Officials at the Wilmington Air Park and FAA are aware of concerns expressed by some Centerville residents who are worried about potential heavy late-night flyover noise in the city as the air park continues to grow.
Daniel Evers, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority, weighed in this week, saying that although his agency is in charge of the Air Park, it doesn’t have jurisdiction in this case.
“We appreciate the concern that any resident might have regarding a resumption of scheduled air traffic. Historically, the Air Park team has worked closely with our local and regional communities and partners on these types of issues,” Evers said. “However, in this case, the air traffic at a height above 2,500 feet, is managed by CMH Approach Control (Columbus) and not the Air Park.”
Resident David Lee, who lives in the Rockleigh Road area, told council last week that the same issue surfaced nearly 23 years ago, and he would like to see city officials convene a committee to make sure the flyover of flights coming from the air park does not include a large part of Centerville.
“One of the problems we had back in the 1990s is the planes coming out of Airborne, which is now the Wilmington Air Park,” he said. “We complained about the flights that were coming from this 305 radial between about 3:30 in the morning to six o’clock in the morning.”
With Amazon headed to the air park, as well as other companies poised for growth, Lee said the idea of late-night flight noise isn’t a problem yet, but a potential one.
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said the federal government controls the nation’s airspace, which is essential for civil and defense purposes.
“Individual communities cannot create airspace restrictions. Airports are economic drivers for the communities they serve, creating jobs, bringing in commerce and contributing to the GDP,” Cory said. “When creating routes into and out of large airports, the FAA tries to be sensitive to neighborhoods and route over commercial areas, highways and unpopulated areas whenever possible. However, the airspace is very complex.”
City Manager Wayne Davis said hush kits have allowed planes to fly quieter and there haven’t been established flight patterns yet. He said the city will approach lawmakers and concerned parties to get the issue addressed.
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