Scary on So Many Levels

(click on image to view USAToday article about the magazine cover)

New Yorker magazine is famous for its cover images, such as this one: Trump watching, in full-pout mode, while Sessions drags Comey off the plane. And, the citizens sit, obediently quiet, in their plastic seats, distracted by their devices and programmed toward suppressing and internally denying their outrage.

The same dynamics are at play in communities impacted by FAA’s fraudulent NextGen program, and by FAA’s enabling of impactful activities at places like Santa Monica and Longmont. More and more local residents are speaking up and organizing to protect their families, homes and neighborhoods. Yet, similarly, they run into so many neighbors who are afraid to share the outrage, who instead incline toward silence and distraction.

The architecture of our aviation system and our airplanes – the very geometry that defines how we sit on a commercial passenger flight – hints at how deeply corrupted our political system has become. A nation that for centuries has proudly pointed toward individual liberties and responsibilities, now sits mostly silent while money sets the houses on fire. We sit. Silently obedient, pretending a respect for authority that disrespects humanity.

Oh, and Happy Mothers’ Day to everyone! Let’s make our Moms proud and clean up this mess!!

[KLMO]: Shifting the Model

Citizens for Quiet Skies, in Longmont, CO, has fought heroically to bring balance and moderation to the skydiving noise impact by Mile Hi, at Vance Brand Airport [KLMO]. The group took their concerns to the state courts, and then took it further to an appeal. In the process, CFQS has helped to illuminate yet one more reason that aviation impacts are out of control: the court systems (just like the faux-regulators) are biased towards accommodating commerce, and too quick to defer to FAA and federal authority.

I ran into this quote by R. Buckminster Fuller:

“You never change the existing reality by fighting it. Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete.”

He makes a good point. When you study aviation impacts, you see ample evidence that, no matter where it is (a skydiving issue in exurbia, an air tour issue at Grand Canyon, a NextGen impact near a major hub airport, and so forth), the present imbalance is carefully sustained – and even expanded – via the carefully coordinated use of propaganda tools. The Av-Gov Complex uses propaganda tools to frame the issues favorably for air commerce while also keeping the average person from seeing the relevant truths.

Led by lobbyists and with ample faux-regulatory cover provided by FAA, the Av-Gov Complex created the present model, and they are being damned careful to control any efforts to change that model. But, facts and truths are problematic to those who are corrupt and self-serving; if we persist, as Kim and others have in Longmont, eventually we can shift the model and restore the balance. The noise impacts are real and problematic, just as the aviation operator profits are real and narrowly focused; but we can change the model to include other important factors, such as safety.

Shifting the Model to include SAFETY

One relevant truth about skydiving is this: skydive operators consciously choose to offset their climbs, so that the noise impact is not happening over the actual airport but instead is happening many miles from the airport. This decision shifts the noise impact onto people who may have no idea why, starting on a certain sunny day a few years ago, they now always hear lots of droning airplanes diminishing the best weather-days of the year.

There are safety consequences of this decision that are often overlooked. In particular, a skydiving plane doing repetitive climbs far from the airport drop zone poses a higher midair-collision hazard to other small planes passing through the airspace.

klmo-20170110scp-vfrmap-airport-vicinity-with-5nm-radius-circle-added

VFR sectional centered on KLMO. The red circle has a 5 nautical mile radius. Many of the skydiving climbs happen outside this circle, to the south and west. (click on image to view sectional and other images at VFRmap.com)

In the Longmont example, FAA’s aeronautical charts include a symbol at KLMO to alert pilots that this is a skydiving airport … but, if the climbs are far from the airport, even the most safety-conscious pilot, passing through may not see the skydive plane until it is too late. And the edge of the Front Range is a heavily-flown airspace for small planes.

