2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 7 Aug 2003 14:25:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Navy's claim isn't credible
North Carolina
Navy's claim isn't credible
`Years of meticulous research'? Evidence belies admiral's comment
Philip and Marilyn Lange
Wed, Aug. 06, 2003

Admiral Robert Natter's reply to a Charlotte Observer editorial,
branding as "stupid" his selection of Washington County for an outlying
landing field (OLF), was quite a piece of work.

For starters, his claim that the Navy's Final Environmental Impact
Statement (FEIS) for siting the new landing field is the culmination of
"three years of meticulous research" doesn't quite hold up. Even if
Admiral Natter starts his count at the end of October 2000, when he
first announced his search for a new OLF "precisely because of community
concerns over jet noise," as he put it then, three years is rather a
stretch. Meticulous? Judge for yourself.

The FEIS tells us the Navy began to solicit information from local
government leaders at 17 potential sites in April 2001. It is noteworthy
that "[the site reconnaissance] surveys were limited to aerial
overflights and windshield observations along existing roads which
traverse the sites." They then narrowed the "candidate sites" to seven
and gave public notification in January 2002. Navy contractors had
barely six months for in-depth study of the seven sites before the
release of the Draft EIS in July that year. This hardly qualifies as
"meticulous" research over three years.

The FEIS information on the hazards of bird-aircraft collisions is also
puzzling. The Navy's experts disagreed with years of field observation
by local naturalists. They also took issue with the Air Force research
data that led to the creation of the bird-aircraft strike hazard
program. Even though Air Force bird avoidance model (BAM) expert Jeffrey
Short, who developed the bird-strike program, offered his expertise to
the Navy, there is nothing in the FEIS that indicates his input was
sought. Why? Perhaps because, Short's unquestionable credentials aside,
it would be unlikely that his input would support the Washington County

This editorial can be viewed at:

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