West Deptford residents raise noise over runway expansion
-- West Deptford, NJ is right across the river from PHL. Most homes would be impacted by the noise and air pollution. PHL has already started landing big jets onto 17-35 from New Jersey. Nice. During the FAA reauthorization last year, Lautenberg and the NJ delegation thought representation of the controller's union was more important than the interests of people that voted them into office. How can this be legal?

At 11:08 AM 4/28/04 -0400, Stephen Donato wrote:
From the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer.

Snipped from article below:

Southwest is concerned about the close proximity of the runways in Philadelphia, which can create delays. But the airline has a plan to counter the problem. Scarbrough said Southwest flights would "duck down under" the heavy air traffic in the congested Northeast corridor and approach the city at 10,000 to 12,000 feet - about half of the normal altitude. The result is a compromise. "We'll sacrifice gas efficiency," Scarbrough said, "to get onto the runways without delays."

Stephen Donato


Letter from West Deptford residents regarding 17-35 extension Dated May 18. 2004

What can you do to prevent your house from looking like this one above?

Here is some of the information we told you we would send with regards to the air traffic over West Deptford Township.

This is the link to the airport site:
Here is a link to a citizen awareness group in Wilmington you should take a look at:

This link is also very informative as Trenton-Mercer airport is also proposing an expansion and the citizens are quite upset. This site gives an example of a letter to send to the government officials.

Please write to Congressman Andrews and Senator Lautenberg as soon as possible explaining your dissatisfaction with the runway 17-35 expansion plan. Explain how you just moved into a brand new community and mention how our riverfront is being developed. Tell them of the other new communities that will be impacted by the additional air traffic of jets. Tell them about the ball fields and the park that our township children play on. Let them know that any increase in noise level and pollution is considered unsatisfactory.

For your information, Soutwest Airlines, which just began service to our airport, only flies 737's. Also, by next year, more regional jets, turbo planes, and other jets will be using the Philadelphia International Airport.

Everyone needs to be heard! Everyone!!

Below you will find the office addresses of these officials as well as links to send an e-mail to them (this is the preferred method of correspondence). We will also be writing a petition which you will hear about shortly. On Friday afternoon we went to speak with Gerald White, West Deptford's township administrator. He said they are preparing a resolution to federal officials as well as the FAA that states opposition to any negative effects on our community. The township will also have their environmental engineer secure information on the key decision-making timetables established by the FAA. We were encouraged to involve the community by way of letters to federal/state officials and petitions.

We all need to become involved in order to make a difference. Please forward this mailing to as many residents as you know. We need to get this out to the entire township. If you can help in getting the petition signed or if you can take a copy to another location so that other neighborhoods can also sign, please replyback to us.

U.S. Representative Robert E. Andrews

Woodbury Office
63 N. Broad St
Woodbury, NJ 08096
(856) 546 - 5100

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg

Camden Office:
One Port Center
Suite 505, Fifth Floor
2 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08101

Phone: (856) 338-8922
Fax: (856) 338-8936

Please write now. Carol Drummond and Judy Fish
  PA Judge rules "Airspace/Flight Path Is Not Public Highway"
-- "The judge tossed a similar argument that the airspace over the county could be considered a 'highway.'" said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney John Gradel.

Last I heard the "highway in the sky" is maintained by the Federal Government with public funds. The judge rules that flight paths are not highways so the prosecutor can't get this pilot on DUI charges under PA state law. Montgomery County DA Castor relied on the definition of a "vehicle" as something that travels on "a way" to file the DUI charge against Salamone. We would not want the states regulating aviation policy. Big brother FAA knows best. This ruling would have set precedent in Pennsylvania where it's largest airport uses that "highway" in neighboring states and within it's own borders claiming eminent domain under Federal Law. We are very very upset about the widening of "PHL highway in the sky" by the FAA and the City of Philadelphia. We want this FAA created highway permantly detoured/moved over the Delaware River which just happens to be over 5000 ft. wide between Delaware and New Jersey.

The state of Delaware must look at this little loop hole that Pennsylvania law makers are happy with. If this pilot crossed into Delaware airspace while flying drunk Delaware could prosecute and make room for him next to Tom Capano at Gander Hill. I wonder how many jets from PHL flew over that Pennsylvania judge's house last night 11:30 pm?