A proactive FAA would judiciously constrain the skydive operator on where they must conduct their climbs, flying within a clearly charted climb zone positioned over and adjacent to the charted drop zone. For example, they might require climbs within a 2-mile radius of the airport center, or the drop zone coordinates. If the weather was marginal within that defined climb zone, the operator would simply have to stay on the ground, which eliminates both safety risks and noise impacts. If the repetitive noise generated within the defined climb zone increases noise complaints to those near the airport and under that airspace, then FAA would have the hard data they need to further constrain the operator’s annual permit letter, imposing hour-limits per day, alternate days off, and other noise mitigation strategies.


See also:
  • 1/28/2017 – the next CFQS meeting, at 10AM at the Longmont Public Library (click here for further info)
  • 1/6/2017 – a recent OpEd in the Longmont TimesCall

[KLMO]: Oral Arguments Today, in the Colorado Court of Appeals

A classic example of the sacrifices commonly made by aviation impact activists is happening today, in a Denver courtroom. A single airport operator, Mile-Hi Skydiving, makes money by using their fleet of skydiving planes, outfitted to climb faster AND make more noise. So as not to annoy the actual near-airport residents, the planes are flown a few miles away and the climbs, which commonly drone on for 15- to 20-minutes, impact the residents below. The problem came many decades after the airport was built, coinciding with aircraft purchases and modifications by Mile-Hi owner Frank Casares.

As is nearly always the case, FAA is doing nothing to help resolve the problems. Indeed, doing the quite the opposite, FAA is enabling the operator (Mile-Hi) and ensuring these impacts will persist and even worsen. Just as they do at East Hampton, Santa Monica, Mora, and a dozen or so NextGen-induced noise canyons (e.g., [KLGA], [KPHX], [KCLT], [KSEA], [KBOS]), FAA is  obstructing every effort for meaningful LOCAL CONTROL of local airports. Somehow, we are supposed to suspend rational thinking and believe that, if the local City Council wanted to impose reasonable restrictions on the lease they have signed with Mile-Hi, it would compromise safety to have them execute quieter climbs or limit their operations to say a 6-hour block each day? Likewise, FAA (and the industry they protect from the Public!) expects us to believe this total capitulation to the profit-motives of a single skydiving operator is critical for our National Airspace System (NAS) integrity?

Bullshit. Shame on you, FAA et al, for continuing to obstruct reasonable attempts toward local resolution. Sleep, and the quality of our home environments, is important … far more necessary than your propping up the narrowly distributed profits of operators like Frank Casares. Let’s bring some balance back to these situations: more LOCAL control at our local airports.

Thank you, Kim, Citizens for Quiet Skies, and the others who have bravely spoken up to fix this local problem. Against a hostile local press, a corrupt and commerce-biased state court system, you fight on. And your battles help many others, from East Hampton to Santa Monica to Mora.

Click on the image below for a scrollable view; the PDF file may be downloaded.

Tandem Skydiving: A Business Model Placing Profits Ahead of Safety Risks?

In all businesses, lucrative profits can feed excessive greed, causing business owners to cut corners, sometimes with fatal consequences. In skydiving, the big money-maker is ‘tandem jumps’, and the operator can easily pocket $100+ per jump, after paying other costs. Here is the formula being used by typical skydiving companies, to maximize profits:

  1. set up a facility/operation at a quiet exurban airport, typically 20-40 miles from a large urban center.
  2. promote with garish advertising in the urban core, such as ads on busses and at transit shelters. Appeal to a sense of adventure and life-energy (offering a moment of relief from the dull repetition common to modern urban living). Try to convince consumers that they ‘need’ to skydive to check off their life ‘bucket list’.
  3. encourage as many consumers as possible to spend ~$200 for the biggest money-maker in skydiving: tandem rides (sold as ‘instructional lessons’ but let’s be honest and recognize, these are just rides). Even better for profits, get the consumers to memorialize their ride with a cheesy high-priced video, shot by another jumper using a head-camera.
  4. take advantage of aviation regulations that require pilots to build hours, and so-called ‘instructors’ to build their jump numbers. These requirements enable skydiving operators to pay at low rates, with only a tiny fraction of revenues applied to labor costs.
  5. maximize the number of trips made each hour and day. This is done by altering the propeller and using power settings that are much louder but will allow for faster climbs. Of course, the net result is higher profits for the operator, but with added costs (increased noise & stress, reduced peace & quiet) shifted onto homeowners and others on the ground below.
  6. if and when you get complaints for your abusive repetitive-noise ruining entire sunny days, just blow it off; tell the complainants you are fully compliant with FAA regulations, so they should talk to FAA instead. Be careful to NOT tell them how great it is to you, that you have FAA providing cover for your impacts, framing even a discretionary activity such as skydiving as worthy of federal protection.

