City Government

Airport Noise Issue Causes Citizen Turbulence

Neighbors from the Hillcrest Place Homeowners Association, Vista Neighborhood Association sounded off over a noise survey conducted by the Boise Airport, but with very little notification of homeowners.

It looks like the 75 property owners who attended the meeting at Whitney Community Center Thursday night were roused to action by social media posts on the internet. One owner told the GUARDIAN a “neighborhood” site was buzzing with folks who feared their homes would be purchased out from under them or severely devalued following a noise survey conducted by the airport. NEXTDOOR is described by Wikipedia.

In a nutshell it is a continuation of the quest by Boise’s City fathers and mothers to get the U.S. Air Force to base high powered fighter jets at Gowen Field when the A-10 is eventually phased out of service. The big fear is having the thundering roar of F-35 or F-15 fighters rattling windows and making life south of Overland nearly “unlivable.”

Elliot Werk (left) confronted meeting organizer Henry Weibe over a noise stunt.

Elliot Werk (left) confronted meeting organizer Henry Weibe over a noise stunt.

Henry Wiebe appeared to ramrod the meeting. He created a playground-type confrontation with area resident Elliot Werk (former state rep) at one point when he interrupted a presentation by BOI airport manager Rebecca Hupp with a noisy battery powered electric drill–a stunt to emphasize the annoyance of military fighter jets.
Werk demanded that Weibe stop the noise, jumped out of his seat and rushed Weibe. Weibe shouted, “Don’t touch me,” and they eventually parted. The incident was indicative of how upset the neighbors are over the city efforts to justify the noise through an expensive survey which they claim could qualify some residents for “mitigation” or even purchase of their homes. They claim the Federal Aviation Administration would provide financial grants following the noise study. It is all aimed at expansion of the airport and retaining a military presence.

The simple solution was voiced by many of the folks attending. They favored having quieter military aircraft or moving the Air Guard to Mountain Home.

City Councilor Elaine Clegg promised to call for more citizen comment for the noise survey in an attempt to calm the audience, but most were unconvinced.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. We weren’t buying what they had to sell.

    I have a feeling that just this meeting tonight could have a very big impact on the rediculous dreams of permanently bringing insanely loud military jets to Boise, and probably the cargo hub fantasy too.

    Interesting how the farther out the airport plan goes, the worse our life gets. Bad plan. Bad politicians. They’re not civic leaders, they’re home wreckers.

    Tonight was definitely a pitchforks and torches kind of event.

  2. Christiane Rudd
    Sep 25, 2015, 12:45 am

    Wow. So the “stakeholders” have awoken. This is great. It’s very clearly a case of not wanting to be stopped by the citizensm as they were in 2010. The AF and the city were very open about wanting to base all their F35 training out of Gowen Field, and the public went nuts (rightfully so). So particular effort got moved to Arizona. So this time around, they tried to sneak it up on us. Thank GOD for social media.

    And Bieter just lost my vote. Forever.

    We have Mayor Bieter, who loves to brag about Boise being so livable and idyllic, selling us (well, it looks like sold us, would be more accurate) to the Air Force/ANG. And the Tax Commissioner, Eliot Werk, is already counting the military money which, no doubt, would come flooding in.

    Trust me, it’s not just about those of us that live south of Overland St, or the Hillcrest Country Club people. I have heard from a number of friends that live downtown complain about the noise this summer. Heck, even a friend that lives across the street from Shadow Valley Golf Course, on Horseshoe Bend road, says that the military jets were screaming over his house, and seriously scared his horses. And he moved out there for peace and quiet.

    This is about the very EXISTENCE of what Boise is, and will be.

    Move it all to Mountain Home. That makes all the sense in the world. Except for the fact that the Boise airport won’t be the recipient of all that federal money. Idaho will though. And Boise’s mayor and City Council will have to work out some deal with Mountain Home.

    Suddenly, it appears that the all the we-hate-the-federal-govt Idaho folks are desperate to get their paws on all that federal money, and will sell us down to river to get it.

    This is a very very sad day for our city.

  3. Very little notice? Wow, what a surprise. The city, the airport, and the airforce have a very long history of telling lies about noise. Considering how many quiet aircraft the airforce owns, it is disappointing they refuse to consider alternatives to the fuel-sucking noise makers.

    Let’s not forget the air pollution either. Mr. ‘electric-lawnmower-to-reduce-air-pollution Mayor Bieter’ is supporting the basing of several dozen aircraft which will burn tens-of-thousands of gallons of fuel in our air-shed each day. (Yes that’s right… they get very bad mileage.)

    The airforce flies mostly at night… worry not; you’ll be sleeping and will not notice the shaking and noise… Bonus, you’ll never need to dust again.

    The airforce wants to close MHAFB because nobody wants to live there. People commute from Boise so the kids can go to the schools and the family can enjoy a larger community. Pilots based in desolate places like MHAFB leave for airline jobs sooner. So, if Idaho wants a large airforce base it’s gonna be in Boise… so says the airforce.

