President's Report Update

Dear Supporters:

I believe it is time to reorganize SMAAC to better serve the communities near the airports and at the same time try to influence national aviation policy based on our experiences. For one thing, protests and demonstrations are too common to be widely reported or followed up. The airports commission allows public input, but channels it through staff, and then ... nothing.  

However, the community concerns about the airport are either flying or not being overflown. During the pandemic the tables were turned: flyers protested and the neighborhoods were quieter. Soon, things will be back to a new normal: more noisy overflights, fewer local passenger (paying higher fares), and the airlines back in charge of the main airport.  

We thought it was ironic in 2010 that air traffic control developments had been postponed during the recession as if the economy would not improve and travel demand resume. The near-mid-air-collision confirmed a procedural glitch happened --not because the runways were busy but because the Tower staff was thinned.

Locally, we need to work on reforming the airports commission in one of 3 ways: who is appointed and why; an elected Board, or make operating the airports a purely technical civil service agency. In all three cases, it is past time to plan a bigger site if we are keeping a big connecting hub for the right reasons. There is little interest in the Legislature: flights are down, Federal funding is keeping things afloat, and the airlines are surviving with Federal help. Who knows if virtual meetings will reduce business travel? Or how much health and safety issues may reduce leisure travel.

Nationally, Trump made the FAA a purely political agency and hat was too dangerous for flyers and the overflown. 

1] We've started to separate our "virtual offices" into two websites smaacmn,org and smaac.us.  We need technical help and funds.

2] Locally, technical aviation issues are public health and safety issues and need to be managed better.

3] Nationally, public health and safety issues are politicized at FAA, and that needs to be managed better.

I asked to Board to focus on fundraising and membership recruiting activities and a face-to-face annual meeting, forum and party next Spring. We need new blood, more help, and a sense of urgency as we consider climate change impacts of commercial aviation. 

Let's GO FOR IT!

 

 


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  • Jim Spensley
    commented 2021-11-09 20:48:49 -0600
    I was asked, “What protests and demonstrations?” Of course I meant in 2018-19, when runway use changes increased noise and pollution (GHG) per flight on average —but with more routes, but fewer flights on some routes and many new routes spread the noise around —but the City and the Noise Oversight Committee agreed to NOT INSULATE more buildings. COVID-19 shut down the airport for 2020, less than a third of 2019 flights in 2020.
    All that route-changing was due to a safety-needs-not-planned-for-a-decade situation kept from public review, while the community NOC members nodded affirmation of more routes and more total noise as if the noise metric had something to do with air quality and health and safety risks.
  • Smaac Forum Panel
    published this page 2021-11-02 17:05:16 -0500