- Tim ErnsterCity Manager
- William KerwinSedona Airport Authority Board President
- Kathryn B. ThomsonChief Counsel FAA
- Steve PierceArizona State Legislature
- Arizona Governor
- Ann KirkpatrickUS Rep.
- Rowle P. Simmons, Vice-ChairmanYavapai County Supervisor District 1
- Craig BrownMember District 4 Supervisor
- Barbara Litrell, Jessica Williamson, John Martinez, Dan McIlroy, Mike Ward, Mark DiNunzioSedona City Council
- Ken PottsADOT PLANNING GRANT MANAGER
- Nancy WileyADOT GRANT MANAGER
- Francisco ValenzuelaUS Forest Service, Director of Recreation Region 3
- Sybil I. SmithCommunity Liasion- Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality
- Chip DavisYavapai County District 3 Supervisor- Vice-Chairman
- Thomas ThurmanYavapai County District 2 Supervisor- Chairman
- Karen FannArizona State Legislature
- A TobinArizona State Legislature
- David CushingFAA Airport Compliance Officer
- Rob AdamsMayor of Sedona
- Mark GuanFAA PROGRAM MANAGER for Sedona
- Kristi RegottiFAA ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST For Sedona
- Darlene WilliamsFAA AIRPORT PLANNER for Sedona
- Holly HawkinsADOT AIRPORT ENGINEER
- Steven MaukYavapai County Development Services Director
Stop Jet Fuel Dumping! Save the Sedona Sanctuary
To preserve Sedona, the health and safety of citizens, property values and the economic viability of the City of Sedona. Sedona is the site of illegal jet fuel dumping at low altitude over homes and Oak Creek. This has resulted in cancer and deaths in young people including liver cancer, as well as other serious health problems; people are being slowly murdered in their own homes by business jet pilots! Sedona Citizens have high levels of jet fuel in their blood!
Many Sedona homeowners lack peaceful enjoyment of their homes, the Sedona Airport Master Plan illegally classified some neighborhoods as "mostly forest land" because the Day Night Noise Level was at it maximum allowable level for this noise sensitive area back in 1997.
Less people are willing to come here to recreate and those who do leave quickly. Sedona has high levels of lead in the air due to the leaded av gas used in airplanes, the fumes from planes and jets collect in basin areas and have no way to evacuate. Children in Sedona have extremely high lead levels and are being chelated. Sedona citizens are suffering ill health and death from the airport. No one deserves to be murdered in their own home. The FAA, AZDEQ, EPA, CDC, City, County Commissioners, Congressman Gosar, refuse to help. The Airport needs to be closed now and relocated! NO MORE JET FUEL DUMPING AND VENTING OVER HOMES! NO MORE LEAD POISONING!
- City Manager
- Sedona Airport Authority Board President
- Chief Counsel FAA
Kathryn B. Thomson
- Arizona State Legislature
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Senate
- Arizona State House
- Arizona State Senate
- Arizona Governor
- US Rep.
- Yavapai County Supervisor District 1
Rowle P. Simmons, Vice-Chairman
- Member District 4 Supervisor
- Sedona City Council
Barbara Litrell, Jessica Williamson, John Martinez, Dan McIlroy, Mike Ward, Mark DiNunzio
- ADOT PLANNING GRANT MANAGER
- ADOT GRANT MANAGER
- US Forest Service, Director of Recreation Region 3
- Community Liasion- Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality
Sybil I. Smith
- Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor- Vice-Chairman
- Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor- Chairman
- Arizona State Legislature
- Arizona State Legislature
- FAA Airport Compliance Officer
- Mayor of Sedona
- FAA PROGRAM MANAGER for Sedona
- FAA ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST For Sedona
- FAA AIRPORT PLANNER for Sedona
- ADOT AIRPORT ENGINEER
- Yavapai County Development Services Director
I just signed the following petition addressed to: City of Sedona, Yavapai County Commissioners & Development Services, US Forest Service, FAA, EPA, AZDEQ, Ann Kirkpatrick, John McCain, Arizona State Senate, ADOT,
To: The City of Sedona, Coconino and Yavapai County Commissioners, Arizona State Senate, Arizona Governor-Jan Brewer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, US Forest Service, FAA, EPA, Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority, US House of Representatives, Timeshares located in Sedona.
The Citizens of Sedona and visitors, hereby petition the above mentioned entities, agencies, businesses and any other concerned agencies and officials.
