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LETTERS: Other nearby areas are better suited for private airport than Briscoe

Thanks to J.K. Murphy for your column, “Try planes near airport before we buy expansion” (Aug. 8, Page 8A). I don’t know whether the idea is feasible, but I do think that flying 737s over the area in a pattern consistent with airport expansion plans would be an eye-opener for all concerned.

I can’t speak for others, but I know that my opposition to this airport expansion has to do with the fact that it is being done in a densely populated residential area. Why not build an airport farther north and closer to I-85 and/or I-985? That area is far less populated and is closer to the interstate.

I don’t argue with the idea that another airport would be more convenient to those of us who live north of Atlanta. But why not pick out an area that would adversely (through noise, vibration, lowered property values, etc.) affect the absolute least number of residents? Perhaps it should be built in Jackson or Hall County. It would still be more convenient to most of us than Hartsfield-Jackson, and it would have a lot of room to grow.

In 1967, Sacramento opened the Sacramento International Airport out in the “boondocks” and away from densely populated residential areas. There was already an airport within the city, surrounded by a densely populated residential area.) Here is an excerpt from www.sacairports.org concerning the history of what happened:

In 1957, the proposed construction of Sacramento Metropolitan Airport and the purchase of nearly 6,000 acres north of downtown Sacramento was considered extravagant, risky, based on unrealistic passenger expectations and poorly located. The skeptics were wrong. The anticipated 750,000 annual passengers that seemed so unrealistic in the late 1950’s surpassed the 1 million passenger mark during the airport’s first year of operation. Additionally, the 6,000 acres guaranteed that the airport would have room to grow as the Sacramento region was developed.

My point is this: Let’s build another airport on the northside, but let’s not use Briscoe. I say not in my backyard, and not in anyone else’s backyard, either. Put the new airport in an area that is undeveloped or is commercial or industrial, not residential. If it’s a few miles outside Gwinnett, so be it. It will still be more convenient than Hartsfield-Jackson, and it won’t damage the lives of thousands of Gwinnettians who trusted the politicians back in the 1990s when they said that Briscoe would “never” be expanded/commercialized.

— Katherine Michelakos

Lawrenceville