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‘Bamboozled’ East Point councilwoman takes on airport noise
by Noreen Cochran
July 30, 2013 04:49 PM | 1308 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
East Point City Councilwoman LaTonya Martin is planning a town hall meeting Aug. 24 for residents with homes in the flight paths of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

At a city council meeting earlier this month, Martin said airport noise is a major problem for homeowners.

“If you look at Heritage Park,” she said about a noise exposure map, “my entire community, the community in which I live in, is in the direct path of aircraft incoming and outbound traffic. We have to be vigilant because as a homeowner now, and I know I speak for the majority of the people in my community, we feel bamboozled. We do. We really, really do. When this was brought to my attention in the meeting, I was absolutely floored. This explains the aircraft noise, this explains our structures being torn down, this explains everything.”

Martin recounted a June sit-down at city hall between airport Aviation General Manager Louis Miller, airport Planning and Environmental Director Tom Nissalke and an anti-noise task force comprised of Councilman Myron Cook, District 62 State Rep. LaDawn Jones, D-Atlanta, residents Deanna Ingraham and Nannette Saucier, City Attorney Corliss Lawson and then-City Manager Reggie Taylor.

“They said it is up to state and local governments to let homeowners know, prior to purchasing, the environmental impacts of where these homes are,” Martin said about Miller and Nissalke. “So they put it back on the city to do.”

Airport spokesman Reese McCranie, contacted after the meeting, disagreed.

“The airport is more than happy to answer any questions about flight paths for any prospective buyers,” he said. “That said, it remains the responsibility of prospective homebuyers to do their due diligence when deciding where to purchase a home.”

McCranie said while the airport “looks forward” to a follow-up meeting, there is a procedure in place, for which Nissalke is the noise abatement officer.

“Should someone have any noise complaints, we will review flight tracks and investigate the incident that occurred,” McCranie said.

Martin said she will pursue whatever remedies are available.

“As an official, I’m going to work with [airport staff] to see if we can come to some sort of agreement or something to help us rectify this,” she said without mentioning specifics.

The issue may become larger if future rezonings allow more neighborhoods to be formed from previously all-industrial sections, where nighttime noise was not a problem.

“That’s why I wanted to have the discussion this evening,” Martin said July 1.

“When we are up here making decisions about zoning and rezoning properties, we need to look at the effects it’s going to have on people in the communities years from now and the impact it’s going to have on their lives.”

According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, jet engines produce between 120 to 140 decibels of sound, equal to an emergency vehicle’s siren or a gunshot.

Power tools register about 100 decibels and normal conversation is 60.

Residents can visit www.atlanta-airport.com/Airport/Environmental to register a complaint or www.atlanta-airport.com/airport/nip to learn more about the airport’s noise insulation program.

On the web: www.atlanta-airport.com/airport/environmental or

www.atlanta-airport.com/airport/nip

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