Whereas, the people of Sedona are being exposed to jet fuel dumping at low altitude on a regular basis. Jet fuel dumping is illegal, extremely dangerous to those directly below, causing death and cancer and other serious diseases;
Whereas, the Sedona Airport has a runway that is too short, with a high density altitude, leaving many business class jets no choice but to dump fuel if they want to land;
Whereas, Sedona is a unique land, with exquisite natural beauty in a park like setting, home to ten thousand people, wildlife and a world renowned destination for millions of visitors annually and whereas Sedona is a noise sensitive area, we recognize the need to retain the peace and character of Sedona and preserve the history and natural beauty the Sedona area provides us.
We demand the Sedona Airport be immediately closed and moved to other land away from our homes and park land.
We demand clean air to breath free of jet fuel dumping and high levels of aircraft exhaust containing lead;
We demand the Sedona Airport pay for the wrongful deaths of cancer, medical bills of cancer victims, damages to those exposed to jet fuel dumping, heavy metal urine challenges and lead chelation therapy of those living here between 2006 and the present;
We demand peaceful enjoyment of our homes and yards, US Forest Land adjoining Sedona which is inside the US Forest Service Amendment 12 area and US Wilderness areas near Sedona, Arizona and in support of this state as follows:
Sedona citizens have smelled jet fuel emitted after business jets come in for a landing and experience extremely high blood pressure, racing pulses, liver pain and liver spasms for days as a direct result of jet fuel dumping. Smelling jet fuel means one is being exposed to levels that are beyond the dangerous and carcinogenic levels. Sedona citizens have high levels of jet fuel in their blood. Hydrocarbons are volatile and dissipate quickly. Sedona citizens have liver pain, liver spasms, elevated liver enzymes, liver cancer, biliary cancer, and other cancers and health problems from breathing jet fuel. The Volatile Organic Solvents in jet fuel are metabolized through the liver.
As per the Sedona Airport Master Plan, Chapter 6, the Day Night noise levels in the neighborhood(s) off the end of the runaway in 1997 were at the legally allowable maximum of 55. At this time air traffic was significantly lower and no jet aircraft were able to take off and land in Sedona. No further impact studies have been done since 1997. As the Day Night Noise level was 55 in 1997, it is beyond the legally allowable limits now. Since the Airport is closely surrounded by residential neighborhoods, residents near the Airport are impacted by its operations. The primary interest of the neighboring community is to live in an area free from the negative impacts of the Airport, such as jet fuel dumping, air pollution, lead pollution, noise pollution, property devaluation and provide tourists the experience of peace they are looking for on a vacation.
The Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority, without public approval and against the Sedona Community Master Plan, extended the runway at the Sedona airport with money from DHS to make Sedona a strategic military point of operations. This changed the characteristics and use of the airport from that of a local, small town airport, into a jet port with increasing traffic, noise and pollution putting Sedona Citizens lives at risk.
Homeowners and citizens routinely suffer under decibel levels exceeding 100. The Sedona Airport currently has more than 35,000 air events annually down from a high of 79,000 air events. Busy days at the airport number in the several hundred air events per day.
The Sedona Airport is not a strategic military point of operations; Sedona is located beneath a military airbase in Flagstaff. The Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority has a goal of becoming the largest private jetport in the southwest; our town cannot handle more jet or airplane traffic. To place a jetport inside Sedona is wrong and it simply does not belong here. Cathedral Rock and Red Rock Crossing are in the flight path of the Sedona Airport.
The Airport Mesa requires planes to power up on takeoff due to the down draft planes must counteract. This additional required power creates more noise over neighborhoods on takeoff to the detriment of those who live near the runway.
During high tourist season it is common to live with take offs and landings every minute all day long, resulting in unending exposure to high decibels levels, stress, high levels of lead in the air from AV gas, and other petro chemicals from jets. Many Sedona citizens are home all day during airport operations because they are retired or work at home.
Stress from high noise levels near airports has been proven to increase strokes and heart attacks and cause overall diminished health and quality of life. Stress leaves the body open to all forms of disease. Air craft noise is an unnatural noise that the body cannot adapt to. The Sedona Airport has a curfew in place to operate only during certain hours but pilots routinely fail to observe the posted hours of operation and land at late hours of the night and leave at early hours of the morning, waking up sleeping citizens.
FAA guidelines state that: pilots are to depart residential areas and get away as quickly as possible to minimize impacts to residents. In Sedona, sightseeing inside our parks and neighborhoods is the norm, not the exception. The Airport calls itself, “a highway into Sedona.” Sedona citizens deserve to live without a highway above their heads. No other small town is subject to the extremely high levels of sightseeing inside their residential neighborhoods and park lands; Sedona is nearly as popular as the Grand Canyon itself.
