By LYNDSEY TETER
Reprinted courtesy of the Worthington News/SNP ¯2006
A joint meeting of the Don Scott airport advisory board and noise committee had some heated moments Thursday as airport neighbors gathered in OSU¯s AeroLab to voice ongoing concerns about the airport¯s effect on their quality of life.
The meeting was held to gather feedback on the pursuit of a noise study for 2007.
The study, which could take two years to complete, would collect data to produce a map of current and future noise exposure around the airport.
It would also determine whether houses within a certain decibel limit could be eligible for appropriate Federal Aviation Administration-funded soundproofing measures, said airport Director Doug Hammon.
The study would have to be initiated by the university, FAA representatives have said, although funding the $150,000 to $250,000 process would come largely from an FAA grant, Hammon said.
A majority of committee representatives recommended that the study, if it¯s undertaken, be as open, thorough and forward-looking as possible.
Effects of the university¯s tabled master plan, which includes expansion of the north runway, should also be studied, committee members said.
The city of Worthington submitted a six-page memorandum stating a study was long overdue.
The memorandum, prepared by Worthington residents Scott Whitlock and Cheryl Chandler, said consultants hired to lead the initiative should be chosen with significant input from all jurisdictions and organizations represented on the advisory board.
Worthington resident Jan Revari-Mathis suggested ¯a real-life doctor¯ be consulted as a part of the study to determine the airport¯s effects on the mental health of airport neighbors.
¯We can mitigate, but what has the noise already done to us?¯ she asked.
In regard to collecting noise-complaint data for a proper study, issues of anonymity were raised by board members.
Some felt all complaints should be kept anonymous to protect a resident¯s privacy.
¯Some (OSU) employees are afraid of retaliation by their employer,¯ Whitlock said.
Others said those who complain should be named to protect pilots from false complaints.
¯If you make the decision to jeopardize (a pilot¯s) livelihood, you should be willing to step up to the plate,¯ said Lowell Dowler, a pilot representative on the board.
William ¯Bud¯ Baeslack, OSU¯s dean of engineering, said the university is ¯strongly considering¯ a study, but he couldn¯t commit until some higher-ups were consulted in the decision.
Approval from the university¯s board of trustees and President Karen Holbrook would be required to move forward.
Read more Central Ohio Community News at the Suburban News Publications Web site, SNPonline.com.
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