    They want to have attack / fighter aircraft based in Boise because of the training range built here a few years back… you know, the one they said would never have a negative impact on Boise.

    Perhaps this is Bieter’s big plan to destroy the Bench neighborhood he hates so much. What he’s not telling is how a full blown flight of four F-35s will also interrupt conversations in northend homes, in meridian homes, and downtown condos will be devalued too. The only noise free place within 10 miles will be underground.

  4. Another no show for Bieter! And he sent a fellow bully in his place.

  5. The airport was there before most of the houses where built. Buyer beware. Should have thought about when you bought. We live in the foothills, and we have to put up with airplane noise every day. I do not have any sympathy for the people complaining.

    EDITOR NOTE–Wild lands were in your area long before homes, but we have to pay to save your encroaching homes from fire. ACHD spends extra cash and gives priority to your icy streets when it snows as well. Should the rest of us “have no sympathy” for you? No one ever contemplated F-35 or F-15 noise 40 years ago. The single issue here is basing noisy combat fighters at a municipal airport in the most densely populated area of the state when an existing air base is just 25 air miles away. None of the folks at the meeting protested the Air Guard, commercial aircraft, or even the brief F-15 visit this past summer.

  6. Awesome!

    Don’t like airport noise?
    Don’t buy a house near the airport.

    Pretty simple.

    Same rule applies to the freeway. 40 years ago, no one contemplated the amount of traffic on I-84 today.

  7. Running a drill while someone is trying to talk is not making a point, it is being rude and obnoxious. Good for Mr. Werk for confronting it.

  8. Here’s another.
    Lots of people live by the hospitals– St Luke’s in particular- 40 years ago no one contemplated so many Life Flights into and out of the hospital. Did they even use Life Flight 40 (30) years ago?

    Is anyone proposing those helicopters go somewhere else?
    And if one is going over your house at 500 ft… you would think it’s a jet.

    EDITOR NOTE–Next, you will want St. Luke’s to move to Meridian. 🙂

  9. Thank you for covering this, Mr. Frazier- I could not be at the meeting last night, but it would appear that certain people are attempting to censor any conversation about this, right on down to the neighborhood level, not to mention on a larger, city-wide scale. It’s refreshing to have a news outlet buck the trend- we all appreciate what you do! 🙂

  10. Henry Wiebe
    Sep 25, 2015, 3:38 pm

    As for the stunt I pulled with the drill, I took a call from her office staff, saying she was coming and she was going to do a presentation. Repeat… She had her staff call me to tell me what was going to happen at the meeting. Trouble is it wasn’t her meeting. I called the meeting. I set the location. I invited and worked on behalf of our community and set the intention. So I told them this wasn’t the meeting for that. They had that chance and didn’t invite all of us. This meeting was about neighbor gathering strength to demand that they redo the meetings and invitation process. When I showed up to the community center, the community centers staff was setting up for her to present. Projector and all. She was end running the meeting without permission or acceptance from me or anyone else. Care to imagine if I’d done that to her meeting? Who does that??? I’ll tell ya who… The same people who want all of you to stay asleep. Grab a drill and make some noise. Or remain asleep and accept the noise. Either way it is a three ring circus filled with clowns.

  11. I live in the city limits. And I stand by comments. You think B-17 takes off with no noise? How about the F111’s? All about NIMBY.

  12. Grumpy ole Guy
    Sep 25, 2015, 8:05 pm

    If the additional noise comes to the neighborhood in question, it will further segregate Boise into zones of desirability, furthering our sense of separation and adding more to the perception of separability. Increasing property value division.

  13. Perhaps everybody should take the mufflers off their cars and drive around city hall for a couple of hours

  14. Foothill owners maybe should have thought about the empty land around them when THEY moved in rather than screaming every time a new development is proposed. Buyer beware, as the commenter says. Nice to see that PERSI-bump Werk continues to be active in the community.

  15. hmmm, try living under a flight path and the military stuff comes in low and slow and LOUD AS HELL …. this is central meridian i’m talkin about. SO it’s not a where you live issue to me but the fact that they could easily fly in a quieter manner but they don’t. WT heck is that all about. Impressing the citizens so we get all pumped up with military support? RRRGGGHHHH Iv’e been quoted as saying If I wanted to live next to a Navy base I would move next to a Navy base. So I live a 30 minute drive from the airport yet still get buzzed like I’m living on base. Ridiculous.

  16. Steve Rinehart
    Sep 26, 2015, 10:49 pm

    I can think of lots of reasons why it makes sense to move military air ops out of the municipal airport in Boise and over to the existing military airport in Mountain Home. Right off the top of my head: Noise; operational efficiency; room for expansion; closer to existing air combat training range; save the city maintenance cost at Gowen. I have not heard reasons it does not make sense to make this move. What are they? Maybe, instead of calling each other nimbys and knotheads, we could have a smarter conversation.

