My Turn: Stevens stands for safety at airport |

My Turn: Stevens stands for safety at airport

To all who are interested in safety first at the airport, it seems that during the last few years safety has become second to noise. Noise abatement is a good thing. Unfortunately it is not something that will happen overnight. It takes time and effort and good direction to support such a goal.

My feeling is that the airport has not been going in a good direction to either solve noise abatement or enhance safety. The direction of the airport board has been to change recommended flight patterns and to spend a lot of money on microphones, cameras and flight monitoring equipment to catch pilots who are making noise. The direction has been to admonish mainly local pilots without really solving the problem. Flight patterns can be changed and changed again and changed again only to move noise from one part of the community to another. You will make one household happy and bother another.

This is a safety issue also. As an example, I do not fly the “Gateway Approach” because I feel it is dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. The Gateway Approach was developed to bring incoming planes over downtown instead of using the only traffic pattern entry procedure that the Federal Aviation Administration recommends. The FAA has sound reasoning for recommending only one procedure. It is therefore not my intent to thumb my nose at anyone by not using the Gateway Approach, but to keep my family, people on the ground, and me as safe as I possibly can.

I applaud the Airport Community Advisory Team (ACAT) for their efforts. They have certainly exhausted thousands of hours in their various quests. However, when one ACAT member went to an industry conference and reported on another airport’s community relations program that had yielded tremendous results, his report was dismissed without discussion. This in my opinion is an unacceptable way to go about solving a problem.

My issue with noise is that it should be and is being solved with technology, not by continually changing flight patterns which can create unsafe situations, but is really not solving the problem. The goal should be to get aircraft and airport quieter without compromising safety. I know a candidate who embraces new technology, is trained in aviation safety, and who can finally give this community and airport what we all need.

I endorse a candidate who has real solutions to this situation. A candidate who will not only help solve the noise problem, but will also put her energy into safety first when trying to solve these problems. This candidate is Connie Stevens. Connie, director of Wildlife Shelter, Inc. in Homewood for over 20 years, is a person who understands and truly cares about our entire community. She is the awesome choice for this airport and the community. She will listen to your concerns and really try to solve them in a mature manner. She won’t simply change flight patterns again because somebody else has complained. Vote Intelligent. Vote Connie Stevens.

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