Video: Tandem Skydiving, Cameraman Fatality

The video below shows what happens when a commercial skydiving operation puts profit margins ahead of safety margins. Profits in the skydiving business are maximized by making as many commercial flights as possible per day. A part of this strategy is for the pilot to maneuver to immediately land, minimizing time before the next batch of jumpers has been loaded. Obviously, it is critical that the jump plane pilot turn away from the skydivers and avoid flying through them.

20120709scp.. frame showing C208 wing at impact during skydiving accident (time 0113 of 0230 video)

Frame showing the left wing of the C208 passing through at the moment of impact.

In this case, which happened at a skydiving center near Sao Paulo, Brazil on 7/9/2012, skydiving school director Alex Adelman jumped simultaneously with the last tandem duo. Alex’s job was to record a video for the tandem rider, by simply watching them with his helmet camera activated. Alex climbs out and waits under the wing at video time 0:54. The tandem duo jumps at time 1:03. For the next ten seconds, Alex keeps the camera on the jump, but the individual frames at time 1:13 show the left wing of the jump plane passing through.

Alex was hit and almost certainly rendered unconscious; the final minute of video shows that he was spinning out-of-control to an eventual ground impact. While in this uncontrolled descent, Alex reportedly collided with the tandem duo, breaking legs on both the tandem ‘instructor’ and the rider.

The jump plane was a Cessna 208, a very common skydiving plane in the U.S. The pilot of the jump plane did what skydive pilots routinely do: he entered an aggressive, diving descent immediately after all jumpers had cleared. Evidently, he failed to ensure he was clear of the jumpers. This is what happens in skydiving when safety margins are cut too thin … and it will happen again because of the arms-length regulatory failures of agencies like the FAA.

UPDATE – Longmont, Colorado (Citizens For Quiet Skies)

Link

UPDATE: Longmont, Colorado

Click here to view the latest Post by Citizens For Quiet Skies, with four topics. The first two are time-critical: a City Council decision on March 15th, with an opportunity for citizen input.

  1. Mile-Hi Lease Second Reading and Final Council Vote on March 15
  2. Talking Points – Urge council to adopt noise regulations
  3. The Appeal
  4. FAA Reauthorization

UPDATE, Longmont, CO: Second Reading and Final Council Vote on Mile-Hi Skydiving Lease, set for March 15

(click on image to view CFQS web notice)

(click on image to view CFQS web notice)

Skydiving noise is a substantial impact, due primarily to the fact that operators are allowed to use very noisy equipment and fly repetitive patterns that drone on for 10-20 minutes each flight. If you have ever heard a skydive plane, you will know what I mean; you will hear a loud airplane and look and look, then see a tiny speck far above the surface … and far louder than your average airplane. Operators could install quieter props, use quieter engine/prop settings, and reduce their rate of climb – all reasonable practices to minimize noise impacts – but FAA effectively shields skydive operators from evolving their practices, by federalizing the rules and thus obstructing local efforts to ‘manage’ the impacts.

The history of the ongoing skydiving noise impacts around Longmont are aptly summarized in Norma Figgs’ statement, offered as citizen testimony on 2/23/2016:

Click on the image below for a scrollable view; the PDF file may be downloaded.

And, here is a copy of Karen Antonacci’s article at the local newspaper:

Click on the image below for a scrollable view; the PDF file may be downloaded.

