UPDATE: Citizens for Quiet Skies Legal Action in Longmont, CO

Kim Schafer: Plane noise problem is real
“I am the owner of a condo in north Boulder, but I am frequently at my boyfriend’s home at Cardinal Lane, which is located in Longmont/Niwot. I can attest to the very distracting loud and frequent plane noise in the area when we are outside in the yard; you can also hear it in the house when the windows are open.
This is ridiculous that the noise is being dismissed, and the judge appears to be so heavily in favor of one party. It’s making a further mockery of our judicial system and tearing the social fabric of neighborhoods. It is already a challenge in the area to deal with the many bikers and road closures due to races. Now when homeowners are at home, they are bombarded with airplane noise. Again, this is not supportive of an overall plan to care for and represent ALL citizens, and these homeowners also pay taxes.
Why aren’t they being responded to more fairly?”
Diane Wood: Where’s data that proves airport’s economic boost?
“In the editorial by Shawn Lewis recently published in the Times-Call, he stated that CDOT reported that Vance Brand Airport brings in over $2 million each month to the city of Longmont. Also, according to the CDOT assessment, 22,000 visitors arrive in Colorado via Vance Brand every year, making it one of the business general aviation airports in the state.
Let’s estimate that during the calendar year of 365 days, Colorado would have 220 fair weather days allowing flights in and out of Vance Brand Airport. This would mean that out of these fair weather days, 100 visitors would fly into Vance Brand. Really? If people are pouring into Colorado, they are doing so by flying into DIA.
You have to wonder how CDOT knows this. In an interview with Tim Barth, the previous airport manager, the device used to count aircraft operations was removed in the late 1990s. No count of operations has been available since.
There is no control tower and no one who monitors flight operations. There is no head count of people entering and leaving the facility. No real provision for security that might allow us a look into what goes on each day. There simply is no credible data available. Without data on trends in things like flight operations there is no way to measure the economic output of Vance Brand. How can CDOT confirm the factual basis for their numbers?
CDOT is biased in favor of general aviation airports. The CDOT aeronautics director responsible for this flawed report recently visited the Longmont Airport assuring their help. CDOT’s report gave a glowing report, but, CDOT, where is the data to support this?”
Raymond Cooper: Home ownership is the bigger economic engine
“I hope that the airport’s economic engine in Shawn Lewis and David Slayter’s recent opinion is not a plane that floods Longmont and Boulder County neighborhoods with noise throughout the day and particularly heavy and constant on weekends. I think the price homeowners pay for economic development of this type is too high.
There is another business in Longmont that surpasses the airport for bringing in jobs, visitors and tourists into the area: home building. A study by the Home Builder’s Association in 2013 indicates that the one year local impact in the Denver area is over $3.25 billion. Boulder County, which includes Longmont, is in this study. The economic impact of housing is greatest in the “occupancy phase.” This is where secondary, tertiary and quaternary ripple effects occur as money from new homeowners and renters moves into the local economy creating significant and sustained revenue for the city.
It is this local homeowner economy that the city of Longmont elected officials need to carefully support and grow. House costs are rising quickly, availability is low and more affordable housing is needed to meet the demand. The question that needs to be asked is if land available for development is best served in support of an airport engine with small businesses that cater to hobbyists. Or is it economically a better decision for land use to be for home building where there are significantly higher local economic benefits and a much broader segment of the people are served?
When issues such as airplane nuisance noise interferes with the enjoyment of homeowner life, it is the larger economy generated by homeowners in Longmont that is impacted. And while this homeowner economic engine might not be as loud as airplane noise, it is gaining strength and determined to cause change.”
Stephen Henninger: Keep going, Quiet Skies
“Fight on, Quiet Skies. Our world is making a racket in the modern age. The beauty of silence and quiet is widely ignored— even embraced by the inconsiderate.
The Twin Otter jump plane is one noisy machine in its climbs with heavy loads. It is involved in a sport, not a particularly essential or noble undertaking. It is a machine that could be modernized with better propellers and engines, but cranks along on older technology.
Living as I did beneath the departure patterns near LaGuardia Airport, I know the racket of older aircraft, the mess they made of dinner conversation and the shaking of china on the shelves. But at least those flights had destinations and purpose for travelers and commerce. Skydiving operations are simply for fun, which is fine, but it ruins the peace across the land— over and over again all day.
All for sport. Even the Grand Canyon is respected more than Longmont and Niwot with its quieter tourist overflights.
For those that say noise is no big deal, that there are more important issues in our world, they just don’t seem to get it, or more likely simply don’t want to.
So keep going Quiet Skies. You have been abused by an arrogant judgment against you, and you are the recipient of scorn by an uncaring element of the public and judicial abuses alike.
America kinder and gentler? Far from it these days.”