Peace Time: October 6, 2002

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It's become increasingly popular for people living around military bases to drag the Department of Defense into court for violating FAA noise regulations. This has led to some curious situations, especially on the West Coast. The local home owners (most are local arrivals, as the suburbs have reached military bases that used to be way out in the sticks) get organized, with the help of national organizations dedicated to keeping the noise down. The west coast, particularly northern California, has a large number of suburbanites moving into former wilderness areas surrounding military air bases, and anti-noise activists. The military responds by reducing flight operations and changing how they fly. Sometimes they will even shut down flight operations, either because of new training schedules or bad weather. This has demonstrated an odd phenomenon. The activists, true to their name, organize members to take turns listening for flights, and measure the noise. What has happened several times is the activists noting flights when flight operations were shut down. What was happening was that the activist organizations encouraged their members to show there was a steady number of illegally noisy flights. And either through self-delusion or deceit, the activist monitors did just that.

 


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