Judges in Pennsylvania obviously do not understand what the FAA is about and that it uses public money for capital improvement projects like the redesign of NY/NJ/PHL airspace. Maybe this Pennsylvania judge also does not know how to use a dictionary or is this judge flying to Florida via Southwest in July using the "highway in the sky" that the FAA created over Northern Delaware? Who puts these people in office?

See definition below of flight path from website dictionary.

Flight Path

n. The precise route taken or due to be taken through the air by an aircraft or spacecraft.

n 1: the path of an aircraft or rocket through the air 2: a designated route followed by airplanes in flying from one airport to another [syn: air lane, airway]

Click here to read more strategy regarding prosecution by Montgomery County.

Did you know that 17-35 will also land jets @ 2 minute intervals over Montgomery County, PA and portions of the Main Line?

Speaking of the Main Line...

March 15, 2004 President Bush visited Ardmore, PA and celebrated the success of first time buyers and the growth of home ownership during his administration. What a shame he did not visit when PHL planes were roaring overhead using the "highway in the sky". I wonder if Jim Beyers of the FAA delivered my letter to president Bush asking him some of these questions. We will find out by this November if he hears us.

President Bush speaking in Ardmore, PA.
Was the public address system loud enough
to drown out the increasing jet traffic?

Our voices will be heard over the loud constant drone of planes from PHL. Make no mistake about it -- the 2004 presidential race will be decided by the voters of the Philadelphia Tri-State region. We have the long hot summer to get the word out.

Stephen Donato

Some states remain silent on pilots who fly drunk:
  N.J. Governor Writes HLS Over Security @ EWR
-- McGreevey also might want to CC the FAA and mention the Metro/PHL Airspace Draft. Coincidence that it has been postponed 'til after the 2004 elections?

Download FAA briefing to Congress

Stephen Donato

N.J. Governor Writes HLS Over Security
  "Ding" -Southwest Enters PHL Market
We still haven't heard an answer to the question (below - highlighted in red)? I admit "take over" might be a tad about we replace "take over" with:

1) "potentially produce concentrated pollution because flight routes are fixed along a single line which unfairly compromises the air quality for people within the vicinity of that concentrated path"
2) "create such excessive noise conditions along concentrated flight paths that residents can not enjoy living in their homes, and experience increase anxiety and rage"
3) Increase risk of death or injury to "groundlings" *1 (residents) living under single concentrated flight paths.

*1 K.M. Thompson, R.F. Rabouw, and R.M. Cooke, 2001. "The risk of groundling fatalities from airplanes." Risk Analysis. 21(6):1025-1037.

The question is not rhetorical any more. Maybe the multiple choice below will make it easier to respond:

May select more than one. Answer to the question below : "how can................."

A)____Because Government established regulations like 'allowable average (over the year) noise level (dba scale) threshold' allow Airline businesses to make people crazy for parts of the year, but when the numbers are smoothed out over the whole year everything looks just fine and dandy.

B)____Because businesses in the US have set a legal precedent for "taking" by dumping all manner of crap in waterways and spewing toxic particulates in the air until forced to adhere to a bunch of annoying minimum essential standards. After all, businesses must make a profit you know.

C)____Because it's part of our heritage to "take". Eg; like our forefathers who "took" this land from the Indians, but rationalized that it was ok, because after all a neat place like the swamps of Florida and the desert on Oklahoma is a fair trade, not to mention those expensive beads.

D)____What he hey, it's the free sky, they can just claim it for our own.

E)____All the above

F)____non of the above (got to be fair)............Optional essay response

It's that ___________________________________________________

Nate Cloud
Current President, Darley Civic Association

Response from Wayne Smith via email to our working group.


Good question (even accounting for the whimsical restatements). Your model of treating the airport as a business and asking how that "business" can appropriate the property rights of others (that is the essence of your concern, accepting that clean environment, quiet and quality of life constitute property rights) is an interesting presentation of the problem.

