First it was trees, then flooding, now fraud. What's next?
One of the things that most people don't know about me is that I am an aviation buff. I grew up in a family with two pilots, and even though I had a tendency to puke in little planes (sorry dad!) I spent a fair amount of time hanging out at small airports watching the day-in and day-out operations of civil and small-time commercial aviation. I live about a mile directly off the east end of the airport and watch dozens of flights any given sunny afternoon pass a few hundred feet over my head. My current next door neighbor is also the Harriman-West manager, but he and I tend to talk about lawn mowers and home improvement rather than planes.
I guess what I am trying to say is that while I might have a bias towards the aviation community, I am not talking out of my rear-end when I comment on the latest "gotcha'" NIMBYism going on over around Luce Rd at the west end of the airport. Evidently some people are still mad that they didn't read their deeds when they bought their homes within a few hundred yards of a friggin' runway:
"I can hardly believe that numbers such as 44,000 operations (takeoffs/landings) per year, 120 per day, are still being thrown around as if they were believable," Raymond Bergmann, another Luce Road resident, wrote in a letter to the editor of The Berkshire Eagle last week.
Spokesmen from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission (MAC)said the numbers were correct and said the residents' point was moot because such figures are not considered during the funding application process.
Kudos to Bonnie at the Transcript
for getting the proper information about how the airport's safety upgrade funding was determined and knocking down this latest rumor of fraud.
It amazes me that these residents would rather take the chance of having a plane hit a tree and drop flaming on their house than play it safe. The FAA did not determined these rules arbitrarily they are developed based upon real world experience and physics. (Little things like gravity and inertia tend to make plane crashes messy)
The odds are good that there will never be a future serious mishap at Harriman West. Aviation is very safe. But accidents do happen - sometimes with tragic results, and THAT is the real issue - not trees.