Summary of Facilities Planning Committee Meeting
Posted Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:39 pm UTC

The Facilities Planning Committee of the OSU Board of Trustees met
today to consider the Academic Mission of the airport and review some
results of the Environmental Assessment.

William Shkurti, Vice President for Finance, outlined the principles
the Board will follow in considering the Master Plan.

1. Alignment with academic, research, and service needs.

2. Fulfilling external requirements, e.g. the FAA. FAA
requirements will be the *minimum* standard.

3. All actions are deliberative and require study of all the factors

4. Consideration of input from neighbors and communities, but public
input will not dictate board actions.

5. Any plan will not be self-executing, i.e. once approved, the
airport must still seek board approval for implementation of specific
parts of the plan.

William Baeslack presented the airport's relation to the
University's academic mission. He clearly outlined how the airport
is crucial for the current aviation program. He then presented
several brief points on how expansion would help the academic
mission. He did not go into depth on any point, and failed to address
how the academic program would be harmed if expansion is halted. At
no time was the length of the runway linked to supporting the
academic mission.

Mr. Baeslack confirmed that the airport provides $650,000 in money
and/or services "in-kind" annually to the University. It is not clear
if this is legal.

20 year projections at the airport show a small increase in the number
of flight operations. However, they also show the number of jets
based at the airport will more than double, and it was admitted that
jets are the worse noise makers. In all, while the number of flight
operations is projected to increase, the noise they create is
*projected* to decrease.

One safety issue was sited for expansion of the north runway. A 6000
foot runway would make landings safer, especially in inclement
weather. They failed to address the availability of many other safer
runways at surrounding airports for the rare situations where they are

Mr. Baeslack and Dr. Taneja of the Aviation Department incorrectly
asserted a longer runway will decrease noise. They failed to properly
address the fact that aircraft will start landings at the end of the
runways, and thus be coming in lower and closer, and that heavier, and
thus nosier, aircraft will be able to use the runway.

It was confirmed that additional hangars are part of the expansion
plan and that additional hangars will likely increase the number of
operations at the airport.

A chart was shown of the environmental impact to surrounding areas.
In virtual all categories, no impact was found.

A map of current and projected noise levels was displayed. The nature
of the maps shows very few homes are currently or will be affected.
However, the contours shown in the map are extremely suspicious and
are likely based on many false assumptions. A request for a copy of
the report was made but denied, so further analysis is not possible at
this time. Further, the map only showed out to the 65dB DNL noise
level contours and did not show show the 60db and 55db DNL noise level
contours the Worthington aviation consultants were promised.

The board questioned whether average noise levels as compared to
single event noise levels were sufficient to assess the impact on the
community. This was not adequately answered. The board was not made
aware of the existence of a 90dB SEL (Single Event Level) map that
would address the question.

One assumption made in the reduction of noise levels is that modern
jet engines become quieter with each generation. They failed to
recognize that most aircraft stay in service for decades. They
discussed a plan *might* be formulated to enforce jets to upgrade to to
newer engines. They failed to mention the large number of propeller
aircraft that are still very noisy.

Letters from community organizations in support of expansion was
cited. A list of these organizations was not provided.

The only question Karen Holbrook asked was whether the expansion would
make any commercial property unavailable for development. The answer
was no. Although the Don Scott District Plan was never discussed,
this *may* have been to make sure OSU land surrounding the airport is
available for future development.

Tony Pello, President of WOOSE, was given the opportunity to address
the board. We will provide a copy of his talk on our website very soon.

Mary Jo Cusak, Mayor of Riverlea, addressed the board. She described
her community's 20 year fight with the airport and a complete lack of
cooperation on their part. She discussed low flying jets and noise
and fuel pollution problems. She discussed evidence that the airport
is having a negative impact on property values and the ability of
residence to sell their homes. She asked that not only no expansion
be allowed to happen, but that restrictions on existing flights be put
in place to alleviate existing problems.

She explained how she had been approached by airport director Doug
Hammon who asked that Riverlea and other communities support the North
Runway, and in exchange all jet traffic would be diverted to the new
runway and alleviate the problems on her community. She then related
how Hammon contradicted his earlier story and told other organizations
that jet traffic would be shared between both runways.

Watch WOOSE.org for a calendar of upcoming events. We will keep this
up to date as new information comes in. We will also post related
news stories as they become available to us. Finally, we have
requested copies of the slides and materials presented to the
Committee and will post those on our website once they have been

Go back to the full news list...

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