Just yesterday, on this blog, and on NewsChannel 8, we talked about a new noise monitoring system that PDX is installing. Once it's up and running, sometime next summer, you'll be able to log-on to the airport's website and get a real-time view of all the planes in PDX airspace... down to street level. If one plane is particularily loud, you'll be able to see the exact airline, type, and flight number... so you can more easily report a complaint.
I received dozens of e-mails... both from residents who live near the airport... and from other viewers who think the noise complaints are overblown.
Neighbors say the noise monitor doesn't make a difference. Just because they'll be able to figure out what flight is causing the noise, doesn't mean the Port's doing anything to alleviate the problem. They want the flight patterns moved back over industrial areas in North Portland.
Meanwhile, some other viewers told me, in no uncertain terms, if you knew you were moving next to an airport, you shouldn't complain. The only problem with that argument is that many of these airport "neighbors" don't live particularily close to PDX. Many live near Downtown Vancouver... or in Hazel Dell... or out by Vancouver Lake. And many moved in years ago... in the '60s and '70s... when airport noise hadn't reached its current crescendo.
I wanted to share some of the comments here on the blog... in hopes of furthering the discussion.
"I would bet the majority of what I own that the airport was there when they moved in. Im tired of people thinking that the moment the are inconvienced, that the world needs to jump and cater to them."
- Woodland, WA
"That is expecting an awful lot of residents but worst of all, which you
fail to mention, is there is NO punishment, no fines, nothing... if a
plane is discovered to be off track so i ask, how useful is such a system?"
- Vancouver, WA
"How long [have the neighbors] lived there? Probably not as long as the airport has been there. [A] little research before you move goes along ways."
"The FAA and PDX are not really trying to mitigate the noise. The economical benefits of the PDX are born on the backs of the populace on the ground."
- Vancouver, WA
"I moved into a neighborhood and my son has hay fever. My neighbor is mowing his lawn, you think I can sue him?"
"The problem is real and getting worse. I've rarely encountered an agency as arrogant and unresponsive as PDX or Port of Portland. Neither agency is interested in people north of the River..."
- Vancouver, WA
There was this comment, from a man worried about the flight tracking system being used for the wrong reasons:
"How do you suppose this will benefit the terrorist organizations? It shows the flight number, the location, the elevation. Who are they trying to help here?"
The Port says the information will be on a 10-minute delay... so as not to pose any security risk. You won't be able to see where any of the planes are at that specific moment. But you will be able to set the monitor to any past time. If you heard a loud plane at 5pm... you can go back at 7pm and check to see which flight it was.
Thanks for all your e-mails. This is a story we'll continue to follow... and I always look forward to hearing what you have to say about it. Feel free to e-mail me. While I can't guarantee I'll respond to every note, I can guarantee I'll read each one, and work to represent your thoughts in my continued reporting.