Importantly, lease approval requires two readings. This helps to ensure that City Council members, who serve part-time as elected citizens, have a chance to more closely investigate the issues before they finalize a decision. The first Mile Hi Skydiving lease, approved years ago, in 2007, proved to be filled with serious problems. So, we are on the verge of replacing that flawed lease, and have a chance to get it right this time around.

For a deeper analysis of why the current lease needs to be terminated and a better new lease needs to be negotiated, and to see aiREFORM’s suggestion for what the Longmont City Council needs to do, please see page two.


See also:

Longmont City Council Needs to Improve Terms in the Mile-Hi Lease

QUOTE

“…After a full week of blissfully quiet days and beautiful weather, the tranquility in our neighborhood was destroyed just a few minutes ago. As I write this, the Mile-Hi jump plane is droning and grinding its way to jump altitude. For me, the quiet days serve as an important reminder how things ought to be. So, I hope you will all join us next Tuesday, when the Longmont city council addresses the proposed Mile-Hi lease.”

– Kimberly Gibbs, Chairman and Founder of the group ‘Citizens For Quiet Skies‘, in Boulder County, Colorado.

The airport in Longmont, Colorado [KLMO] is a moderately busy field with a single runway and no control tower. The largest operator, by far, is Mile Hi Skydiving, which uses a small fleet of aircraft to make a lot of money flying people on long and noisy climbs for ‘drops’ that land on the south side of the airport.

The noise impact on neighborhoods is intense – so intense that it actually led to a case heard at the U.S. District Court in Boulder. Last Spring, the court sided with the operator. Sadly, though, this outcome was not that surprising, when you just consider political trends in recent decades. It is impossible to not notice the predisposition of U.S. courts (and agencies, and elected officials) to serve money ahead of people, the environment, or justice.

(4 screen caps from the Mile Hi Skydiving website, showing prices and offering info about tandem jumps)

(4 screen caps from the Mile Hi Skydiving website, showing the $199 price, describing tandem jumps, and noting over 5,000 tandem jumps are done each year.)

The big money-maker in the skydiving business is ‘tandem jumps’, where total beginners are strapped onto a so-called ‘instructor’ and the pair then skydives together under the instructor’s parachute. Actual trained skydivers pay approximately $20 for a flight to drop altitude, but tandem passengers pay $199. The so-called ‘instructors’ are not paid anything huge; in fact, the biggest benefit for the ‘instructor’ is that he or she logs more skydives, toward extended ratings. Clearly, the profits for Mile Hi Skydiving are substantial – easily more than $100 per tandem customer.

And that customer’s status as a student? For nearly all tandem customers it is a ‘one-and-done’: a 6-minute ride after somebody else jumps from the plane, a ride that creates a one-time adrenaline rush. Very few of these riders will invest hundreds more and all the time for a series of actual instruction and jumps to become actual skydivers. They are students in name only, and only for about one hour (plus maybe a couple more hours just waiting in line to get on their flight).

The Current Lease Proposal

KLMO.20151230.. Exh.A showing aerial of lease boundary

(Exhibit A; from page 17 of the 18-page Final Draft lease proposal)

The current lease proposal calls for having Mile Hi pay less than $400 per month to lease nearly 13,000 square feet of improved airport land, including a hangar that is nearly 4,000 square feet in area. That appears to be an incredibly low lease rate for an outfit that dominates the airport (and thus impacts other airport operations), while it also destroys quality of life for hundreds – even thousands – of airport neighbors who can no longer enjoy barbecues in their backyards.

With each flight, this company nets enough profit to more than cover the monthly lease cost. So, why is the lease rate so low? Is the airport authority even covering the annualized cost of the improvements being leased away (the hangar and the ramp apron)?

