To the editor:
It was a beautiful evening for a dinner party on our lanai; temperature in the 70's; clear sky; winds calm. Cocktails started at 6 p.m. From 6:15 to 6:34, nine aircraft flew over; one every two minutes. Three were below 3,000 feet. One was at 1,700 feet. All were LOUD and under power. At 6:35 p.m. we moved inside, closed the doors and turned on the AC.
When we moved to our home in 2000, only a few aircraft flew over us. ll aircraft arrived from the north on the TYNEE approach with most routed over the Back Bay. In October 2008, a new arrival route, called SHFTY, was added. Aircraft were routed south of the airport toward the Gulf and back to the airport, usually over the Back Bay. After complaints from the Estero community, the route was changed so that all aircraft flew out over the Gulf and then back over Fort Myers Beach. People at the south end of Fort Myers Beach saw aircraft for the first time as low as 1,600 feet over their homes. The middle of the island had a dramatic increase in over flights. Seven of the nine aircraft that interrupted our dinner party flew the new SHFTY route over the middle of the island.
This problem is more than an annoyance. It impacts the value of our property. In legal terms, when a government agency makes a change that negatively impacts the value of a property, it is called a TAKING. Unless significant changes are made to have aircraft fly over the Back Bay, fly higher and implement noise reduction procedures, aircraft problems will get worse and property values will suffer.
Tom and Annie Babcock
Fort Myers Beach