Do Your Job FAA: Take Action to Mitigate Skydiving Noise near Longmont

Here is a recent comment by a resident of Longmont, CO, who signed the petition at Change.org, urging Congress to adopt regulations that reduce aviation noise. This long-time rural resident of a beautiful part of the country describes very well the skydiving noise problem that FAA refuses to manage…

“I have endured the abuse from the excessive noise of Mile Hi Skydiving’s aircraft over my home, the surrounding community, and Boulder County open space for many years as it has gotten steadily worse. There is no reasonable escape from the skydiving aircraft noise which is unlike any other aircraft or cultural noise in that it is persistent, loud, and primarily monotonic droning which makes it much worse than other cultural noise sources and other transient aircraft noise, even if they are as loud.

I live in a rural part of Boulder County that is over 4 miles from the airport, but the skydiving aircraft continuously circle from early morning to sunset both low and high over my home for much of the year. My and others’ quality of life have been severely negatively impacted by the steadily increasing abuse from Mile Hi Skydiving’s noisy aircraft and the time is long past for the FAA, local governments, airport management, and Mile Hi Skydiving to mitigate this problem. To date, none has been willing to do so.

We are not just a bunch of complainers; this noise has a real tangible negative impact on my life at home and degrades the enjoyment of living in this beautiful area. It is just not right or fair that one business and the recreational activities of a small minority should be allowed to negatively impact my community and life in this way.

I urge you to consider and implement reasonable and appropriate measures that will mitigate this noise problem to create a better community for all of us.”

What’s going on here?

Exactly the same situation as we see in the NextGen impacted airports: a tone-deaf FAA, aiding aviation operators to expand their profit-margins while imposing greater noise burdens on thousands of airport neighbors. And, in many cases, impacting thousands of others who actually live far from the airport but happen to be subjected to low arrival flows, skydiving climb patterns, and new routes poorly designed by FAA. Same situation, too, as we see in Santa Monica and East Hampton, where FAA delays … and delays … and delays … all the while sustaining an aviation status quo that is indisputably destructive to quality of life and public health. An out-of-control agency so indifferent to public welfare and so removed from public service that the Mayor and Council members of Santa Monica have created an online petition with this pointed title: #FAADoYourJob.

What are some ‘reasonable and appropriate measures’ that could be taken in Longmont?

A big part of the impact around Longmont is due to the intentional routine of flying away from the airport to conduct long and noisy climbs. This is a dangerous practice. If FAA wanted to, they could mitigate the noise problems AND improve aviation safety by directing Mile Hi Skydiving to conduct all climbs and descents within a 2-mile radius of the drop zone (the point in space over the area where the skydivers are supposed to land). This way, the many pilots overflying the area would know where to look, and other small planes would have a much higher chance of spotting the skydive planes.