Airport still has value |

Airport still has value


To the editor:

As an occasional customer of Oasis Aviation out at “the airport,” I found Rochelle Nason’s editorial to be simultaneously humorous, repulsive and hypocritical. Let’s take a closer look.

She writes that we don’t really need an airport of our own because there are several airports within an hour’s drive. “We would have our own peace and quiet assured” and, there would be “little inconvenience to local pilots and visitors.”

Well, readers, what about inconvenience to residents just like Rochelle, who live near those airports? Could she convince them to receive the noise and traffic that she objects to at the Lake Tahoe Airport?

Here is a suggested sales pitch that the city of Naples, Fla. tried. After submitting a 200-page noise complaint to the FAA, they acknowledged that aircraft diversions to other airports would increase noise exposure at those airports. “However, that increase in exposure will be negligible, given the extremely limited number of diversions.”

Can you guess what happened? Right! It bombed!

Rochelle moves on to airport safety and “the numbers of people who have been killed.” Actually, one of the airport’s major safety problems stems from its noise abatement policies, which she adamantly supports.

These measures, which are of questionable legality, do nothing to enhance safety. Instead, they intimidate the pilot and place him in a safety vacuum, or “Twilight Zone,” between his absolute authority and responsibility for safe flight and a perceived need to compromise safety to accommodate the politics of noise abatement.

Lastly, she brings up that old standby: Airport noise puts property values at risk. In reality, what puts property values at risk is a lack of buyers, usually during hard economic times, which have been known to hit the Lake Tahoe area on occasion. Could you imagine the uproar though, from a cash-starved seller who couldn’t sell because Rochelle scared off buyers with her complaints about “the airport” and the noise it makes?

Jon Rodgers

President, National Air Transportation Oversight Commission

Van Nuys, Calif.

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