Stop Peachtree Dekalb Airport's Proposed Historic Expansion Now!

Stop Peachtree Dekalb Airport's Proposed Historic Expansion Now!

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PDK Watch started this petition to Board of Commissioners, Dekalb County, GA Dekalb County Georgia Commissioners

Save DeKalb County from Major PDK Airport Expansion!

The DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) Master Plan released in late September 2021 authorizes the most dramatic expansion in PDK Airport's history in numbers of flights, sizes of aircraft, and numbers of larger jets based at PDK.  Tens of thousands of individuals and households near PDK already are negatively impacted by airport noise, pollution, relative loss of home values, and reduced quality of life in a densely populated residential area surrounding Georgia’s largest General Aviation airport. The new PDK Master Plan, if implemented, will greatly increase already damaging environmental impacts of PDK operations. Major public policy and environmental issues are at stake here that must be thoroughly investigated by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners--with significant input from all stakeholders, not just supporters of PDK expansion—before a vote is held on whether or not to approve the Plan.

We oppose the proposed PDK Master Plan in its current form for the following reasons and ask for your support by signing our petition:

1.       The proposed Master Plan would authorize a 40% increase in aircraft to be based at PDK by adding new hangars and tie-downs. Adding so many more PDK-based aircraft will significantly increase the numbers of disruptive flights over residential neighborhoods. Each aircraft based at PDK averages 125 operations annually (according to the Technical Report, Tables 3-11 & 16), so all the added PDK-based aircraft - many of them very noisy jets - would result in 18,130 more flights each year.  Dekalb County has the authority to approve or disapprove all expansion of PDK facilities to accommodate aircraft based at the Airport; exercising that authority is the only way in which the number of flight operations at PDK Airport can be controlled to protect surrounding neighborhoods. This historic expansion of facilities should not be included in the Master Plan.

2.       The “Critical Aircraft” around which future PDK planning under the Master Plan will be based is a Gulfstream 550, a 91,000-lb. business jet that currently cannot even operate at PDK without weight restrictions.  Jets of that size also cannot use PDK Airport on a regular basis under legally binding assurances made by the FAA and DeKalb County when the main PDK runway was extended by 1,000 feet without conducting a Federally required full Environmental Impact Study (EIS).  Since the Gulfstream 550 officially weighs 25,000 lbs. more than the long-standing 66,000-lb. weight limit, it also cannot be used as the “Critical Aircraft” for future PDK Airport planning and design.

3.       The proposed Master Plan must not be approved without completion of the full and credible Environmental Study of noise and pollution impacts from airport activity and from jets larger than the 66,000-lb. weight limit.  Instead, the PDK Administration is seeking rapid approval of the Master Plan before completion of the study, which is in-progress in cooperation with the EPA, the FAA, PDK and Open Dekalb, Inc. That study must first be finished and carefully assessed before (not after) the DeKalb County Commissioners vote on the proposed PDK Master Plan or send it back for revisions to protect the residents of Dekalb County. 

4.       Direct PDK Airport operations must not be expanded beyond the Airport’s original 800-acre fenced perimeter into the 15 acres of land (the “Southwest Quadrant”) that PDK Airport bought out during the 1990s because airport noise there rendered the area “unfit for human habitation.”   PDK’s proposed Master Plan Airport Layout Plan would expand the airport’s fenced perimeter into that buy-out land to build eight new hangars housing 16 jets. That would bring direct PDK operations closer to adjacent residential areas, directly contradicting the purpose of the FAA-approved land buy-out. The largest expansion of operations would the proposed “East Operations” area, where 129 more aircraft would be housed in hangars on what is now green space occupied by soon-to-be-obsolete navigational equipment. This expansion, along with expansion into the SW Quad buffer area, would guarantee the major growth of flight operations closer to sensitive neighborhoods.

Pressing issues of global warming, environmental justice, and economic inequity are closely tied to Dekalb County’s decision regarding a large expansion of airport operations that would primarily benefit wealthy jet owners and corporations while damaging the surrounding human environment.  Will DeKalb County be on the wrong side of history by supporting growth causing environmental degradation, or will the County be willing to “think outside the box” and become an innovative leader in exploring new and creative ways in which PDK’s valuable open land can be used to achieve both economic progress and responsible environmental stewardship?  For example, why not consider installing environmentally friendly uses for the large and soon-to-be-available “East Ops” green space like carbon-sequestration facilities or solar-panel installations that could make money by supplying clean energy for the airport?

For these and other reasons, we strongly oppose approval of the proposed PDK Master Plan by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners without significant changes to protect our citizenry.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TODAY AND FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!

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At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!