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Thursday, July 21, 2004

RESIDENTS COULDN'T PREDICT AIRPORT CHANGES, EXPANSION

Nino Baldachi and others contend that anyone who purchased a home in the vicinity of the OSU Airport after it was established doesn't "have a leg to stand on to complain about the noise".

Apparently property owners near state Route 161 should have foreseen that they would someday be living beneath a corporate jet center runway approach.

The Ohio State University has other business concerns in addition to the airport. The following information is from the Department of Animal Sciences: "A dairy facility, along with egg-laying flocks are located less than a mile from the Columbus campus with horse, sheep, swine, and beef herds slightly further north."

Should property owners near these sites anticipate the university filing applications for 4,500-cow dairy farms or Buckeye Egg Farm-type egg-laying businesses? Perhaps a large hog farm will be needed to support the university's mission.

Airport expansion should be no more a necessary function of a university than establishing and operating mega-farms. Home buyers did not fail to notice the small nearby airport. They failed to anticipate a big business radically changing the mission of that airport.

It is disheartening to watch OSU proceed with airport expansion plans despite the many legitimate concerns of area residents. This is a quality of life issue.

Linda Crane

EXTENDING AIRPORT RUNWAY WOULD ADD TO NOISE ISSUES

In Response to Nino Baldachi's July 14th letter to SNP Neews, Newer jets are often quieter than older aircraft. However, the difference is not as significant as Mr. Baldachi states. For example, the noise of a large turbo-prop during take-off and landing is nearly identical to the Canadair jet Baldachi cited. And even this "quiet" jet, which comprises only a small fraction of the jets at Don Scott, has a noise footprint that affects an area almost twice as large as the loudest single engine planes operating at OSU airport.

Over 2,300 complaints about jets have been made to the city of Worthington. Another 2,400 complaints are about aircraft of an unknown type which likely includes many jets. Stating newer aircraft are quieter is not enough -- there is clearly already a problem.

As Baldachi points out, aircraft may not be stopping at OSU to refuel for cross-country trips. However, airport officials have made it clear they wish to allow flights originating in Columbus to take on more fuel for trans-Atlantic flights. For this they need a longer runway. A longer runway brings take-offs and landings closer to our homes, and these heavier, fuel-laden aircraft will fly lower and make more noise.

Further, Mr. Baldachi is not sympathetic to people who purchased homes near the airport and are now complaining.

Unfortunately, the airport of today is not the airport of yesterday. It has grown substantially, and they have made it clear they wish to become a corporate jet center, thus growing even more. Expansion helps a very small number of corporations at the expense of everyone else. We also have four other airports in near proximity much better suited for corporate travelers -- giving us much more runway capacity than comparable cities. Increased safety is again cited as a reason for needing the expansion. I hear this claim thrown around time and again, but have yet to hear any evidence on how much safer this will make the airport, and if the increased safety warrants the costs. This also leads to the question: if it is unsafe now, why is it being used at all?

Finally, Mr. Baldachi suggests that we try to talk with the airport on compromise positions. We have requested a night-time ban on flights, but have been told OSU can not restrict any flights.

I personally have been trying to open a dialog with the airport and University since March. They have stonewalled me at every turn. They tell us now is not the time for discussion while on the other-hand the OSU Board holds secret, illegal meetings. It is clear OSU is not interested in hearing us.

Dennis S. Hennen

This page last modified on Fri Mar 28 2008 at 3:43 am
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