Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Santa Monica fights aviation arrogance

A portion of the following letter was forwarded to the Southern California newspaper; The Argonaut. The Argonaut published an article discussing a growing controversy regarding safety and pollution issues surrounding the Santa Monica Airport. The original article can be found here; http://argonautnewspaper.com/articles/2010/07/22/news_-_features/top_stories/2v.txt

More detail regarding leaded aviation fuel can be found here; http://www.sccgov.org/keyboard/attachments/Commission%20Agenda/2010/April%206,%202010/202906098/TMPKeyboard203012296.pdf

Dear Argonaut Editor,

I have read the discussion regarding the Santa Monica Airport controversy. I have much sympathy for the residents of Santa Monica. Unfortunately this is a national / international issue. I offer the following comments:

Comparing the airport to the LA freeways: The freeways benefit millions of citizens every day. The entire economy of Southern California depends on the freeway system with all it’s flaws. The Santa Monica Airport benefits hundreds at the most.

Airport was here first: City planning simply stated often refers to the highest and best use of resources. Orange County would still be farms without a bias to the ‘highest and best’. By the way Orange County gained improvement in quality of life by the closing of a much more important air facility. There comes a time for poor and unappreciated ‘public’ resources to be recycled.

Keep it up and the FAA will step in and nullify ANY regulations the town has passed: The FAA does have this reputation. So did the Minerals Management Service before the Gulf oil spill. When it comes to serving industry instead of the citizens of America, Minerals Management Service is just one recent glaring example of fraud and misuse of authority gone mad. As the nation will one day discover, the FAA is yet another federal agency in the pockets of industry and private profit. The FAA serves aviation without regard for the health and safety of American citizens. Profit and collusion will lead to disaster. Without change of attitude, it’s just a matter of time.

Other matters not yet mentioned in discussions regarding your article include aviation’s use of highly leaded fuel. Following are quotes from a recent Santa Clara Airport Commission report regarding the dangers of lead in aviation fuel:

"…medical research into the effects of lead on children is showing virtually any amount of lead in the blood of a child, or fetus, can result in permanent, measurable, cognitive impairment (brain damage, IQ loss).

"…In addition to causing permanent IQ loss in children, lead in the blood is associated with aggressive, antisocial behavior in children and adults.

"…The first study to follow lead-exposed children from before birth into adulthood has shown that even relatively low levels of lead permanently damage the brain and are linked to higher numbers of arrests, particularly for violent crime.

According to the report, exhaust from one gallon of aviation fuel can measurably lower the IQ of thousands of children. Based on this fact alone how can a civilized society allow this assault on our children?

It’s time for aviation to become a responsible civilized member of society.

Thank you,

Phillip Gilbert
Formerly of Santa Monica and currently fighting arrogant aviation in rural Kentucky.

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