(CBS4) – Quiet skies are quite literally non-existent for many residents in Boulder and Jefferson counties.
“It is a recipe for disaster,” said Hep Ingham, a resident and member of Quite Skies Boulder County. “Then they do their loops all day long over the neighborhoods there and they violate the noise abatement regions.”
Ingham said for years, he and his neighbors have been concerned with the increase in air traffic not only from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, but also the Boulder Municipal Airport, among others. Not only does all the air traffic bring noise issues, but environmental and safety concerns as well, especially when planes are flying so low. Ingham said from an environmental standpoint, many of the planes are burning leaded fuel. He also said planes are not restricted to flight paths.
“It’s pretty much laissez-faire at these airports, where pilots can do whatever they want and they do whatever they want, and it’s not good for the people on the ground,” he said.
CBS4 spoke to several concerned residents off camera about the issues, but many did not want to be identified because of fear of retaliation. Many tell us they have filed complaints with the airport and FAA, but usually those complaints go unheard.
An RMMA spokesperson said, “the airport itself is held to stringent Federal Aviation Administration standards for airfield maintenance and operations, including an annual Part 139 certification inspection of all airport surfaces, operations and procedures. Likewise, airport tenants, such as the flight schools and maintenance operations based at RMMA, are subject to FAA regulations, certifications, and inspections.”
As for the noise concerns, they said in an email “In conjunction with Jefferson County and the surrounding municipalities, RMMA has created a Community Noise Roundtable to address noise concerns and to work collaboratively to achieve solutions that work for all parties.”
But Ingham said while Wednesday’s Broomfield small plane crash is tragic, he fears next time it could include someone’s home. He wants more regulations for those flying in our skies, before it’s too late.
“There is no reason that a small privileged subsidized group of people should be able to cause so much harm in terms of their obnoxious behavior,” Ingham said.
The Rock Creek HOA in Superior did file a lawsuit against Jefferson County, which owns the airport. Recently a judge did rule in favor of the Rock Creek HOA, but those residents recently appealed it to include the entire community, and the county cross-appealed that, so litigation is ongoing.