Suppport or oppose expanding Gwinnett airport?

Worried about increased noise and traffic, about 400 people stayed late at the Gwinnett County courthouse in Lawrenceville to tell commissioners they do not want operations at the airport expanded to include commercial service, AJC staffer Patrick Fox reports.

Supporters of the idea, including the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, have said a small-scale commercial airport would provide a convenient alternative to Hartsfield-Jackson and produce thousands of jobs.

What do you say?

95 comments Add your comment

Bill

September 22nd, 2010
5:05 am

We need a 2nd airport, it needs to be in the northern part of the city. Why can’t PDK be expanded? If not Briscoe is a viable number 3, but what about Athens?

M.R.

September 22nd, 2010
6:03 am

These protesters are a mob of knee-jerk reactionaries, screaming and shouting before the facts regarding the airport plans are known. I say let the investigation and due diligence continue. Once the information is in hand, THEN either support or oppose it. What they are doing now is acting from ignorance.

Charles

September 22nd, 2010
6:14 am

Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what the public thinks. We had a MUCH larger crowd, plus every relevant county, state and federal agency fighting the building of a trash transfer station adjacent to a Catholic Church in a residential area of Norcross, but Bannister, Lasseter and an old buddy of theirs won the vote. Facts and citizen sentiments have no place in these decisions – whatever Bannister and his friends want will happen. Enjoy the new flight path Grayson, Sugar Hill, etc.!

Joe

September 22nd, 2010
6:16 am

Interesting to see all the Bannister Bunch supporters campaigning so hard for this.

Paul Pine

September 22nd, 2010
6:25 am

The transformation of the airport from a sleepy little general aviation airport into a commercial airport serving the residents of the region, providing true point to point travel is a real blessing for all. It will most likely bring low cost travel to Atlanta with direct connections to the desired locations. Easy parking and quick access to aircraft through what we hope will be a well designed, state of the art terminal facility.

Having personally seen the effects of turning general aviation airports like White Plains Airport in Westchester County NY into a commercial airport has had exactly the opposite effects the protestors are worried about. Property values have increased, noise is not an issue and the quality of life for the residents who live near the airport improved.

Perhaps the local residents would be best served by the locally elected officials if they actually went out to see what effects this type of planned grown really has on a community and support with measurable facts.

Paul.

Jackson

September 22nd, 2010
6:55 am

Paul is right. The economic engine of a regional airport north of Atlanta would be a benefit for all. The area near Brisco Field is not exactly a boomtown today – why not give this a chance.

USMC2841

September 22nd, 2010
6:57 am

The infrastructure simply is not there. Atlanta airport works because of the 285, 85, 75 trifecta. 316 is already a log jam because of the residential neighborhoods that are opposed to this. I don’t think affluent families are going to stick around while The board of commissioners continues to ignore them. They’ll take their jobs and money elsewhere, but Gwinnett seems bent on becoming the next welfare county. Maybe the local government can use it as a crooked jobs program rife with corruption and nepotism like the other airport. All this so a few rednecks can fly in on Friday to catch a bullfrog game.

Elliot Garcia

September 22nd, 2010
7:03 am

If you build it, they will come….

Frank

September 22nd, 2010
7:08 am

Atlanta is the Only Major Metropolitan Area without two (2) Airports…do we really want it in Cobb County…No we want it in Gwinnett!!!

The infrastructure is already there…that is why Fed Ex and UPS moved their Distribution Facilities to Gwinnett!!!

TiredofExploitation

September 22nd, 2010
7:13 am

I do not agree with the airport expansion. But then again I did not agree with the Waste Management changes and that was done against residents choice as well.

Acting on the good of the community or the good of your benefits?
Commissioners need to be tapped on the shoulder and given the Pink slip!

Traffic on SR 316 is already a big mess due to out of sync traffic lights. Traffic on the streets surrounding the airport are already a big mess due to out of sync traffic lights and desperate drivers avoiding SR 316. There are now one too many residential homes within 10 mile radius of the airport.

