There will be a public information workshop on the Southwest Florida International Airport Part 150 Noise and Land Use Study at Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian Church at 100 Chapel St. on Wednesday, March 21, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Islanders are asked to attend to voice concerns.
Changes over the past 15 years have negatively impacted the Town of Fort Myers Beach due to airspace redesigns and attempts to mitigate noise for other communities. Airport representatives assured in 1998 that a railroad track would not be placed over any one community. It has happened over FMB.
1. Quality of life concerns for Fort Myers Beach include:
- Noise from aircraft flying as low as 1,600 ft.
- Late night and early morning over-flights
- Pollution affecting air quality
- Concern for birds striking aircraft at low altitudes.
- Concern for laser beams blinding pilots.
- Loss of rental income from tourism and seasonal visitors
- Negative impact on Real Estate values
2. Improvements to recommend at workshop include:
- Keep aircraft higher, at 4,000 feet, until they are east of Estero Island.
- Allow pilots to use a constant descent approach procedure to reduce noise and fuel consumption by gliding over FMB.
- Route aircraft over uninhabited Estero Bay rather than over highly populated Estero Island.
- valuate runway conditions to use other configurations avoiding FMB.
- Route night flights so they do not fly over Estero Island.
- Implement a flight tracking system to monitor aircraft altitudes and flight paths.
3. What you can do right now:
Complain when aircraft noise is disruptive. Call 590-4466 or email email@example.com. The number of complaints has an impact. Complaints about aircraft noise between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. carry the most weight. You can call at any time (24 hours a day) and leave a message.
4. Request a noise measurement:
If you would like to have aircraft noise monitored at your location, contact Tom or Annie Babcock at 463-9620.
5. Stay in communication and attend important meetings:
The more people actively working to effect change, the better chance we have. Become an active member of the citizens group concerned about aircraft over flights for Fort Myers Beach. We represent more than 6,000 permanent residents and many property owners and visitors to the Town of Fort Myers Beach. Contact FMBaircraft@yahoo.com, call 463-9620 or contact one of the following members of the AIR Group: Tom Babcock; Tom Cameron; Tom Merrill; John Pohland; Annie Babcock; Dan Hughes; Bob Miller; and Hank Zuba
--submitted by Tom Babcock