There must be a better place for the Navy

Published 10:04 am Saturday, February 5, 2011

To the Editor:

In late December, along with others, I had an opportunity to hear a Franklin official discuss and answer questions on the Franklin Airport’s possible use for Navy pilot training with turboprop planes.

From the presentation, as I understood it, the airport has one useable runway, which is located in an east-to-west direction. This is understandable as our prevailing winds are west-southwest or east-northeast.

This means that every practice flight will be entering, depending on the wind direction, from either the east or west ends of the single runway, over the houses and population just off the east end in Isle of Wight County and over the larger population of residences in Franklin as well as the hospital, the high school, the YMCA and a retirement village.

This means that every single practice flight, whether descending or ascending, will always be right over the tops of homes and other critical facilities to the city and the south of Isle of Wight County.

With hundreds of proposed flights each year, it simply makes no sense, regardless of any amount of compensation. It is simply too dangerous for our citizens as well as economically destructive.

There has to be safer and more suitable locations across southeastern Virginia.

Harold U. Blythe