The lease also includes no provision for the additional airport land area being used to support Mile Hi’s business, such as:

  • the airport movement areas where pavement has been modified solely to accommodate Mile Hi’s operations (the large asphalt area at top-center of Exhibit A);
  • the land where shade structures are added for processing customers and handling equipment (the two black rectangles, just south of the pavement);
  • the other areas routinely used for handling customers (look closely at the aerial view, and note the business-related improvements on land outside the lease area … the orange markings, the smaller white structures);
  • the ‘swoop pond’ area; and
  • the land where dozens – even hundreds – of customers and employees park their vehicles, as necessary to conduct business.

One has to wonder: on the open market, for a comparable parcel and improvements to be used by a lessee’s customers at a non-aviation business, what would the lease rate be? Only $400 per month?

There is also nothing in the lease to protect neighborhoods and the environment from the repetitive and loud noise patterns known to exist with skydiving operations. FAA serves aviation money, so local residents will get no help from the federal officials. Instead, residents must depend on their city officials to be diligent in handling airport use proposals, to manage leases so as to minimize impacts. The proposal being considered is a total ‘giveaway’, and was previously approved by an aviation-biased airport Board. The proposal fails to serve the whole public. City Council needs to send it back, to reflect the full property being leased, and to add provisions that balance skydiving profits with the quality-of-life needs of area residents.

Click here to view the agenda for the 2/23/2016 council session (Civic Center, at 7:00PM). The lease ordinance is at Item #8a. Citizens are invited to speak before and after.


See also:

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.

Updated Remarks, by Petition Signers Nationwide

(click on image to read the petition at Change.org)

(click on image to read the petition at Change.org)

This is an extraordinary collection of comments, well worth studying. Here are some conclusions that are readily apparent:

  • The noise impacts of aviation are EVERYWHERE, and exacerbated by a federal agency (FAA) that is totally indifferent to the impacts … too busy serving their industry with fewer restrictions and regulations. A classic example of fully formed Regulatory Capture.
  • The melting pot that is our nation is beautifully reflected in the comments, especially in the impact areas around Flushing, Queens, and Roslyn, New York. The many comments suggest that even people who have recently come to live in our nation are shocked at what they see is happening to local quality of life.
  • Many people may have become conditioned to not speak up. For example, the largest skydiving noise impact in the nation right now is being caused by Frank Casares’ Mile Hi Skydiving, operating out of the airport in Longmont, Colorado. For a few years now, impacted people have seen the hostile, uncivil, and in some cases frighteningly aggressive comments by skydiving advocates in various online forums. They have become conditioned to stay quiet. Yet, with this petition, dozens have chosen to speak up by adding their valuable comments.
  • Probably the community most intensively impacted by NextGen is Phoenix, due especially to FAA’s giving the airlines early turns in west flows (impacting the Grand Ave and Laveen areas). Thousands of residents are impacted, but their property values are plummeting, and it appears that many have become afraid to attach a name and a concern that might undermine their negotiating position while selling the homes they once loved. This is terrible: that elected officials and federal authorities (like you, Michael Huerta and Glen Martin!) do nothing to mitigate an undisputed impact, letting it persist long enough to force people to move on for their health … and that people in our nation are afraid to speak up! We all owe a lot to those who have posted their comments.

Click on page two to view the roughly 280 comments, sorted by location, and be sure to look at your own community. Also, if you or someone you know is concerned about unmitigated aviation noise, please sign the petition and add your comments! Even better, tell your elected representatives you signed and they need to ‘get to work’. We all need to speak up if this problem is to be remedied.

Mile-Hi Skydive’s ‘Noise-Offset Strategy’ gets a big ‘Thumbs Down’

Skydiving operators like Frank Casares at the airport in Longmont, CO are well aware that they generate lots of noise. They select their equipment for maximum climb rate, and they pressure their pilots to maximize the number of trips in each day. 20150629scp.. F.Casares in TimesCall videoThis translates to very loud noise impacts, a grinding drone-noise that routinely runs for 10-15 minutes per flight, impacting every home on the ground below, particularly those homes within 2-3 miles of the climbing aircraft.

