In the February 2018 issue of the Ewing Observer there was a published interview with Mayor Bert Steinman. The topic of the Trenton Mercer Airport expansion was addressed.
We of Mercer Quiet Skies offer the following responsive thoughts and suggestions to Ewing and county officials:
1. The mayor stated that Ewing Township has a seat at the table with the county to discuss takeoff patterns. We request that Ewing citizens be publicly told when these meetings will occur and eventual outcomes of this dialogue.
2. The mayor stated that the planes are not flying over residents’ homes on purpose. We think that they do. From our observations, a plane typically follows a set pattern.
Radar and human eyes show the consistent flight deviations. Logically, pilots would know that they are flying over houses. Additionally, the mayor stated that the FAA directs the flight patterns. It is requested that the FAA designated flight patterns be made available.
3. It was further stated that there was nothing Ewing Township or Mercer County could do concerning planes and their flight patterns.
Is it possible to fine airlines that violate designated flight patterns? Radar records maintained by the airport should show when this occurs and have a record of the plane.
4. It was mentioned that the county is wooing another airline. When questioned about this at a meeting of the Freeholders board, there was not a single Freeholder who knew about wooing another airline.
5. Finally, it was mentioned that Ewing has benefited from tax revenue and subsidiaries that have spun off from the airport.
It is requested that more specific information be provided in this regard. It is good to know we have a benefit, but the citizens need hard facts not the fantasy $100 million cited by the county executive.
6. There will be sizable Ewing tax revenues lost, $287,000, possible via use of eminent domain if houses are seized with no compensation given to Ewing for this loss by the county. Nor are there any plans to do so.
7. The county and township should impose hard fines on the pilots and who they work for. Make money on a bad situation once they begin to pay steep fines that should grow geometrically after each violation the flight deviations will diminish and hopefully stop.
Thank you for considering these constructive suggestions. It is hoped that Ewing and the surrounding communities can co-exist with the airport in a respectful and responsible way.
— Anne Chmielewski
Chmielewski is a spokesperson for Mercer Quiet Skies