Paulding Residents Call on FAA to Replace Contractor on Airport Environmental Assessment
Urge FAA to Conduct "Complete, candid, and comprehensive"
ATLANTA, GA, May 21, 2014 – Residents of Paulding County today called for the Federal Aviation Administration to remove the contractor selected for an environmental assessment of the proposed expansion of Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport into a second commercial airport serving metropolitan Atlanta.
In comments filed with the FAA today, the group of residents, who live and own property near the airport, said that the assessment has been corrupted by the selection of a contractor with a direct financial interest in the proposed airport expansion.
"The contractor selected to prepare the assessment is tainted by a financial interest in the airport's expansion, which is the subject of the assessment," said attorney Peter Steenland of the Sidley, Austin LLP firm in Washington, D.C., who along with Atlanta attorney Charles McKnight Jr. of the firm of Nations, Toman & McKnight, LLP, represents the landowners opposing this project. "They cannot be expected to prepare an objective analysis of this project, which could have a significant impact on the environment and potentially transform the region with a major commercial airport."
Steenland noted that "this is only the latest case of public officials using their influence and power to try to force residents into accepting a major project that could fundamentally change the quality of life in Paulding County."
According to the comments filed today, the contractor, Michael Baker Inc., and its subsidiary, the LPA Group, have been consultants for the Paulding Airport Authority for more than a decade, and continue to provide services today. In addition, the current airport director, Blake Swafford, is a former LPA employee. Swafford is one of the chief proponents of the proposed airport expansion.
"A contractor selected to conduct the FAA's environmental assessment must be objective," McKnight said, "but he's irrevocably tainted here." The landowners called on the FAA to begin the assessment anew with an independent contractor that has no bias or financial ties to the airport or the investors behind the proposed expansion.
In addition, the residents called on the FAA to invite other federal agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to participate in the environmental assessment. They also questioned the purpose and need behind the new commercial airport, which is situated just 35 miles from Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, especially to accommodate a fledgling airline Allegiant, which Steenland referred to as "a notoriously fickle carrier that has stranded many an airport suitor after only briefly serving that airport."
The group also asked the FAA to address the secrecy behind the process of approving the airport expansion, which has been largely conducted with no transparency for the public and with no discussion over whether there is a need to establish Paulding Airport as Atlanta's secondary commercial airline hub.
"This proposal would lay the groundwork for what could become a major airline hub in Paulding County, and therefore requires a complete and objective review with the full participation of Paulding County residents," McKnight said. "The FAA's environment assessment needs to be "complete, candid, and comprehensive," McKnight added. ◊◊◊
Open Records Request May Open Some Eyes
(03.28.14) One hardworking member of the citizens who are against commercialization of the Paulding County Airport, aka Silver Comet Field, has acquired some very interesting documents about the deal Paulding County officials made with Hedge Fund Manager Brett Smith of Propeller Investments...they gave away the farm!!
Read them for yourself if you don't believe me!
Blackhawks Get Personal Invitation from BoC to
Return to Our Rooftops
(03.12.14) At yesterday's Board of Commissioners meeting, Resolution 14-08 in Full Support of Training Operations of Georgia National Guard at Paulding Airport. Click here to see a video of the meeting that begins just as the Resolution is being presented and then read aloud by the The Firm's representative. The Airport Authority will address this issue at their meeting next week on March 19th at 9am on the 2nd floor of the Airport Terminal Building. ◊◊◊
Demonizing the Airport Opposition
(03.12.14) There is a move afoot to demonize all who oppose commercial expansion of the Paulding Airport. I have seen the movement coming together in little pieces over a couple of months now. More on connecing those dots later...