When the Sedona Airport was built no one imagined or planned for the millions of people that would visit Sedona every year or commercial aircraft sightseeing. This airport was ill conceived by lay people without proper planning for the future. Two men simply decided to build themselves a runway strip to land their planes; in today’s society this would be illegal. The result has been that Sedona has suffered under this mistake for decades and continues to suffer; that mistake needs to be corrected now.
These aircraft fly along Oak Creek and over million dollar homes in Back o Beyond, Red Rock Crossing, La Merra, Smoke Trail Ranch, Cross Creek Ranch, Cup of Gold Estates, Eagle Mountain Ranch and other private undeveloped land which cannot be developed due to noise. These estate areas are much noisier than downtown Sedona. Many homes have been vacated due to excessive noise and the owners have left Sedona.
Crescent Moon Recreation area is a world famous park on the bank of Oak Creek in front of Cathedral Rock; this area is called Red Rock Crossing. Despite FAA restrictions against flights over parks, Crescent Moon is subject to an unending barrage of helicopters and aircraft sightseeing around the park and rocks. In one of the most beautiful places in the world, the noise is so loud you cannot hear the person next to you speak; most locals no longer visit Crescent Moon. People come from all over the United States and the world to visit Crescent Moon Park and see Cathedral Rock.
Cathedral Rock is an icon for the Sedona area and this park receives most of the air traffic and noise from the Sedona Airport. People have a reasonable expectation to peaceful enjoyment at a park, especially one of the most beautiful and famous parks in the world.
These helicopters and aircraft routinely fly very close to the rocks and below the top of the rocks and between the spires, failing to meet height restrictions on flights; hikers are on these rocks.
Helicopters in Sedona fly inside US Forest Land on the boundary of US Wilderness. The noise from the helicopters carries into the Wilderness Area. Helicopters fly close to Indian Ruins on US Forest Service Land and vibrate them to pieces, destroying cultural heritage. The US Forest Service has been powerless to stop helicopters because this is the jurisdiction of the FAA.
Timeshares in Sedona give away free helicopter flights to people for coming to a Timeshare presentation. These free flights hurt our town and disturb our peaceful enjoyment. We petition the timeshare companies in Sedona to stop giving away free helicopter flights.
The noise from the airport disturbs wildlife in Sedona, US Forest Land and Wilderness areas. Animals can be seen running from helicopter noise.
Noise is costing the City of Sedona money from lost tourism, decreased property values and a lower quality of life. While a few people fly in the air, the enjoyment of those few is at the expense of the many. Most tourists stay in Sedona only one or two days, and often cancel vacations and leave early due to noise and the resultant inability to enjoy peace and quiet on their vacations.
Lead is emitted into the air from leaded aviation gasoline. 79,000 flights from single piston aircraft equals .7 tons of lead dropped into the surrounding airspace. Lead causes a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk. Damages to children from lead are permanent and life long. This lead has been found to leach into ground water supplies around airports over time. Sedona children have extremely high lead levels and are being chelated.
Children and adults living in the Red Rock Loop area have been tested for heavy metals and found to have extremely high levels of lead in their bodies. Children and adults in the Red Rock Loop area also suffer from respiratory distress from jet aircraft operations.
Lead emitted from aircraft using leaded aviation gasoline (avgas) is currently the largest source of lead in air in the United States, constituting about 50% of lead emissions in the 2005 National Emissions Inventory [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010]. Although leaded gasoline for automobiles was phased out of use in the United States by 1995, lead is still permitted in avgas. Lead is added to avgas to achieve the high octane required for the engines of piston-driven airplanes.
Previous research indicates that children’s’ blood lead levels increase near airports. A study at the Santa Monica Airport in California found lead levels to be significantly higher than background levels in a residential neighborhood close to the airport runway. Thus, the combustion of leaded avgas by small airplane engines may pose a health risk to children who live or attend school near airports. The lead in air surrounding airports can be inhaled directly, or the lead may be ingested by children after it settles into soil or dust (U.S. EPA 2010).
The U.S. EPA estimates that people living within 1 km of airports are at risk of being exposed to lead from avgas (Hitchings 2010). The U.S. EPA further notes that about 16 million people live within 1 km of an airport with planes using avgas, and 3 million children attend school within 1 km of these airports (U.S. EPA 2010).
The increase in jet use has increased not only noise, but also air emissions, exacerbating the Sedona Airport’s impact on the surrounding community. According to Dr. John Frowns, Professor of Toxicology at the UCLA School of Public Health, ultrafine particles emitted by jet aircraft can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, allergic airway disease, developmental defects in unborn children, and chronic neurological disease. Dr. Froines also found that ultrafine particles are more hazardous than other particulate matter because ultrafine particles invade and disrupt mitochondria, which are the energy-producing organelles within a cell. Dr. Froines notes that terrestrial motor vehicle emissions also cause health hazards associated with ultrafine particles. Citizens living near the airport runway are exposed to higher concentrations of these dangerous pollutants than those living farther away. Tiny particles of air pollution -- less than one tenth the width of a human hair -- can trigger clotting in the blood; air pollution causes heart attacks and strokes. Inflammation in the lungs caused by air pollutants leads to death from cardiovascular disease.
