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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Milford gets voice on airport panel

By James Tinley
Register Staff
MILFORD
— Two Milford residents have been added to the Sikorsky Memorial Airport Layout Plan Advisory Committee after an oversight left Milford off the committee for months, said Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr.
Flight patterns take planes over most of Milford’s west shore, and many residents don’t want to see an increase in flights. The airport is situated in Stratford but owned by the city of Bridgeport.
Richetelli recently appointed David L. Ivanovich Jr., 25 Marsh St., and John F. O’Connell, 283½ First Ave., to the committee. They are expected to take part in the April 24 meeting. The two also live along the flight path and know first-hand the number and size of planes that fly overhead, Richetelli said.
Alderwoman Suzanne Manning, D-3, said Ivanovich and O’Connell are “two people who feel passionate about the situation and want to have a voice.”
Manning, who represents the district most affected by the air traffic patterns, said she looks forward to the information the two will bring back. “It will be helpful for the residents to know what’s happening with the airport,” Manning said.
The committee is composed of residents and municipal representatives from surrounding communities, pilots and airport officials, said Steve Forbes, a spokesman for the airport. “The committee takes in the issues and advises folks of what their opinions are,” Forbes said.
Interest in the airport has picked up in recent months after plans to renovate and upgrade airport facilities were announced.
Airport officials say the $30 million in upgrades, which include a 38,000-square-foot hanger, a 15,000-square-foot terminal and 15,000 square feet of office space, will only replace existing structures, and there is no plan to expand air service.
Extended safety zones that the Federal Aviation Administration recommended be added to the runways also will mean traffic on Main Street in Stratford will have to be rerouted.
Local environmentalists and other citizens are concerned the upgrades will mean more air traffic and larger jets. “I’m concerned about the fuel and pollutants from the planes as they go shooting across Milford because we are on their flight path,” said Ann Berman, chairwoman of the Environmental Concerns Coalition. “People have complained that the route goes right across the coast of Milford.”
Richetelli said as long as the renovations don’t mean an increase in flights or the size of planes, he supports the plan. But, he cautioned, Ivanovich and O’Connell “need to be watchdogs for Milford.”

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a good idea to have representation on the comm. - I just hope Mr. O'Connell does not put his usual spin on the situation

April 21, 2008 at 12:20 PM 

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