Daniel

September 22nd, 2010
7:16 am

We live about 1 mile from Briscoe Field and I can’t wait for commercial flights. A 5 minute drive, true low-cost carriers with point to point service, small security lines, easy parking, an economic engine that will create jobs and economic viability in the area? Who wants that?

I wish those protesters would zip it about the jet noise. The noisiest things flying out of there today are two twin engine props that fly for Qwest Diagnostics, and they are painfully loud. Jets would be an improvement! The most likely jets to fly in would be Canadair Regional Jets and Next Generation Boeing 737 700 and 800 series. Those jets have very quiet engines and less emissions than when compared to aircraft in the past two decades. Those folks should go sit outside at the Flying Machine restaurant at Briscoe and they would figure out it’s not as bad as they think. Some people just want something to bitch about.

Charles, Grayson and Sugar Hill are not in the flight path. They are nowhere near, actually. Please learn how to read a map. Duluth, Dacula and Lawrenceville would be most affected.

Airport Supporter

September 22nd, 2010
7:16 am

These uneducated and misinformed folks have never seen the inside of an airport before let alone an airplane. Atlanta needs a second airport badly. Imagine Southwest, JetBlue flying into the area and reducing the overall cost of travel. Build the airport Bannister! Or put it on a ballot and it will get passed by the Gwinnett residents-guaranteed!

Robert

September 22nd, 2010
7:24 am

Well, I hope I can get the price I want for my house under the flight path. I for one am against the noise. I hear a small jet around 4:30 a.m. firing up to take off and I am only about a mile and a half away now. Can you imagine 737’s! Anyone supporting the expansion want to buy a house?

Dennis

September 22nd, 2010
7:25 am

Airport expansion and/or sale is not in the best interest to the citizians of Gwinnett. The air polution and additional polution of 316 will decrease the quality of life.

Mike

September 22nd, 2010
7:31 am

I fully support expansion of the airport. Whatever it takes to get it done, it should get done. These residents who are so paranoid about noise, pollution, etc. don’t realize that this world is full of noise and pollution wherever you go.

Lawrenceville Traveller

September 22nd, 2010
7:33 am

Paul Pine: What are you smokin’ buddy? Large passenger jets flying over our houses is not a “blessing” as you naively put it. I grew up five miles from such a “small scale” commercial airport and it was pure hell. Jets would fly so low overhead we could wave to the pilots if we dared remove fingers from our ears. Late night redirections of additional flights from other weather affected airports was common. Sleep was often disturbed.

No Paul, it is a curse! A veritable pox on all our houses, and an irreversible one at that (although I imagine the New York investors behind it will sleep rather well)

David

September 22nd, 2010
7:40 am

It is not difficult to see what kind of noise the surrounding area will enjoy(?) if you have an airport with commercial jet liners. Go and see Queens in NYC, where it has the La Guardia Airport.
The area 4-5 miles away from the airport still has significant level of noise that disrupts your conversation.

Dave

September 22nd, 2010
8:03 am

They should allow this to happen. Hartsfield is a pain to fly out of starting with the drive through Atlanta. I get tempted to fly out of Greenville. The west side of ATlanta goes to Birmingham for Southwest Airlines. Listen to Clark Howard as he does to.
This would benefit the whole area as people from Dekalb, Fulton, Hall Barrow, Clarke, Walton, and further away would embrace this as a better airport. If we don’t do it, sooner or later Cobb will!

Josh

September 22nd, 2010
8:25 am

Cobb can have it! Let them live on a blighted area.

David

September 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

As a frequent flyer myself, I understand the need for a second commercial airport in the Atlanta area.
But the quality of life is also an important issue to the families who are living in the surrounding area of that airport. And those families have right to claim for it.

arrdon

September 22nd, 2010
8:39 am

YEA or NAY Gwinnett citizens; remember the garbage carrier debacle! The Gwinnett Commission is accustomed to doing exactly what they want, regardless of what you want. It’s time to put these people on the leash. The day has come and gone when you can elect ‘em and forget ‘em. They are OUR EMPLOYEES, not our masters. Toss ‘em out!!!

