Keep OLF in remote area, letter writer says

Published 9:18 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

To the Editor:

As a retired Naval aviator, I can appreciate the need for Naval Air Station Ocean to have an outlying landing field to train pilots night and day in carrier landings.

As a new resident of Franklin, I would like to tell you what an OLF is. It’s one runway lighted with a radio shack and small out-building to house a small Navy crew of caretakers.

The planes fly their carrier approach, hit and bounce off the runway and are airborne again.

An OLF is not a solution to employment and the economy of Franklin, which is suffering from the paper mill closing.

It is built by an outside contractor and his workers. During construction there may be some labor jobs available to locals.

After a year for construction, the land is federal and not taxable by the community. Then only a small group of sailors would maintain security and upkeep.

Anyone living within five miles of the OLF will experience excessive jet noise, which is called the “sound of freedom” in Virginia Beach.

Sometimes there is difficulty hearing the TV or sleeping at night.

So don’t jump on a solution for Franklin employment by acquiring a nearby OLF.

Oceana NAS needs an OLF, but should put it in a very remote area.

John Sargent