Yesterday morning, just hours before learning that the BoC is inviting the Blackhawks back to our backyards, I received two e-mail messages from military men who took me to task for defending my family home from an insane economic development plan known as the Commercialization of Paulding Airport on the previous evening's news broadcast.. Below are the messages with full names and email of senders temporarily withheld, along with my responses. ◊◊◊ READ EMAILS & REPONSES
They Knew there would be "Collateral Damage at the ends of the Runway" and DIDN'T CARE TO DO ANYTHING about Mitigating said Damage
(1.14.14) The map at right is the original plan drawn up for the Paulding County Airport and surrounding area in 2007 with additions in red by the Editor to show where the often mentioned but never addressed collateral damage caused by Paulding Airport aka Silver Comet Field is located.
The Franco Eleuteri design plan for The Greater Paulding Forest initiative included lots of green (of course, we already had that) and great new high end neighborhoods. Of course the damage done to the lives and property values of the human beings (God's Children) at the ends of the runway was never addressed or mentioned to our knowledge by anyone who has ever supported this airport. They just refer to us as "The Collateral Damage at the Ends of the Runway" and though we often get lip service from our elected officials regarding the level of their caring about our plight, I have NEVER seen any evidence of said "care". ◊◊◊
LEARN MORE about the original Franco Eleuteri plan for Paulding....coming soon...
Georgia Get an "F" in Integrity
(12/23/2013) A Google search of "corruption in Georgia politics" led to some unhappy news. According to the State Integrity Investigation, our beloved State of Georgia is most likely to be running rampant with government corruption and it is the state whose laws provide the most opportunity for corruption. Way to go, Georgia!! We're #1 ...in corruption.
Frankly, my dears, I DO give a damn and I am, for the first time in my life, ashamed that I was born on Peachtree Street in what I used to think was the greatest state of them all. Now my eyes are opened. We are the most corrupt state of them all. OMG!!
Now, when my elected officials and their attorneys tell me that they are following the letter of the law, I understand better what they mean. It means they are not doing anything "illegal" in the most corrupt state in the United States of America. Call me crazy but it doesn't make me feel better that my elected "aren't doing anything illegal". ◊◊◊
READ MORE ABOUT THE LACK OF INTEGRITY IN GEORGIA POLITICS
Lots of OPEN LETTERS & BS Ideas Flying Around
6666.66 Comes to Paulding County
(12/21/13 ~ Dallas, GA) Brett Smith (BS2) of Propeller Investments and Silver Comet Parners (or whatever they are calling themselves) told Paul Callahan that his goal is to have ONE MILLION passengers per year passing through Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport (PUJ aka Silver Comet Field). That means 6666.66 flights per year and approximately 20 flights per day based on 150 passengers per flight.
Read more in letter that Paul Callahan wrote when the Chamber of Commerce UNinvited him to be their new chairman because of his opposition to commercial air traffic at Paulding Airport. ◊◊◊
(12/4/13 ~ Dallas, GA) It seems that everybody has an "Open Letter" to someone or another these days about the most recent BS plan for the Paulding Airport aka Silver Comet Field.
- Read Commission Chairman David Austin's (DA) OPEN LETTER to Delta CEO Richard Anderson (RA) demanding resignation as Chairman-elect of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) of Commerce...
- Read An OPEN LETTER to the Residents of Paulding County from the Directors of the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce...
- Read a "FACTSHEET"/OPEN LETTER published at the PATCH from Carolyn S. Wright, President/CEO, Paulding County Chamber that explains what she calls "A fact sheet put out by the Paulding County Chamber hopes to dispel concerns about the Silver Comet Field." ◊◊◊
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God’s Airport or the Devil’s Playground?
I’ve been to just a handful of Airport Authority meetings and, at each and every meeting, the airport was referred to as “God’s Airport”. During the Morning Prayers before all meetings, I always heard the words “Thank you Jesus for giving us this beautiful airport.” I was stunned because I am 100% certain that Jesus and our Good Lord had NOTHING to do with bringing this odious airport to Paulding County. I submit that Paulding Airport, recently renamed Silver Comet Airport, is the Devil’s Work and the Devil’s Playground. READ MORE
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