Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Renton Airport Expansion Info

There was a Big Meeting at the Mercer Island City Council last night to discuss that new Jet Center expansion that Renton is considering. If approved, all of Mercer Island will be on the flight path of some noisy takeoffs and landings.

You can read all about it, with frequently-updated information at http://nojets.org


John said...

Unless a gun was pointed at the head of a purchaser of property on Mercer Island, that purchase was voluntary. Elementary due diligence would have revealed the presence of the Renton airport. May I respectfully suggest that the detractors of the Renton Jet center stop whining and take responsibility for their decision? You can no more control the traffic from the airport than you can the traffic on I-90.

Richard Sprague said...

Elementary due dilligence would reveal that, given enough votes, in a democracy our government could decide to put a smoke-belching coal factory in Mercer Slough. But that doesn't mean I should sit back and let them do it. I don't want jets flying over my house. Do you?

And as a matter of fact, I don't like the noise from I-90 either. Hmmm....maybe that'll be our next campaign!

John said...

Let me get this straight -- everyone on Mercer Island bought their house knowing that it was 5 miles or less from the approach end of a major runway, airport, and manufacturing plant for the most popular Boeing aircraft. Then, something happens on the field that might increase traffic, and now everyone on MI is up in arms?

The increase in aircraft traffic is/was entirely foreseeable, unlike the example of the coal factory. All of Mercer Island already has jets flying overhead. If the jet traffic is so bad, why did anyone buy there?

Richard Sprague said...

When I bought my house, there were no noisy jets flying overhead -- because FAA airspace and other restrictions protected me. Now somebody wants to change the laws that protected me. Shouldn't I be allowed to oppose those changes?

John said...

When I bought my house, there were no noisy jets flying overhead -- because FAA airspace and other restrictions protected me.

Um, no. The two instrument approaches into Renton (the GPS and NDB) go straight over the middle of Mercer Island. On the visual approach, the pilot in command has a lot of latitude on how he/she conducts the approach; the common method is to line up with the runway within 5 miles. All of these factors means that Mercer Island already has lots of "noisy" aircraft (landing to the south, taking off to the north) flying above it. If you don't notice them now, perhaps it's not such a big deal.

Shouldn't I be allowed to oppose those changes?

Sure, but in my view, MI residents bought their houses knowing about the airport and the possibility of increased traffic over time, which makes the current complaints somewhat disingenuous.

nojets.org doesn't help matters. Baseless speculation (e.g., the Port's takeover of Boeing field leading to more prop traffic moving to Auburn, leading to more evil jet traffic in Renton), condescension (don't those idiots in Renton know that there are better ways to enable economic growth?) and hysterical rants ("... will open a Pandora's Box we cannot control") add heat but no light to the situation.

Finally, I not sure what grounds MI has in meddling with Renton's decision.