Archived Story

Supervisors concerned about Navy’s plans

Published 9:35am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

By ANDREW FAISON/CORRESPONDENT
andrew.faison@yahoo.com

COURTLAND—The Southampton County supervisors on Monday voted unanimously to write a letter of concern over the proposed use of the Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport for touch-and-go practice landings by the Navy.

This was after supervisors learned from Drewryville resident Joan Harrell that a portion of the airport lies in Southampton County.

“The thing that I don’t think most people realize, as I did not before skimming the proposal, is that 30 acres of this field are in Southampton County,” Harrell said. “And the proposal describes the holding pattern as well as the approach over Southampton County.”

The Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport in June 2011 submitted a proposal to the Navy.

The Franklin City Council voted twice in early 2011 not to allow the Navy the use of the Franklin Municipal Airport for the same purpose of touch-and-go practice landings.

The Navy hopes to use the Emporia airfield for practice landings of turboprops stationed at Naval Station Norfolk.

The Navy seeks to utilize an airfield within 90 miles of its base.

The Emporia airfield is within 65 miles and the second potential site at Wallops Island is about 70 miles away.

Under the proposal, these twin-engine turboprops would conduct up to 45,000 passes annually, with the field being used 20 out of 30 days a month. Navy operations will facilitate aircraft carrier approach and touch and go landings.

“This will be in my back yard,” said Supervisor Chairman Dallas Jones, who represents the Drewryville District. “If they use the airport, we will get nothing but noise, nothing else.”

“Every time these planes would practice, the decibels would be equal to a vacuum cleaner running constantly less than three feet from you,” Harrell added.

  • samoore04

    “allsites” is obviously a rated naval aviator who dazzles everyone with a bunch of numbers. All this “why doesn’t the Navy do this or that” questions. Get over it- People want all the freedoms we enjoy and want the best trained pilots, but yet will oppose anything and everything. Go shell your corn- and let the Naval Aviators protect this country.

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    • allsites

      I do let the aviators protect our country. I want them to have the best for our country. Sadly it appears as if the Secretary does not wish that for our aviators when he forces them to fly out of Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk.

      I have read the information as well as watched the devolution of what a home field is capable of doing. It used to be able to perform FCLP operations and support out pilots training without having to fly to civilian airfields to perform training that once was performed at the home field. The fact that the Secretary will not use his home field to perform this training is a red flag that supports the findings of the 2005 BRAC.

      If you love the sound of freedom and wish to fight for our pilots, please seriously think about what our Secretary is forcing our pilots to do. Franklin, Whidby Island, Norfolk, Emporia, a new OLF, a large stretch of highway with an LOS shack and some lights would meet our pilots training requirements. So should Oceana and Norfolk. That is the crux of this problem, Oceana no longer meets our pilots training requirements and should be abandoned.

      If you love our pilots folks should be asking why cant Oceana do the job? In 1995 Oceana was home to 315 carrier aircraft and associated squadrons and NS Norfolk housed the E-2/C-2s while only needing one OLF. Now, it is near 200 planes and the Secretary is claiming Oceana can no longer meet our pilots training requirements and desires to fly at Emporia. Yet other home fields DO perform FCLP operations for their home squadrons as well as bring in other planes from as far away as 140 miles to do that fields FCLP training. The plane in question is the JSF, which has a smaller range than the C-2/E-2.

      Numbers and facts. They are not my numbers or facts, they are the Secretary’s. I just bring them to folks attention.

      I lived on a carrier for 5 years. I want those pilots landing on the back of my home to do so safely. The girl I babysat grew up to be a naval aviator and she flew attack aircraft and landed on carriers. I understand whats at stake.

      Our pilots deserve better than what Oceana and NS Norfolk provide. The facilities are fantastic, its the encroachment upon the facilities that harm our pilots. There is the true problem for our pilots, not these rural communities.

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      • DryRain

        Well said “allsites”. The Secretary of the Navy has a hidden agenda. Between Norfolk NAS and Oceans NAS there really shouldn’t be any need for an OLF. These fields already have everything the in place, and with less aircraft using these fields now than years ago just doesn’t add up.
        I just know when the Navy met with the citizens at the Workforce Center – P D Camp Community College, they refused to answer certain questions, and it was because of that is why City Council voted against the use of the airport. It also is why Mayor Councill’s strong support and meetings with the Navy cost him the election, in my opinion.

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  • allsites

    In April 2003, the Navy stated that the number of FCLPs to be performed at Fentress for the E-2/C-2 for the foreseeable future would be approx 30,000 operations.

    Now they are claiming 45,000 yearly operations. That is an increase of 50% for the same aircrafts. The 30,000 is what they modeled when they developed the noise contours. Where did these extra 15,000 operations come from? Where they once being flown at Naval Station Norfolk in 2003? Were they omitted in the 2003 study? Did the Secretary increase the number of FCLP operations required to qualify to move on to the carrier?

    This increase should be a concern. Also, why was it necessary to claim anyone living under the flight path of the FCLP which would be APZ2, APZ1 and CLEAR for the OLF had to leave, but for the next 10 years anyone living (if there is anyone) is allowed to stay?

    Also, why doesn’t the Navy use NAS Pax River instead of going to a civilian field on those days they want to fly at Emporia? According to them, it should only be 6 10-day periods a year. A little bit of airfield management skills or simply using Oceana like they have been once Fentress is back on line would work just as well.

    Pax is about 94 miles away.

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  • Maxdoubt

    Look to Congressman Forbes for the reasoning behind using the Emporia field. He is pushing it pretty hard.

