Quiet Skies for Idyllwild
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Idyllwild and Pine Cove have long been cherished by visitors and residents alike as tranquil, secluded mountain communities on the forested western slope of Mt. San Jacinto – an area we call “The Hill.” People come here to write, compose music, create art, hike and camp, vacation, retire, or otherwise settle down away from the noise and distraction of Southern California’s cities and traffic.
Recently, new NextGen aircraft flight paths implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration's Southern California Metroplex project have brought our peacefulness to an end. Planes departing eastbound from Los Angeles (LAX) and Ontario (ONT) Airports are now directed by computer algorithms directly over The Hill.
By working through our legislative representatives, we, Quiet Skies Idyllwild, are asking the FAA to re-route air traffic to previously used flight paths over sparsely occupied areas to our south which do not suffer from the unique sound reverberation effects characteristic of The Hill.
The mountain ridges surrounding our communities form a series of natural bowls in which sounds reverberate, particularly jet engine noise from overflights. Planes flying over us (usually 15-30,000 ft.) leave a 60-90 second noise signature and trail of pollution. On a busy day, this can be every 2-3 minutes, or up to 250 flights a day. The daily activities and sleep of our residents and visitors are disturbed around the clock. It didn’t use to be this way!
Yes, the computers save the air carriers gas expenses and reduce carbon footprints by routing their flight paths over The Hill. However, there has been limited consideration of the physics of sound, its impact on human and wildlife quality of life and the special "singing bowl" topography of The Hill.
We are enlisting the support of State, County and Local politicians, media and concerned citizens to establish a dialog with the FAA which will hopefully lead to Quiet Skies again over Idyllwild by re-routing traffic away from The Hill. An important mechanism for this is the creation of a petition drive to demonstrate community support for addressing aircraft noise pollution. Adding your signature on either the paper or online version of this petition will signal to our legislators the seriousness of our request.
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