Need answers from the port | Letters

Are you one of the many people who had no idea the Port of Orcas was considering airport expansion?


• There were no documents in the public library for review (same as with the tree removal).

• There will be no public updates except by email subscription.

• Comments go to the expansion project manager, but who is providing public oversight? Is this FAA protocol?

• All “alternatives” re-route Mount Baker Road through Eastsound Swale to Enchanted Forest Road. How would that affect Lavender Hollow residents, pets, wildlife and walking trails?

• All alternatives except “no-build” remove boat slips from Brandt’s Landing; some take land from residences, hangars and storage units.
• We weren’t told that the tree removal project tied in with the airport expansion plan road re-route; seems obvious now.

• We need a carrying-capacity study and full buildout analysis before the expansion of infrastructure. (We’ve asked the county for 30 years!)

How will the monies be used?

• 10,000 deplanements get the “big” money. (One deplanement = one person departing an aircraft.) Does this data include private and military aircraft? The FAA uses enplanement data to grant monies; is that the same?

• What’s the motive to push for a more than 650-fold increase in FAA monies – from $150,000 a year to $1 million a year? What strings are attached? Who benefits?

• Is there FAA oversight to uphold citizens’ wants if the majority of us don’t want airport expansion?

• Since this expansion is not FAA mandated, why is the port going forward? Are the other islands’ airports also pushing for expansion?

• Is the port obligated to devote equal attention to marine public access, and provide public shower facilities?

• Why do we need customs and border control here? Would this mean “Homeland Security,” I.C.E. agents hunting and harassing our Latino and other immigrant friends and neighbors? Exponential militarization?

• The expansion will have serious land and marine environmental impacts. What restoration (not “mitigation”) is planned? Who will oversee that?

B. Sadie Bailey