To the editor:
Greenwood residents need to take notice of what is about to be a reality. Re-read if you have already read “Soaring Impact,” the front page feature article of the Daily Journal on Sept. 6 — or read it if you haven’t.
There is no doubt that an airport can generate jobs, increase local revenue and be an engine for business development. Those are all given facts. OK, I get it. They have a study that points out all the positive aspects of running a business-friendly airport.
The article itself seems to be an attempt to validate the use of taxpayer money to expand, renovate and demolish, while at the same time throwing the warning out to the residents of Greenwood, “We didn’t hide the fact that we are going to expand the airport, so don’t complain later if you don’t like the consequences.”
I like that, but what I would like more is for people to also know that there are approximately 200-plus flights that go through the airport annually. It was told to me by a city official at a recent city council meeting that with the expansion that will most likely increase to 800-plus flights annually — four times the amount. With a single runway, get ready for some busy skies over your home if you live in a 2- to 3-mile radius of the airport.
Will all this air traffic be a plus or a minus to the value of our homes? Will our quality of life be affected? Is there a study that looks at the negative side of expanding an airport in a heavily populated area?
The article has a sidebar that compares airport economics of other area airports. I Google-mapped those airports with the omission of the Indianapolis International Airport, and there is not a single one that has the amount of homes and neighborhoods in such close proximity as the Greenwood airport does.
I would like it if the city leaders would clarify that the Greenwood fire department has all of the required aircraft rescue firefighting equipment required by the Federal Aviation Administration. With an upgrade in the type of aircraft that will be flying into the airport, the firefighting requirements increase.
Who’s paying for that? I would like to note that with the exception of the Zionsville airport, all the others have firefighting equipment right at the airport or just outside the runway. Greenwood Fire Department is a good distance away and would have to snake its way through traffic, neighborhoods and then the airport entrance.
I understand all the positives with the expanded airport, and I don’t want the business people and city leaders to think that I am all against growth. Money is the driver these days more than ever, and every city wants to be at the top of the food chain.
I just ask the city leaders to look at all of the aspects of an expanded airport and share them with the residents — good and bad, let’s hear the whole story.
Ralph Hill, airport manager, says that the long-term benefits are obvious. Obvious for whom? Tell us what you will do with the windfall of revenue generated by an expanded airport and tell us what it will mean to our quality of life as residents of Greenwood.