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Brief notes from the October OSU Airport Public Workshop.
Posted Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:44 pm UTC

Here are brief notes from tonight's OSU Airport Public Workshop. A
full transcript should be posted at osuairport.org and woose.org as
soon as it is made available.

Dean Baeslack gave an abbreviated version of the presentation
previously reported here. Please see those reports. Tonight he
emphasized several times that these results were preliminary.

The floor was then opened for question and answer. The highlights
were:

An extended north runway will not directly increase student enrollment
or research dollars. They will not be training jet pilots.

Doug Hammon, airport director, said better facilities may bring more
students and he hopes to cause the FAA to keep giving us improved
facilities.

Mary Jo Cusack, Mayor of Riverlea says they have battled OSU airport
for 20 years over noise. OSU says they will continue to cooperate,
but they have yet to cooperate. She asked for

1. All documents requested via the Freedom of Information Act to be
released.
2. Release of the draft plan to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
3. Do a complete environment impact study.


The airport pays about $400,000 in in-kind cost sharing and $200,000
in cash to the University. The intention of expansion is not to
increase profit.

The Wyle Labs noise consultant said he is an advocate that noise
studies should go beyond the FAA mandated 65db DNL level, but they are
doing what is required by law.

The preliminary studies do not say there is no affect on Worthington
park land, but that according to legal regulations, the impact is not
considered. Runway lights will be positioned so that they don't
shine into the park.

A draft economic impact study that shows the airport's contribution
to the economy is expected by the end of November.

The OSU contractors are going to continue to study airport impacts on
historic Worthington. They have not previously studied further
because the budget did not allow.

There have talks in the past and present about moving the airport, but
it is very difficult to do, especially from a legal standpoint.

It was asked whether changed assumptions to the model could change
noise models in such a way that an impact was found. The reply was
that the best available science is being used.

A excerpt from the section from the environmental assessment on why
other airports are inappropriate for this expansion was read. "Bolton
Field is surrounded by residential development which would lead to
land use conflicts if the airport were to be expanded." The question
was why they were considered differently. The response was concern
over future residential growth, and that corporations preferred Don
Scott.

It was clarified that all comments made at the meeting are part of the
public record. When the environmental assessment is formally
released, OSU will try to extend the public comment period so it does
not fall exclusively during the holiday period.

It was claimed that Don Scott Airport is not part of the Mid-Ohio
Regional Planning Commission because they were never invited.

The FAA doesn't consider "anecdotal complaints", i.e. those not
within their noise profiles. However, the ultimate decision for
expansion lies with OSU.

Dough Holmes of Worthington City Council called for a full
environmental study. He said Worthington has received over 9,000
noise complaints from over 5,000 people. They have received 78
letters against the airport. They have received 4 letters in support
of the airport, 3 from the same person.

Dean Baeslack [baeslack.1@osu.edu] asked that all comments be put on
the table now so they can be considered. All of them will be
addressed and considered before the final environmental assessment
draft is released for public comment.

The airport began taking corporate flights in the 60's.

If you believe an airplane is flying dangerously or unnecessarily low,
contact the airport with the exact time and location and they can
check records to see if that was the case.

A pilot stated that the University is not bringing in more flights,
but that businesses are choosing to fly here.

It was stated that perhaps the runway extension should be allowed, but
it should only be used when necessary due to weather. It was also
proposed that a landing fee be imposed on jets to be shared with
affected communities. He asked that both sides be open to potential
compromise positions.

The length of the expanded runway will still not meet FAA
recommendations. It was asked why the FAA would want to fund a runway
that is too short. The reply was that those aircraft can already use
the airport, but a longer runway could accommodate them in more
situations.

The comment was made that the airport does not fit in the surrounding
community.

An OSU grad and private pilot who lives and works near the airport
says he enjoys it and that the trains and traffic from 315/270 is
louder. He believes the airport is an asset to the community.

The Airport Advisory Committee has no authority or rules of operation
and is there only to advise on technical matters. Members are
appointed by the airport director, of which 57% currently represent
OSU or are their consultants. However, every attempt has been made to
make the process open, and the advice is considered by OSU. Citizens
with pertinent technical information can request to present their
findings.

Worthington City Council member Bonnie Michael asked several questions
to be answered later. Why aren't single noise events considered in
the reports? Where will the background data that was used to draw
conclusions be available? Why won't OSU do a full environmental
study? Will the negative views of the airport be includeded in the
report?

It was reported about 75 students per year graduate with aviation
reheated degrees.

Dean Baeslack closed by stating that he is listening, he wants these
open discussions, and that this is not a done deal. He and the Board
of Trustees take these issues seriously.




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