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  • hardwaredog

    Oh well Dallas Jones you and the older board supervisors have killed to many business that could have brought tax money to Southampton county. Get over it.
    Go Greensville.

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  • mbrya023

    I want my son to grow up with the same freedoms I have, and if that means dealing with some noise then bring it on. Those who are flying the jets are willing to give their lives in service to our country, we should all give up a some of our peace and quiet to make sure they go into battle with the skills they need!

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  • momto2Js

    Let the planes fly. They are protecting our freedoms! My neighbor’s leaf blower makes more noise than those planes and I don’t hear anybody complaining about them being used in the county. Get over it people. This county has 1 foot in the grave already! We need some noise from businesses and factories!

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  • samoore04

    FLY NAVY JETS! Im so sick of this backwards garbage-people will oppose anything!!

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  • RACN35

    twin-engine turboprops …. NOT Jets …

    “Every time these planes would practice, the decibels would be equal to a vacuum cleaner running constantly less than three feet from you,” Harrell added.

    BULLSH*T… move to another COUNTRY – try Iraq

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  • RoyDeSoto

    Perhaps the board, in it’s wisdom, could tell the Navy where it is supposed to practice without anyone hearing. Very selfish, just like Franklin and IoW. DO we need terrorists coming over our border before Average Joe cares? Oh wait, that’s already happening. Keep watching dancing stars and football in silence while America burns.

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    • drewandmol

      Speak it Roy D. We should WELCOME them and the FREEDOM they represent.

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  • Dakota01

    Bring it on GO NAVY

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  • RWH

    Hell, I think me and the misses might go out and watch a few touch and go’s!!!!!

    God Bless the USA!!!!

    Listen, Wallops Island sounds like an excellent place to take this program to, and we don’t know they won’t but don’t be so quick to shut this down without having all the options known first.

    Maybe they would offer financial noise abatement opportunities?

    Suggest Removal

  • happy2

    If Emporia gets it great for them, Franklin and Southampton your loss. Oh and by the way Franklin and Southampton will still hear them fly over on their way to Emporia.

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  • DryRain

    45,000 passes annually, that’s a lot of flights over someones home. The contract says turboprops, do you know how many different turboprop planes the Navy has? Have you ever heard a Osprey flying overhead, if you haven’t you will along with several other very loud turboprops.

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    • windsor52

      The Navy is only looking to operate E-2/C-2 platforms at Empoira/Wallops.

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      • DryRain

        The contract says turbo-prop aircraft, it does not specified just the Hawkeyes and Greyhounds. Turbo-prop aircraft includes helicopters and planes.
        I personally could care less where the Navy practices, but the Navy has a way with hiding the truth and not being honest with civilians. The Navy will use there own people at the airport, not hire civilians. They will use the local fire department to standby. The Navy will only pay for what exspences they cause.
        Someone will probably have to hire more firemen and a new fire truck to stand by for the Navy which will be at either the county or city’s exspence, which means taxes will probably go up to pay for this.
        I come from a military family, I am not against Armed Forces by any means, GO ARMY!

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  • Outsider

    Franklin and IOW balked at the Navy. Now Southampton wants to as well. Guess what? Emporia and Greenville have all of the decision making power. They want the Navy. They’re proud to help in the training of those who defend our freedom.

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  • rdarden

    The turbo-prop aircraft are much, much quieter than the F/A 18 aircraft. You will not even hear any noise from these aircraft unless you are dircetly beside the airport when they are landing and taking off.

    The City of Franklin and Isle of Wight County missed a huge opportunity to gain much needed jobs and upkeep of the small Franklin airport. This was all based on fear that is unfounded. I work for the Va. Beach Fire Department, so I hear A LOT of jet noise. The only noise you hear is from the F/A 18 jets, the E2C Hawkeyes you see but do not hear. The NAVY was going to dump jobs and moeny into the airport to support it’s operations. In this economy we are in, and the idiots in our Federal government, if we dont start taking care of ourselves who will?

    Just my two cents..VOTE ROMNEY!!!

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  • MyHometown

    This sounds like quite a bit of air traffic. That would be 180-200 landings each day that they were practicing. Does anyone know if it has been proposed to the navy that they use multiple airports? Franklin, Greensville, Wakefield, Suffolk, Lawrenceville? This would reduce the landings to 30-40 per day. If we want to keep our military bases at the beach we need to cooperate with their training exercises. If we keep turning them down they will move and the local economy will really suffer. We need to support our troops if we expect to maintain our security and local economy.

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    • Curiousreader

      MyHometown, this needs to be a dedicated field because of the equipment put into place by the Navy to monitor the training. I don’t think it would be feasible to outfit multiple sights.

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  • happy2

    I love jet noise! Go Navy and Thank you for protecting us! The noise is not that bad, good grief people. I am sure the area could use a few of the Navy’s dollars in the bank! Unlike Franklin, they did not need any extra money for the teachers salary’s or any other improvement’s in town, they had plenty! Laughable!

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    • christina97

      I wholeheartedly agree! The jet noise is the sound of freedom!

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  • kingradman

    I dont feel sad for you Mr JONES! mAYBE WITH THAT ” HUGE AMOUNBT OF MONEY WE HAVE” We could just buy the navy an airport somewhere else

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  • christina97

    Keep pushing them away and wonder why they don’t want to defend you…

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  • employee2

    As I see it, it is the decision of the county that funds/administers the airport.

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  • skooch

    It is a different story when it is in YOUR backyard! They were not concerned when it was Franklin and IOW.

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