Not Blind

September 22nd, 2010
8:48 am

Too bad everybody was asleep during the ball field mess. There was an election during that mess and informed voting would have put most of this BOC out on their backsides. Instead Gwinnett voted them back in which the boc then took as a green light to continue screwing the taxpayers.

for the airport

September 22nd, 2010
8:49 am

There are very few wealthy familes in Gwinett, most are just over extended rednecks thinking they are wealthy but they are not so I would not worry about any wealth leaving the county.

As for quality of life the same idiots in Gwinett voted against MARTA expansion or any similiar measure so the county is already basically a freeway with houses either side so I dn’t see how a bigger airport can make it any worse.

Lets expand the airport and link it with Hartsfield by a train and bring Atlanta up to being a modern efficient city. If the Gwinett rednecks don’t like it they can more their trailes to Hall County right? They have wheels…………..

Sheila Adaire

September 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

I live within the flight path of Briscoe Field and am knocked out of bed many mornings by corporate jets flying too low when taking off. If that is not bad enough, the traffic on GA 316 is already a nightmare in the morning and evening! It is a parking lot at Collins Hill, Winder Hwy and GA 20. If this expansion of the airport is allowed to happen along with the commercial enterprises that will pop up around it. There is no way we will be able to get to work or get home. This is an ill conceived and GREEDY idea from a county government that has chosen to increase revenue over cutting spending many times over to the detriment of its taxpayers. Anyone that votes for this should be voted out of office. Problem is, they will lie to get elected or re-elected and we will all pay the price. Instead of thinking with $$$, citizens should think of what they would do if the homes they live in were being subjected to devaluation, pollution and loss of quality of life in an already depressed market. Maybe if they did, they would not hit the “YES” button when the question comes up.

Charles in Charge

September 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

Hey Daniel – I’ve been in avaition since I flew in Vietnam. Yes, I keep up with my industry pretty well, and there’s a 99% chance that Sugar Hill and Grayson (among others in those areas) will be directly affected by this. Hey, I know – let’s just play politics and dismiss those of us that are actually informed and involved as the naysaying clueless – it has always worked in the past to bully Gwinnett taxpayers!

Joe

September 22nd, 2010
8:57 am

What the heck – let’s turn this over to an impartial grand jury like the stadium investigation was. Never mind that a Chamber of Commerce person that helped to put the deal together was allowed to be the co-foreman. Trust county government? Sure – why not? Look at the great job they did with the trash pickup debacle, buying overpriced useless land from their friends, putting trash transfer stations in residential neighborhoods, etc. They have helped with the full employment of lawyers throughout Gwinnett – by suing us.

Janice

September 22nd, 2010
8:59 am

A lot of you in Gwinnett are already to blame for the reason your area has such bad polution and congestion! You all live in too big houses (you can’t afford in Atlanta) and moved to Gwinett to get them rather than be practical and live within your means. Then you vote against any alternative transport, and guess what? all the other gready rednecks with small incomes do the same and now the county is basically one land tract with vinyl sided homes.

As others have said this is not about selfish local interests in Gwinnett its about breaking the stranglehold of Delta and high cost flights in GA.

You should all look at yourselves for the quality of life you have created in Gwinett.

sean

September 22nd, 2010
9:01 am

Bring it to Athens

Jonathan

September 22nd, 2010
9:02 am

Isn’t Gwinnett the same county that voted Deal over Handle in the run offs?

You reap what you sow when it comes to elected crooked politicians.

Vince

September 22nd, 2010
9:06 am

Expanding the airport would essentially be condemning Dacula and Lawrenceville. Who would want to live directly under the landing or take off patterns? Dacula Middle, High and Elementary as well as Dyer Elementary are directly in line with the runway and only a couple of miles from the airport. Gwinnett Medical also would be directly under the patterns.

In the last 30 years the area within 2 miles of the airport has filled in with very nice subdivisions and expensive homes. These people moved to the area for the quality of life, which they still enjoy. Some people stupidly claim, “well they moved near an airport, what did they expect?” That argument is so idiotic that it defies logic. It is like saying, “You moved close to a country store, you should have expected it to turn into a mall.”

I grew up in Forest Park so I know very well what airport expansion can do to an area. The entire community of Mountain View had to be bought out and is just wasteland now. That land is about as close to Hartsfield as Dacula is to Briscoe.

