Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - April 9, 2008

I have read recent articles about the airport expansion and noise overlay plans, and I have to ask myself who will benefit from these plans and overlays? Not me or anyone I know! Our community? I think not. City coffers, yes. So, here are some real facts for those intent on destroying the homeowners' way of life.

Nothing has been delayed regarding airport plans. As I write this article, I am looking out my kitchen window watching the insertion of pipe into the ground -- pipe that will carry the wires and other utilities for the expansion of the north end of the runway. The extension of the north end already has been approved, and nothing that I or any other homeowner or citizen can do will stop that extension. If the city wants to diversify, why not get into real estate and flip houses or buy up all those empty commercial building and rent them out? Something that will not destroy hundreds of lives and property values.

The airport used to be a small, rural setting in which private owners of small planes could fly in and out for recreational purposes or private use. This way of life was acceptable to the community. I am one of the few who purchased in the area long before any airport commission was formed.

Now, this commission and other governmental bodies have come to realize that if certain rules are followed (rules set by the FAA), millions of dollars can be obtained for expansion and improvements. Let's get real about the expansion plans and noise overlays. Its all about money and nothing else. Vital to development? I think not. With increased development comes more traffic, more pollution, more trash and longer commutes on roads already overcrowded.

The runway is long enough at its current length for any corporate jet. I watch various size jets land and take off without any problems, and most do not use the runway available when doing so. The city wants a part of the passenger pie from the Charlotte airport traffic. How does anyone in our community benefit when planes land and the people get off and return to Charlotte simply because its faster to land in Rock Hill?

When is more too much? What's wrong with keeping up what we already have? Manage the city better, improve roads and take other steps to protect the way of life we have.

I feel the city and other commission holding public hearings are not being honest with the people of Rock Hill. The issue is not public safety or human concern, protecting the rights of homeowners, but bigger jets and landing fees. These large jets will have a negative impact on all the citizens in Rock Hill and York County.

Jim Nies

Rock Hill