  17. Steve Rinehart
    Sep 26, 2015, 11:00 pm

    Noise is a good reason to move military air ops away from Boise municipal airport and over to the existing military base in Mnt. Home. There are others: closer access to air combat flight training range, room to expand on the ground, operational efficiency between military units, save Boise taxpayers the Gowen maintenance cost. I have not heard reasons to keep military here.

  18. Eagle Writer
    Sep 27, 2015, 7:10 am

    There seems to be two issues 1) the meeting was hijacked, and 2) airplanes are noisy.

    I was not at the meeting, but I lived very near the airport for years. We sat on our back patio and watched the fire tankers lumber over our house taking off. They seemed so low and slow, and we could see the pilot’s faces and we would exchange waves as they took their liquid cargo to a drop.

    We loved the C130’s, and A10s, but the fast movers were a real treat. Yes, they are noisy, but it is the sound of freedom, and we enjoyed it everyday.

    Growing up in the oil patch in the midwest I was taught that the smell of oil was the smell of money. The same goes for being in cattle country. And fighter jets are simply the audio of freedom amplified.

    Instead of protesting, try smiling and saluting them when they fly over. Let’s make them welcome.

  19. Voting: If the citizens effected by this proposal organize as a voting block in city/county elections, it will be the largest voting block in Boise/Ada County. It will swing any vote. That is direction the anti-noise effort should be headed right now.

    Bieter’s power has always resided in boring election issues and low voter turnout. (Legacy media traditionally fails Boise by not raising election issue flags… Thank You Guardian!)

    Where to park the airplanes: All the MONEY will still be in the Boise valley area even if all the NOISE is at MHAFB.

    Motives: This is about Bieter wanting to be hands on that new money and the USAF wanting their fighter jocks living very near the base rather than commuting to Boise as they do now. (Kinda like St. Lukes building near doctor’s homes.) USAF also trains thousands of foreign pilots… thus the hospitality of metropolitan Boise greatly exceeds MHAFB. Both Bieter and USAF are completely willing to destroy the value of thousands of homes and many millions of our net-worth to get their way.

    Everyone be happy idea: Base a quite aircraft in Boise. Tankers, drones, transports, etc. Keep the flame-throwing jet noise at MHAFB and Fallon NAS.

  20. UPDATE: Watch this YOUTUBE I made which shows an obvious lack of logic offered by the BOI Noise Study. . Garbage in, garbage out. The model is flawed.

    EDITOR NOTE–Henry, we had trouble understanding the video. Might want to try the explanation again as it
    was confusing. Anyone else?

  21. Henry, Thank you for your efforts BUT: There is a significant difference in experienced noise @60db vs. @65db. Which is perhaps why the line is in a slightly different geographic location? Intentionally misleading perhaps… or perhaps a different noise engineer. Also number of flight operations has not to do with peak noise. So I’m not sure what your point is.

    I’m against a noise increase at the airport, but let’s not paddle up the wrong creek trying to stop it. There’s no need to find the secret hidden clue… it’s not hidden… it’s in your face… they don’t care at all because they know they are safe at election time. If we want to win this, we must force this issue on the candidates well before the November election… local media won’t touch it.

    This is about money. For example, the capacity of the airport has been expanded while flight operations has fallen by 40% over the last 10-12 years… it’s just a big money grubbing government jobs program out there. If they don’t get a fighter base here they’ll apply for grant money to reduce the size of the airport though deconstruction for 20 years… then they’ll expand it again for 20 years and so on and so on. It all just money for public works contracts for favored political donors… need has nothing to do with it.

    (Strongly suggest a tripod for anyone posting anything on YouTube.)

  22. I watched it and came to the conclusion the noise around the airport has decreased since 2004 and it appears the noise reduction has come from a decrease in air traffic. However I am not connecting the video to an argument in favor or against increased air operations at the airport

  23. Henry Wiebe
    Sep 30, 2015, 6:44 pm

    If you have 50% fewer planes flying, how can you expand the noise impact; ie DNL?

    IN the VIDEO:
    The Black contour is from the 2004 study.
    The Yellow contour is from the 2015 study.
    Notice that the yellow DNL 65 stretches north more than the 2004 study. In fact, it stretches to the 2004 60DNL contour line.

    This is important because mathematically this is impossible if the 2004 model is to be believed.

    Flights have have seriously dropped off from 2004 levels; apx 178,000 in 2004 vs apx 112,000 in 2013.

    Another way to say this is the airport isn’t as busy as it was in 2004. If there are fewer planes taking off, then the DNL boundary should be less.

    My conclusion is the model is a joke.

  24. Henry, it’s also possible that the modeling is updated. In 2004 the freeway was not as big as it is now, either – all that flat surface can make already present sounds louder (in addition to the increased freeway traffic). To me, it looks like the contour maps from 2003-2009 are the same – – and only the 2015 map is different, probably an updated study (triggered by the need to estimate the F-15 impact). If the airport traffic decreased from 2003-2009, it’s less important to re-do the study, and the maps were likely just carried over to the next year, since any error would be on the side of ‘less loud’.

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