So you think….Briscoe will not be as busy as Hartsfield. Okay, take a look at Chamblee, Doraville and Peachtree Dekalb Airport. The area around PDK is depressed and rundown. Also, once large jets are approved for landing at Briscoe it would only be a matter of time before applications would get approved for more jets, larger jets and 24 hour operation.

If Gwinnett goes ahead with the expansion then hopefully they will buy out the homes within two or three miles of the airport and avoid the years of expensive litigation that forced the buyout of the homes near Hartsfield.

Larry

September 22nd, 2010
9:06 am

We need two airports in Atlanta to provide some competition and relieve congestion at Hartsfield. Atlanta is the only major city in the country that doesn’t have two airports. I say the time is now to get another one. Lawrenceville, Winder-Barrow or Athens. These are great locations.

stefan

September 22nd, 2010
9:10 am

All people who opose expansion of the airport should sign an agreement that they and their families will never use any other airports in GA .I know that having an airport near your house create some disconfort but same things happend near EVERY COMMERCIAL AIRPORT.

Josh

September 22nd, 2010
9:13 am

Hmmm. If having an airport in your backyard is soooo desirable, why aren’t other communities lobbying hard to bring it to their doorstep? Why aren’t they offering financial incentives to attract it?

Nope, All I hear are crickets.

Vince

September 22nd, 2010
9:17 am

@Jonathan

You most likely are aware that MANY Democrats in Gwinnett and elsewhere voted for Deal in the run off with the hopes he would be the weaker candidate against Barnes. Gwinnett voted for Handel in the primary.

Janice

September 22nd, 2010
9:37 am

Vince the average sq ft value of a house by PDK is close to triple that of the sq ft value of a house near Briscoe. Also the area near PDK is much nicer than you think and has change drastically over the last decade. A new build of the same size is way more expensive near PDK. Go take a look. The few remaining poor immigrant familes that remain in the the zip code will soon be following the rest to cheaper digs in Gwinnett and their apartments knokced down. Sorry but this is true :)

I agree with you that part of this should be to buy out the homes impacted by the change.

KA

September 22nd, 2010
9:46 am

I am opposed to any airport expansion. Our house would be in a fight path of any larger aircraft, and further erode what once was pastoral peace. When we built our home in Dacula in 1984 highway 316 ended at hwy 29. We drove 10 miles to Lawrenceville for groceries. There were only 300 students in the elementary and middle school and about 200 students in the high school. Life was Good. Then PROGRESS came and 316 was extended to Athens and it became the UGA speedway. Hundreds of neighborhoods were built in across the eastern half of the county, including Lawrenceville, Buford, Dacula and Grayson and all unincorporated areas of former farmlands. If some of you posters think the area is populated mostly by ignorant rednecks, well you are the ignorant ones. Gwinnett is populated by many mid-westerners and northerners who moved from their economically depressed states to Georgia because of the opportunities here. There are a lot of educated, professionals who work in Gwinnett and Atlanta. Gwinnett is populated by many who lived ITP and hated the high taxes and crummy schools and moved OTP to Gwinnett where they could buy twice the home with half the taxes, and send their kids to great schools. We are not ignorant dirtballs. Excuse me if we don’t want to approve expansion of the airport where the larger aircraft would be departing and approaching the airport over thousands of homes. I think if the Atlanta metro area builds another airport it should go in Jackson County where the housing boom busted and there is plenty of land to be had. Gwinnett commissioners are a greedy self-serving lot who disdain the eastern side of the county. We already suffer with overburdened roads, and now they want to clog them more and ruin our neighborhoods with the noise and pollution of low flying planes. NO, NO, NO to the Airport Expansion!!!!!!

Vince

September 22nd, 2010
9:51 am

@Janice

ummm…. I work in the area near PDK so I know it well. The homes in my subdivision (about two miles north of Briscoe), average 3500 sq ft. The homes in nearby The Fielding are about the same size. Homes in nearby Rivershyre are probably a little larger…close to 4000 sq ft…as are the subdivisions in The Apalachee Country Club area. Those subdivisions alone most likely account for close to 3000 homes. There are several smaller subdivisons with MUCH larger homes, including the acreage homes along Hood Road that average well over 5,000 sq ft.

