THANKS FOR YOUR VOTES, SAYS LEOPOLD
From: John Leopold
District 31 Delegate
I would like to express my appreciation to the voters of legislative District 31 who supported my candidacy for the State Senate in the Nov. 6 general election. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to represent you in Annapolis for the past eight years.
ACT SEEKS CHANGES IN AIRCRAFT NOISE LAW
From: Dennis Stevens
Airport Coordinating Team
Regarding national aviation noise policy legislation that was included with the Budget Reconciliation Bill and was ultimately approved during the last hectic days of Congress in October, the Airport Coordinating Team (ACT) worked in cooperation with four other community organizations around the country to try to remove parts in the original bill that we believed were harmful to communities affected by aircraft noise. ACT was in Washington for three days including Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of the week of Oct. 21. Three different letters were hand-delivered to members of Congress directly involved in this bill. A basic concern was Federal Aviation Administration control over existing and proposed noise rules.
Denial of airport improvement funds was explicit, if the FAA had not approved phase out of Stage 2 (noisy) aircraft. Only the quieter Stage 3 aircraft are now manufactured.
I would say that because representatives of communities camped out in the hallways and offices of Congress and because of the numerous phone calls made by concerned citizens (including those who live around Baltimore-Washington International Airport) made aware of what was happening by the community groups' representatives, the original bill was changed. Existing noise rules were grandfathered in and dates for the phase-out of Stage 2 airplanes were put into the bill.
Now, what's wrong with this legislation? Basically, FAA pre-emption over Stage 3 local noise rules (not all Stage 3 are really that quiet), an onerous and lengthy process required for the development of local Stage 2 noise rules, and the lack of a federal funding mechanism for the phase-out of Stage 2 (the major air carrier at BWI, USAir, has lost money during every quarter of 1990), thus assuring judicial review for any air carrier that claims not to be able to afford to either purchase Stage 3, a hushkit, or (to) re-engine aircraft. I was informed by a participant in the House-Senate conference on this bill that it is not the intention of Congress to put air carriers out of business. So, where does that leave communities? In a very bad situation.
It should be noted that the bill from which this legislation developed had no public hearings and followed very closely the recommendations (made during the House Aviation Subcommittee recent hearings) of the Air Transport Association of America, which represents airline members. Also, you should know that an official of the U.S. Department of Transportation, involved in the House-Senate conference meetings on this bill, was overheard to have said in the hallway outside the conference room during discussions with representatives of air carriers, "This national noise policy will really stick it to the communities. We will have Stage 2 aircraft flying until 2015."
Remember, there is no federal funding mechanism provided in this legislation for the conversion to Stage 3 fleets and remember the provisions that make onerous the development of Stage 2 rules and the FAA pre-emption over Stage 3 rules. Yes, we believe this legislation must be changed to help communities. Come to our next ACT meeting on Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., at George Cromwell Elementary School and we can discuss this legislation further.
SUN BOOSTS CHARITY FAIR'S SUCCESS
From: Laura West, chairperson
Linthicum County Fair
I would like to thank (The Anne Arundel County Sun) for the wonderful coverage that was given to the Linthicum County Fair. Rosalie Falter wrote an excellent article about the fair. Since I know Ms. Falter from the Women's Club of Linthicum Heights, I am pleased to see you put her talents to work in The Arundel Sun. I am sure this column was partly responsible for the good attendance we had on Oct. 13.
The fair was a big success! Fifteen percent of each booth's profit is being donated to the charity NEON (North County Emergency Outreach Network). We believe this donation will reach $600 so we are quite pleased.
Thank you again for advertising this event. We look forward to working with you in the future.