At the same time, skydiving operators like Mr. Casares need to be on good terms with the airport officials. The airport officials HATE noise complaints. So, how can Mr. Casares minimize his noise complaints? Easy: instruct his pilots that, after they take off, they need to fly away from the airport and conduct the bulk of their noisy climbs more than three miles from the actual airport. The radar data, viewable online, clearly shows that the bulk of Mile-Hi climbs are conducted far to the south (near Gunbarrel) and far to the west (near Altona). Thus, applying this ‘Noise Offset’ strategy, Mile-Hi focuses most of their climb noise impact upon distant communities, far away from downtown Longmont. How bad is it? Check out this link to a YouTube video of skydiving noise near Altona.

text

Drop Zone is at KLMO (red hexagon). Impacted neighborhoods include Gunbarrel (6.2 miles south) and Altona (7.5 miles west). Boulder’s airport is 9 miles southwest (purple square); in fact, Mile-Hi does much of their climbing CLOSER to Boulder’s airport pattern (which has a long history of midair collisions) than to Longmont’s air traffic pattern.

Of course, for safety reasons, the skydiving planes also must remain compliant with the Letter of Agreement signed with the Denver TRACON (ATC). In fact, it appears Mile-Hi is routinely non-compliant, particularly in how they fly beyond the western boundary and northeastern boundary of the operations box.

A recent ‘Letter to the Editor’ to the Times-Call illustrates what happens when skydive operators use this Noise Offset strategy. Peter Gibbons writes of his support for the skydiving operator, and his personal disagreement with the people who are irritated by the skydiving noise. But, in the context of his letter, Mr. Gibbons is also revealing this important fact: due to Mr. Casare’s practice of offsetting his noise far from the skydiving ‘Drop Zone’, people in Longmont and near the airport are effectively made unaware of the extent of the noise impact elsewhere.

This pop-out view is scrollable, and the PDF copy may be downloaded.

So, Peter, your letter offered some rhetorical questions; here are some answers:

  • You say “…Why all of the negative press … over someone who doesn’t even work or live in our city?….” Well, Peter, simply because the skydiving operator is knowingly exporting his noise to distant areas. Would you understand if a community downstream from a polluting factory got upset when the toxic wastes were piped miles away for release in their neighborhoods? If Rocky Flats had ‘offset’ their hazardous waste to Longmont, would you be upset? I hope you would…
  • You say “…every weekend I see the residents of Longmont gathered at the statue, paid for by the city, watching and enjoying the skydivers….” They watch it, but they do not hear what others have to deal with, all day long for most summer weekends. Why don’t you try this, Peter; join me in asking Mile-Hi Skydive owner Frank Casares to take just one weekend and fly their climbs within 2-miles of the airport center (and thus miles away from Gunbarrel, Altona, and other distant impact locations). This will enable those gathered people to ‘hear’ the noise, too, and decide if they would be thrilled to watch every weekend if they also got to hear the planes all day long. If in fact the people in your town would love to hear it, then let’s ask Mr.Casares to contain his climbs as close to the statue as possibly … and far, far away from places like Gunbarrel and Altona.
  • You say “…Did everyone forget what Mile-Hi is to the community?….” Um, evidently not. For years now, many have expressed their deep concern about the adverse noise impact, all for a profit that goes narrowly to the skydiving operator. (NOTE: Most of this noise is so people can pay ~$200 to become a ‘student’ for a couple hours, then hitch a ride on a 2-person ‘tandem’ parachute. ‘Students’ who pay another $99 (cash discount price) get to take home a DVD video of their jump. Care to guess how much of this money goes ‘to the community’?) In short, Peter, impacted neighbors continue to complain because Mile-Hi’s gross profits carry a huge cost for people on the ground. And, local officials are unable to restore balance to Mile-Hi’s impacts. Sadly, the FAA sees its role as supporting aviation activities without any real concern for the environment and quality of life. Sadder, still, local officials and even the courts tend to defer to FAA’s authority, even while ignoring that FAA is failing to fulfill the mission Congress has assigned.

See also: