact on the community. On the negative side, the primary impact is the noise associated with aircraft. The noise affects those very near the airport, but also persons in Old Worthington and in Colonial Hills have expressed concern over the noise. The impact of the noise is a combination of the number of flights and the type of aircraft.

Mike Troper: The OSU airport has a positive impact on the City of Worthington by helping promote industry in the Franklin County area. The negative impact would be the excessive noise to the residents.

Question #2: What impacts do you believe the proposed addition of hangars for 50 aircraft, development of the North side of the airport, new terminal and the extension of the North Runway at the OSU Airport will have on the City of Worthington and its residents?

Rachel Dorothy: Additional hangers at the OSU airport will allow for protection of existing aircraft currently stored outside on site from adverse weather conditions. The development of the North Runway in conjuncture with an increase in air traffic will have an adverse environmental effect for residents and community members within the new flight path from additional noise. Other impacts to be considered would be increased traffic flow around the OSU area, including along Worthington's west side.

Scott Meyers: More of what we put up with now. Noise.

David Norstrom: As indicated in my answer to the first question, there appear to be two impacts of the airport. The expansion of the airport can be expected to have a positive economic impact and a negative impact on increased noise. Increased development can also be expected to impact traffic on Route 161. This may or may not be a major impact, but it is an impact that can be evaluated based on the projected growth in employment and visitors to the airport. With continued discussion of expansion of Route 161 and development in the Route 161 corridor, traffic will be impacted regardless of decisions made by the airport.

Mike Troper: The proposed addition will create additional traffic and noise for the Worthington residents.

Question #3: How should these impacts be addressed by the City of Worthington? What should the City of Worthington's role be regarding the addition of hangars, the development of the North side of the airport and the extension of the North Runway, and the ongoing impacts of aircraft noise on Worthington residents?

Rachel Dorothy: The City of Worthington's role in the development of OSU airport should be to listen to its constituents' concerns, ensure viewpoints are represented, and issues are discussed in an open dialogue during the environmental process, with all parties that have a stake in ensuring the region continues to be a premiere place to live.

Scott Meyers: With OSU talking about changes to its plans and the recent study release we should wait and see before we react.

David Norstrom: City Council has taken the correct role to date. It hired a lawyer to represent the City as the airport studied the impacts of expansion. The City monitored the activities of the airport and the Part 150 noise study. I understand that the FAA rejected the Part 150 study. The City should continue to monitor what is happening at the airport and participate in any public opportunities for discussing its future.

Mike Troper: The city should ensure that the airport is doing everything possible to address residents' concerns.

Question #4: As a Worthington City Council member, what do you see as YOUR role regarding the above?

Rachel Dorothy: As Worthington City Council member my role is to ensure constituents' concerns are heard and addressed within the environmental process of the OSU airport expansion, and as partner in the sustainable development of the area.

Scott Meyers: Stay informed. Continue to seek input from those most effected.

David Norstrom: City Council's role is to listen to the citizens on this issue and make informed judgments.

Mike Roper: As a council member, my role is to listen to the concerns of the Worthington residents and to mitigate the noise as much as possible.

Question # 5: Do you believe there is a need for an expanded Corporate Jet Center at OSU Airport? Why or why not? 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)?

Rachel Dorothy: I believe OSU airport meets the region's training needs for new pilots and aviation administrators. I believe the Columbus Regional Airport Authority's expansion of Rickenbacker airport and maintaining air traffic during the recent times is an indicator that CRAA is meeting the region's need for corporate jets.

Scott Meyers: Four years ago I was approached by OSU officials and was willing to meet and hear their arguments. Since then I have not been approached. I have heard from those opposed to the expansion who are the constituents I have been elected to represent. As such, I am not convinced that expansion would be a benefit to Worthington.

David Norstrom: As I said in 2011, this question cannot easily be answered. I am not aware of the demand for a corporate jet center. However, with a capitalist approach to this issue, if there is a need, I would see competition to meet the need. It could easily be the Port Authority versus OSU Airport. Clearly, some businesses have chosen to use OSU airport as their home airport, while others use airports under the Port Authority control. I'm not familiar enough with the issues. If a corporate jet center would mean added employment and jobs in Worthington, this factor would need to be weighed against increased noise in the community. I understand the newer generations of jets are quieter and flight patterns in and out of the airport (dictated by FAA at Port Columbus) also are factors. I'm sure there are other factors that would need to be examined. From a City Council perspective my goal is to make sure we can get the facts and understand the assumptions that are used in any discussion.

Mike Troper: I do not have enough information from both parties to address this issue thoroughly.

Question #6: Do you support the retention of special counsel to represent the City of Worthington in future OSU Airport meetings and to provide expert advice to City Council?

Rachel Dorothy: I believe the City of Worthington needs to ensure its constituents are represented by special counsel when plans are being explored for development that may affect their quality of life on a case by case basis.

Scott Meyers: Not at the present time. We still have the availability to call upon experts we have used in the past and if the need arises we can assess the cost and benefits at that time.

David Norstrom: Yes

Mike Troper: I would support the retention of special counsel if there were a reasonable expectation that the expenditure of taxpayer funds would lead to the city's desired result.

Additional comments:

Rachel Dorothy: Thank-you (WOOSE) for your continued efforts in making sure that Worthington residents are aware of potential impacts of changes in OSU airport operations throughout Worthington.

Background information on the OSU Airport as of August 2013:

In the spring of 2003 OSU Airport stated its intent to add hangars and extend the North runway. The proposed extended North runway would be used by all jets and high performance aircraft. As a result, all aircraft using the extended N runway would descent directly over downtown Worthington and surrounding Sharon Township residential neighborhoods on final approach to OSU airport. Jets and high performance aircraft departing OSU to the East are required to make a 050 degree turn flying over Worthington and Sharon Township residential neighborhoods and remain under 3,000 feet to avoid Port Columbus airspace.

The City of Worthington retained legal counsel and experts. In June, 2003, on the advice of counsel, the City of Worthington requested that the OSU Airport perform a Part 150 Noise Study (Part 150) to document the impact of existing and future airport operations.

After years of pressure by WOOSE, the City of Worthington and Village of Riverlea representatives, OSU finally agreed to perform a Part 150 and Noise Compatibility Program (NCP) with financial support by the FAA. The study began in 2007.

OSU hired experts, consultants and a public relations firm to conduct and present the studies. The studies determined noise impacts did not reach the 65 DNL (averaged day/night level) as required by the federal government for noise mitigation (improvements to lessen noise exposure). Even though the study failed to show impacts over the 65 DNL metric, OSU agreed to analyze other options for noise mitigation. OSU posted recommended Noise Guidelines for pilots using OSU airport which you may review at http://www.osuairport.org/39 The study also included a list of recommended voluntary programs to reduce noise impacts.

In 2010 OSU submitted the Part 150 and a Noise Compatibility Program (NCP) to the FAA for review and approval.

In April of 2011, the FAA advised OSU the information submitted in the NCP was incomplete, inaccurate and dated. The FAA determined it was unable to begin the next step (a 180-day review) and was unwilling to pay for additional study to address the problems. You may review these documents at http://www.woose.org/news/news.html?newsid=154 and also http://woose.org/docs/files/2011-05-faa-foia-response.pdf

OSU Airport Director Doug Hammon wrote the FAA assuring the information provided was complete and correct. WOOSE wrote the FAA supporting the findings of the FAA as well as the importance of using complete, accurate and up-to-date data in all studies and reports. As of this writing, the FAA has not provided additional response.

As of 2013, The OSU Part 150 study has not been accepted by the FAA. The OSU Part 150 Study has not been approved by the FAA.

Update on the proposed expansion:

Update on the KOSU noise complaint collection and reporting:

Update on aircraft operations at KOSU as reported by the FAA

Update on NIFA-SAFECON- National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON)

In Summary

The City of Worthington does not have power to compel either OSU or the FAA to implement noise abatement procedures or other mitigation, but these entities can use efforts to influence decision makers. In the event that OSU decides to proceed to extend the North Runway, there will be another wave of hearings and reports under the environmental laws, including either an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment.

This page last modified on Sat Oct 5 2013 at 1:12 am
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