As that business resides entirely in the political jurisdiction of another state Pennsylvania, bought from the Indians not with beads, but real money --
although his sons' "Walking Purchase" of the Lehigh Valley certainly sullied the good Penn name among the Delaware Indians), business sanctions would have to be applied through governments which had jurisdiction. Either the State of Pennsylvania (fat chance, although one hopes the Governor's recent letter on our behalf to her counterpart might get some type of response) or the federal government. Which is why continued presentation of our concerns to our three federales is the best path toward relief.

Although I think it highly unlikely that the feds will respond to the novel (at least in their minds) statement of the concern as a business taking issue, certainly our federal officeholders -- in desiring to keep us happy -- may want to use their power to apply sanctions through withholding of funds, reviews, restrictions or other sanctions placed through federal law on the airport and the FAA. Clearly that is what our communications with them are designed to produce -- be it the individual contacts of constituents such as yourself or via DE House Resolutions such as the one we just passed a few weeks ago.

I, too, live under the flight path and almost exactly on the same line of approach to the runway as you. It is a problem and we need relief. I, too, would like to use my deck in quietude as would many of my constituents. Although you pose the question in an interesting manner, I think we have to resolve it by getting our guys with clout to fight it out for us with the FAA.

I wish this could happen next week. I wish we could force the planes to alter their path up the river. That makes the most sense to me and a lot of others. Asking our federal officials when they can make this happen is a good way to approach the problem.

I hope you will share how our federal officials answer your question in red with the "cc" group.


Rep. Wayne A. Smith
House Majority Leader
Seventh District
Delaware General Assembly
(302) 577-8723
  80,000 more flights -17-35 Extension Project Meetings
The FAA will hold three Public Information Meetings on May 11, 12, and 13, 2004. These meetings will be focused specifically on the Runway 17-35 Extension Project, and attendees will be requested to limit questions directly to this project and the topics discussed at these meetings.

Did you know that the PHL 17-35 runway expansion will land 737's about 500 Ft. from the George W. Pepper Middle School in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia?

Did you know that PHL can add up to 80,000 more flights annually with current airspace modifications and the newly installed STARS control systems ?

Seems to me the more planes you squeeze in the more money the airport makes. Is a plan in place to install a real time flight monitor?

Good thing the PA congressional delegation secured 2.5 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for sound insulation for Tinicum area residents. They are going to need it.

Stephen Donato

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Stop the Noise --
The word Noise, on the other hand, is derived from the Latin word, noxia, meaning injury or hurt. It is defined by the National Institute of Public Health as being "Any sound - independent of loudness - that may produce an undesired physiological or psychological effect in an individual and that may interfere with the social ends of an individual or group." | Effects of Noise on Children's Learning and Health -- Claire Matz

Editorial : No Change In Airnoise --
By FAA definition, we do not have a noise problem... Like other Federal agencies, the FAA is beyond control. Unless and until Mr Castle, Mr Carper, and Mr Biden get together enough support to withhold significant funds from the FAA, they will ignore us. | The Brandywine Community News, DE - April 7, 2003

Residents Ask FAA For More Information --
Gail Van Gilder, of Delaware Greenways, said the FAA already has their minds made up to approve the expansion. She said they need to answer questions from an air noise study conducted in December 2001.| The Brandywine Community News, DE - August 23, 2003

Editorial : Philly’s Airport ; Delaware County’s Problem--
It’s called Philadelphia International Airport, but, truth be told, Delaware County has greater claim to the name. | The Delaware County Times, PA - Mar 10, 2004

West Deptford residents raise noise over runway expansion --
Most homes would be impacted by the noise and air pollution. During the FAA reauthorization last year, Lautenberg and the NJ delegation...

Cheap Air Fares Land In Philly -
It's summer, it's humid and you have vacation days to spare. You're ready for a getaway but, unfortunately, your wallet isn't. Out of luck? ...| The Delaware County Times, PA - Mar 8, 2004

In Depth: Proposed changes at Philadelphia International may have a far-reaching impact on Delco. -
The study into the possible expansion of Philadelphia International Airport may still be in its formative stages, but that doesn’t prevent the controversy surrounding such an idea to continue to evolve. | The Delaware County Times, PA - Feb 23, 2004

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