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Past Issues

Whatcom Watch Online
Airport Noise Policy: A Paper Tiger?

January 2013

Twenty Years Ago

Airport Noise Policy: A Paper Tiger?

by Rebecca Meloy

To celebrate 20 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we will be publishing excerpts from 20 years ago. David Laws has been generous enough to volunteer to review the Whatcom Watch from 20 years ago to find suitable material to reprint. The below excerpts are from the January 1993 issue of Whatcom Watch.

Last summer, in response to citizen criticism, the Bellingham International Airport Citizen’s Advisory Committee drafted a series of noise policy recommendations for the three Bellingham Port Commissioners. However, the recommendations likely are a “paper tiger with dentures removed” because of their vagueness. To date, the Commissioners have no resolutions regarding their intent for noise protection actions for our community. Citizen’s [sic] must still continue to ask the Port Commissioners for a pro-active jet noise prevention plan to assure our airport does not become a community noise menace.

As the Bellingham Airport grows, let the Port Commissioners know how you feel about the choices they make for us, as you will be living with their decisions for a long time. And, in time, if you find yourself researching the noise topic from the perspective of written law, in hopes of protecting your air space and sanity, be prepared for a lengthy maze. When it comes to the trinity of the airline industry, FAA laws and a Port Authority, our community is “up against a wall.” Jet noise is assured to increase in Whatcom County and wearing earplugs may be our only solution.

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