|A Grumman EA-6B Prowler in the OLF Coupeville traffic pattern|
With public disclosure from local governments under threat from Olympia, I feel the time is right to drop the mega-load. Several weeks ago, I asked out of Island County Planning a copy of the 2005 AICUZ Study Update in part because of public comments made at a Island County Commissioner meeting by Becky Spraitzar (sp?) mentioning this document. Considering the sheer amount of misinformation spread by a group of individuals who want to harm NAS Whidbey Island - aka progressive agitators - it's vital to get source documents online for the public to see the truth.
Transparency and accountability are the only forms of competition that exist to ensure monopoly public services work for the wider public interest and not special, or private interests. If the government wants to retain — or even obtain — trust for the decisions it makes, then the more original source material that is out there the better.
Hence posting original source documents like the AICUZ Study Update below:
I've learned from this document:
- Why this study:
All airports attract development. Housing is constructed for
airport employees who want to live near by, and businesses are
established to cater to the airport. As development encroaches
upon the airfield, more people experience the noise and
accident potential associated with aircraft operations.
Incompatible development, a form of encroachment, has
become commonplace on privately owned lands in the vicinity
of military air installations.
The primary goal of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Air
Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) Program is to
protect the health, safety, and welfare of those living near a
military airfield while preserving the operational capability of
the airfield. The AICUZ program works to meet this goal and
to achieve land use compatibility by recommending land uses
that will be compatible with noise levels, accident potential,
and flight clearance requirements associated with aircraft
- "In addition, NAS Whidbey Island plays an important role in the economy of the surrounding community. Over 10,000 military personnel, civilians, and dependents work and/or live at the air station. The air station contributes $500 million directly to the local economy."
- Raison d'etre and timeline of NAS Whidbey
Construction of NAS Whidbey Island’s Ault Field started in March 1942, and the air station was commissioned in September of that year. The airfield was constructed as a result of a CNO directive to find a location for the rearming and refueling of Navy patrol planes operating in defense of Puget Sound. A year later, an area just southeast of Coupeville was approved as an auxiliary field to serve Naval Station (NS) Seattle. By September 1943, OLF Coupeville was operational.
Over the years, NAS Whidbey Island has evolved into the Navy’s premier training center for electronic attack and patrol and reconnaissance squadrons. OLF Coupeville compliments training at Ault Field and is used for field carrier landing practice (FCLP) and other operations including helicopter and parachute operations.
- NAS Whidbey is worth $494.5 Million to the local economy, after subtracting "$22 million spent at the commissaries and base exchanges in Island County".
- "NAS Whidbey Island directly and indirectly accounts for nearly 17,500 jobs in Island County and over 20,100 statewide. The total impacts in terms of labor earnings sum to $674 million within Island County (approximately 88 percent of wage disbursements in the county) and nearly $775 million statewide."
- There are APZs around OLF Coupeville - see page 77 (5-17) of above.
- "Although the emphasis of AICUZ program implementation is focused on areas within the AICUZ footprint (noise and safety impact area), the Navy can take a position and comment on land use issues outside the footprint that might lead to incompatible development. For example, large-scale developments bordering the AICUZ footprint or new transportation or utility corridors could make the AICUZ footprint area more desirable for development. Such development could prevent mission changes or mission expansion in the future. Therefore, Commanding Officers and their staffs should monitorproposed development beyond the AICUZ footprint, and, if needed, present those concerns in appropriate forums."
- The report recommends the US Navy have, "A continued community outreach program is a specific implementation strategy that can provide citizens with factual information regarding the noise and safety impacts of airfield operations."
- The report recommends, "The City of Oak Harbor and Island County should adopt the Accident Potential Zones (APZs) from this Update. Both jurisdictions already have goals and policies in their respective Comprehensive Plans to reduce population densities in aircraft approach and departure corridors, however the Navy has not been able to provide accurate APZs until now. Adopting the APZs from this AICUZ Study Update will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public."
- The report calls on citizenry to, "Become informed about the AICUZ program at NAS Whidbey Island and to learn about the goals and objectives of the program; its value in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the population; the limits of the program; and the positive community aspects of a successful AICUZ program."
That - among other efforts to learn about our government - are going to be difficult to do if local governments and the slough of Democratic Party co-sponsors get HB 1128 passed. As I explained last night, HB 1128 allows a basement of "the value of the time allotted is presumed reasonable if it equals one percent of the local agency's annual operations and maintenance budget, or a lesser amount provided that it is reasonable in light of the local agency's resources and other essential functions" or at an absolute minimum "five hours per month". Let me be clear - if you want documents like the above to keep coming, it's up to US to tell our state legislators to stop HB 1128 and save public disclosure.
In the interim, enjoy the report. Of course, purchases from my eBay page help fund this website.