Lungs inflamed by pollution secrete interleukin-6, an immune system compound that sparks inflammation and has been shown to make blood more likely to clot.
The land formation of Sedona is such that the fumes of aircraft and raw jet fuel from jets settles in the basin areas and are held there because the land is not flat and open. Citizens living in flight paths in Sedona are exposed to direct jet fumes and jet fuel dumping that smell like kerosene and results in serious health problems, including but not limited to cancer, high blood pressure, racing pulse, respiratory distress, full body arthritis and liver pain; symptoms are most apparent and manifest on high jet traffic days in normally healthy citizens.
A common problem cited by the citizens is the smell of jet fumes or jet fuel dumping, which motivates them to close their windows to avoid breathing the fumes, avoid using their yards and running into the house when jet fly overhead and an inability to recreate on the land they came here to enjoy in the first place. The airport’s operations pose a significant public health risk to local citizens.
We are against increased aircraft flights and jet traffic into Sedona in order to make the Sedona Airport more profitable or viable. We are against commercial flights in and out of Sedona; increased traffic will further deteriorate our town and the surrounding area. The Sedona airport should be closed to air traffic indefinitely and immediately, this airport cannot be controlled and jet fuel dumping will continue putting everyone's lives at risk.
We are against running the Sedona, non-profit, small town airport as a business designed to increase revenues. It is a conflict of interest for business owners at the Sedona Airport and Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority to promote increased air traffic; these individuals have a personal net gain while running the non-profit. The Airport promulgates itself as beneficial to the community when in fact the citizens are financing the true costs of the airport with their lost health, lives and medical bills we are forced to absorb. The Airport knows the true damage to human health from their operations but never discloses any of these detrimental facts to the public. Instead they tell us we are stuck with them into perpetuity and that they are another highway into Sedona. The actions of the airport as clearly not for the public good but for the Airport's good.
The Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority is designated as non-profit and is mandated to serve the best interests and needs of the community as a whole, not a select few. The airport currently operates for the benefit of approximately one hundred aircraft owners and a few airport business owners, at the expense of the ten thousand homeowners and residents of Sedona. Most Sedona citizens receive no benefit from the airport; instead they get air pollution, noise pollution and loss of use of their homes, land, health and lives.
Tourists visit Sedona and cancel their week long stays after two days and go elsewhere. Many people drive through the red rocks for a day and then leave. They find Sedona too busy, commercialized, noisy and lacking small town character and serenity.
The Sedona airport is a redundant airport located between a regional airport in Flagstaff and the Cottonwood Municipal Airport. Anyone wishing to visit Sedona by private aircraft can land at either one of these airports, which are in close proximity to Sedona.
An airport located inside one of the most beautiful towns in the world is simply wrong. Sedona is a park land and a community geared towards recreation on the land and art, the existence of an airport in town is contrary to the purpose and intent of the town and living a life of quality.
We moved to Sedona to live a life close to nature and recreate outdoors. Birds, deer, bobcat and javelina vacate the neighborhoods near the airport because they cannot live with the noise.
The trail systems near the Red Rock Crossing area have become unused due to excessive noise; these famous trails are now devoid of hikers and mountain bikers. Sedona is an equestrian area; horses are frightened by excessive airport noise and cannot use the trails.
Whereas the City of St. George, Utah, was able to relocate their Airport which was located in their town, atop a mesa, to an area outside of the city; we hereby petition to move the Sedona Airport to another location away from all homes and parks, or redirect Sedona air traffic to another close by airport and close the Sedona Airport.
We petition to stop all commercial aircraft sightseeing over Amendment 12 US Forest Land, over neighborhoods, Recreation Areas, and along Wilderness Boundaries in Sedona and the surrounding area.
We petition the City of Sedona and the Counties of Yavapai and Coconino to pass a Clean Air Ordinance as per the US Clean Air Act and protect our citizens from aircraft pollution.
We petition the FAA to immediately close the Sedona Airport and relocate it to a new area. In the interim redirect Sedona air traffic to Cottonwood and Flagstaff. Due to the density altitude and runway length this is the only solution to protect the lives of those living here. To be forced to breath 1,000 to 1,200 gallons of raw jet fuel dumped repeatedly over ones roof is tantamount to murder, no one should be forced to endure a slow, torturous death in their own home.
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