Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Declining Service - Bad for Economy, Good for Homeowners

Some may recall my off topic post, a while back on declining regional air service levels.

In that spirit, I offer this link to a USA Today story. It details the drops in domestic scheduled service by state and airport. According to the data, SMF is down 13.2%, and OAK, an alternative used by many in our metro area, is down a whopping 28.5%.

Just to add a housing element to all this, finding out the local traffic pattern of metro area airports is always a good idea. My apartment in D.C. was just under the approach path into National Airport. There were times when I couldn't hear the person I was talking to on the phone because it was so loud.

In particular you want to look at the noise contours. These are typically available in the environmental studies associated with an airport. For instance see here, for Mather airport noise info, which affects many communities along the 50. If you are buying a home near an airport, its also a good idea to look at an airport's master plan to see their growth projections, and the type of air traffic they allow (commercial, general aviation, cargo).


RV6Flyer said...

I know this is off topic too, but I must rant:

"finding out the local traffic pattern of metro area airports is always a good idea"

So I am a big time general aviation nut, really it is my biggest passion. I have built and restored airplanes, raced at Reno, and helped build airport communities.
With background established, onto my rant.

Please do not buy a house next to an airport then bitch about the noise. Every year community airports are shutdown because people build/buy houses next to a little airport, then complain like their lives depend on it about the noise and risk of living next to an airport. Almost every aerobatic box has been closed because people bitch about the scary airplane doing loops and rolls over the middle of nothing. They think we are dangerous and are going to crash into their house. I HATE these ignorant selfish people and do not want to lose another airport to them. Please do your homework.

alba said...

How do homebuilders get away with developing land under the main traffic corridor of a regional airport? I lived in Scottsdale, which has a very busy airport. Beautiful private jets take off and land just about every minute. Yet, the land northeast of the airport is filled with newer housing; directly under the take-off/landing path...and many complaining homeowners.

Buying Time said...

RV6Flyer (now I get the name!) I never understood this phenomenon either. There is a reason those homes are cheaper than other surrounding areas (although this applies more to regional airports as opposed to general aviation)! (in economist speak, it's called a negative externality, which is then reflected in the purchase price of the home)

Alba - I know that at Washington Dulles, which was built many years ago, and development has since followed...they make the new development homeowners sign that they won't bring lawsuits etc. The homes are extra noise insulated etc.

Husmanen said...

As a kid growing up in Cameron Park the planes were a fascination. As an adult the distant hum of the motors are very nostalgic and pleasant. We used to watch them take off and land for fun, then ride our bikes on the runway, that was before the fences.

When we moved back to the area my wife thought they were annoying, then after a short while she too found them enjoyable.

But of course the Cameron Park Airport is not Mather or SMF.

PeonInChief said...

When the Sacramento International Airport was built, it was in the middle of nowhere. Really. I remember going to see it when it opened, driving through fields of nothing. Then the house farms took over, and the flight paths of the airport were directly over some of the houses. Bad planning.

In the Bay Area, both SF and Oakland's airports are next to the Bay, so planes mostly come in over water. But those airports also shift the flight paths to different neighborhoods, as people complain about the noise, so that everyone gets a little noise, but no one neighborhood gets it all the time.