Where are all of the 12,000 sq ft homes in Doraville you are talking about???

Paul Pine

September 22nd, 2010
9:56 am

Lawrenceville Traveller, I hear and appreciate your comments. I am not sure how long ago, or where you used to live, but today the new generation boeing and airbus aircraft a much quieter than in years past.

Paul.

Vince

September 22nd, 2010
9:57 am

For those of you who actually live in Gwinnett and think the airport expansion would be a good idea….. look at the proposal. It requires improved infrastructure to be paid for by local funds. The small country type roads near Briscoe would have to vastly improved and new interchanges built along 316.

Also, think about the potential costs of having to relocate schools that are too close to the airport. The new Dyer Elementary sits about a mile from the end of the runway and right under the flight path.

Vince

September 22nd, 2010
9:58 am

Enter your comments here

KA

September 22nd, 2010
10:18 am

Janice, From your comments it is clear you know NOTHING about the neighborhoods that would be affected by the expansion of the airport. And you appear ignorant about flight paths of aircraft that would be approaching and departing the airport. It’s not just the houses ‘near’ Briscoe, it’s the houses in the 5-7 mile radius out from the airport that would be negatively impacted by noise and air pollution. Former County Commissioner Wayne Hill and his commissioner cronies were responsible for the failure to plan for eastern Gwinnett when they allowed the development of hundreds of neighborhoods. They could have bought up enough farmland years ago to build a proper airport with associated retail and industrial surrounds, and away from residential areas. Hill is gone, but Bannister is just the same with his back room deals with developers, and failure to plan comprehensively. Cart before the horse here. Expansion of Briscoe Field is a bad decision all around.

Lawrenceville Traveller

September 22nd, 2010
10:21 am

Paul, Sorry if I came across as testy earlier. You see, I’ve lived through this before and have no desire to do it again. Granted the newer jets are quieter (assuming that the budget airlines will be flying new jets. Wanna bet?), but the sad fact is that the standard of house construction here makes no allowance for thunderous overhead noise. You might be spared the din if you move underground – but who wants to live in their basement?

And it won’t just be our homes that are affected. ALL of our precious places: Our churches, hospitals, schools and libraries will be under constant attack. We may be able to soundproof a little, but it’s going to cost us BIG.

Drurden

September 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

I’ve lived here for 20 years. We need this. Lawrenceville is only going to get worse if we donlt get the money to improve infrastructure. By privatizing and expanded the airport, our greatest resource, we can have the funds to deal with our growth and keep Gwinnett from becoming one big Memorial Drive. Those in opposition seem to be longing for a Lawrenceville that no longer exists. Its time for them to move to Winder.

This sounds like a Nathan Deal deal to me

September 22nd, 2010
11:01 am

Why pick a partner and then do a study to see if it is a good thing to do. Sounds like the Good Ol’ Boys on the Gwinnett Commission are sitting pretty to make a lot of money off of this deal for themselves and their cronies. I guess since the land purchases are on hold, political paybacks have to be made somehow. Lay out all of the secret talks and back slapping deals to the public and make it completely open and people might go for it. But as along a Banister and his band of crooks are involved I would not trust anything they said or did.

David

September 22nd, 2010
11:03 am

Once we have the commercial airliners come to Lawerenceville it won’t just be Lawrenceville being affected by the noise and pollution of those jets. Winder, Grayson, Duluth,…. pretty much everywhere within 10-15 miles radius from the airport.

Build It

September 22nd, 2010
11:04 am

Atlanta has outgrown Hartsfield and it must add another major airport. While I feel sympathy for the people who currently live in the flight path, the majority’s needs are much greater here. It will absolutely bring new job, new business, new construction, and fair airline competition with it. ATL must step up and build for the future.

Steven

September 22nd, 2010
11:24 am

Let’s take a good hard look at some of this economic development shall we?

