By Douglas Partello
Residents of our beach communities have been experiencing incredible levels of loud noise from the small aircraft flying low over their communities. Questions are also being raised about the lead levels from the gas powered engines, which use leaded fuel.
Oxnard Airport is under the authority of Ventura County. But, the residents of Oxnard have been negatively impacted by the activity of the airport. With the new developments of Portino, and Teal Club Specific Plan (TCSP), which are in close proximity to the airport, more questions are being raised about health and safety of those future residents, businesses, and light industrial workers.
Now, most of all the flights into and out of Oxnard Airport are “touch and go” landings and take-offs, by student pilots, from other areas. There are no commercial flights originating from OAP now. OAP is operating at a $1.6 million deficit each year. These student pilots are not charged.
Gas powered engine aircraft may create public health risks by containing lead, which comes out in the exhaust. We know some of the severe health risks of lead poisoning by what happened in Flint, MI. Lead additives in auto engines was banned in 1996. But, aviation gas, avgas, is now the primary source of lead emissions. Adding lead boosts octane levels, avoids possible engine “knocking”, improves performance, and safety of some aircraft in flight. The FAA has not been able, after 25 years of study, to come up with a lead replacement.
While they wrestle with that answer, we need to be sure the serious effects of lead poisoning from small gas powered planes are not causing irreversible neurologic, and other health problems to our children, and families. The noise studies that have been done for Oxnard Airport are more than twenty years old, and incomplete. We need lead testing, and a new noise study. The noise abatement procedures for pilots are VOLUNTARY! They often do not follow those recommendations, to mitigate noise in the neighborhoods.
The TCSP and Portino developments should be placed on hold until these studies can be done, and the health and safety of future residents, workers, and business owners can be assured.
36 year Oxnard resident
Founder Oxnard Grassroots Volunteers