I have refrained from addressing any of the airport and rezoning controversy in the past, but Mr. Engleman's (July 4) "fairy tale" (letter to the editor) must be answered.
1. The definition of a "left-hand pattern" is: A pilot makes left-hand turns to arrive at the runway on which he/she has chosen to land.
A right-hand pattern is just the opposite. The airport traffic pattern for Payson is a left-hand pattern to runway 24 and a right-hand pattern to runway 6.
2. There is no ploy by members of the airport committee to change the traffic pattern. The only change that has been proposed is for noise abatement. The noise abatement procedure is: after departure from runway 24, make a right turn before reaching Country Club Estates, fly a mile beyond that area to the north, turn on course.
The over-flight of the proposed "affordable" housing is mandated by the GPS instrument approach the FAA has set up for Payson Airport. Under instrument flight rules, a pilot will turn his/her airplane directly over the proposed housing development at an altitude of 400 feet above ground level. With the plane's landing gear down and the flaps extended, the engine must develop more power to keep the plane in the air. More power equates to more noise.
Conceivably and legally an airplane could be 100 feet or less above a house. At 100 feet, the noise from the airplane is 100 times louder then it is at 1,000 feet. More turboprop and jet aircraft are flying into Payson since The Rim and Chaparral golf courses have been developed.
3. The values of the houses at the airpark have already been affected by the proposed zoning change. Our house has been on the market since the beginning of the year. We were averaging one to three prospects prequalified through our house each week and did receive an offer. Since the proposed zoning change, there has not been one person interested in looking at the house.
4. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association tracks airport closures. Their information shows (that) when zoning changes are made to allow houses to be built around an airport, it is a maximum of eight years until that airport is closed. Zoning changes have closed 27 airports in Arizona alone over the past 10 years. The Payson Master Plan shows an $8 million annual benefit to the community from the airport. When the airport is closed, where will the additional $8 million come from? The town of Payson has also received funding from the FAA through ADOT for improvements to the airport. Has anyone investigated to see if these grants will have to be paid back when the airport is closed?
Get your facts straight, Mr. Englemen, before sending half truths to the community.