The Gwinnett County Commissioners, and particularly Banister, are all in it for their self serving personal agenda. Remember the land deals for public parks? What about other questionable deals like McGinnis Ferry extension across I-85? How about the Gwinnett Braves baseball stadium? The Library at Hamilton Mill? The brand new state of the art fire stations with security barriers because they cannot afford to staff them? Duncan Creek Park artificial turf? What about the Garbage Collection that we didn’t want or need? I loved my provider. Now I don’t have a choice and absolutely hate them.

OK, these are things that have occurred. Remember the proposed outer loop that was shelved because it was disclosed that numerous government officials were redirecting the routes to align with property that they had an interest in? Have you seen where there is a proposed route is for the Sugarloaf Extension? Why, it goes right through the same path across I-85 between Georgia Highway 20 and Hamilton Mill Road, crossing I-985, and going all the way to Peachtree Ind. Boulevard. Do you think these are mere coincidences? These people are getting very wealthy and they are doing so at the taxpayer’s expense. Why do we need the Sugarloaf Extension to wrap around and come all the way back up through the Mall of Georgia?

Are you aware there is a multi-county initiative underway to place on the 2012 ballot a 1 cent sales tax to support a regional public transportation initiative? Are you aware that it has been also proposed that for many years, the transportation system will be subsidized by the tax payers? What have these systems done for any county they have managed to touch? Are you aware that it isn’t only Gwinnett County that gets a vote on whether we pay the tax, but other counties like Fulton and DeKalb? There is a reason we moved out here, and it has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with quality of life. But no matter how far out we move, it’s not enough. When I was growing up, people moved to I-285 to escape. Now, it’s a good 20+ miles outside of I-285.

Gwinnett County has had a historical pattern of reckless spending over the past 30 years. Gwinnett, you better wake up and take a good hard look at what is going on around you. As for Briscoe Field? H3LL NO! In fact, we’re absolutely sick and tired of having to say NO! What part don’t you understand? WE DON’T WANT IT, and no amount of discussion or attempted persuasion will change our mind about it.

budman

September 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

Gwinnett, county at one time was a nice place to live. Now all I hear are ” gangs ” grow houses, meth amphetamine and one of the largest selection of illegal immigrants next to Cobb County.
With the county government of Gwinnett county, y’all are screwed.!! They have needed a second airport in this hick town for 30 years. They will put it there, right under your noses, and start running B-727s!!! been a pilot since Vietnam ,and you put a big un like a 727 in a good cross wind and he will sound like he is landing in your front yard. Why is the surrounding area of Hartsfield a ghost town ? What can’t hear you!!! there’s a GD 727 on short final.

Airport supporter in Dacula

September 22nd, 2010
11:34 am

Some of the comments I am reading here are laughable. Too many people who think they know all the facts, but are only mis-representing the truth. If you believe everything people like “Vince” say, you would think we’re going to have 30 747’s landing every day- please. We’re talking about 8-10 gates. I live in Dacula, and I have very few concerns about the expansion. The aircraft used today are not that loud, and engine technology today minimizes pollution. The tax revenue that would be generated from this project is a huge deal for Gwinnett. There would be plenty of money available to make the infrastructure improvements necessary to the 316 interchanges that have desperately needed it for years. Those changes will never happen unless Gwinnett finds another way to generate tax revenue. In case you’ve all been living in a hole the last 2 years, property taxes aren’t going to get it done anymore.

I fly to White Plains, NY regularly for business. That airport was taken private by the same outfit(Propeller) that is offering to run Briscoe. If all you “objectors” had been to White Plains (Westchester County) and seen how that community has prospered and embraced the change, you might have a different attitude. It was done right up there, and it can be done right down here. Briscoe wouldn’t be nearly as busy as White Plains (alternate airport for NYC and Hartford, CT), and these “quality of life issues” you speak of are non-issues up there. Beautiful surroundings with neghborhoods, country clubs, and corporate offices all around- look it up on Google Maps if you don’t believe me.

This is a good thing, people- get over yourselves and find something else more productive to complain about.

Diana Stolle

September 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

We definitely would like to see this. Hartsfield has been a jungle of an airport and to have an airport in Gwinnett would be a God send…….

It would be ideal for all those living on the North side and provide a less stressful traveling experience on domestic flights.