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Waterbury-Oxford Airport to Get $8.2 Million for Home Relocations

Residents near the airport have made noise complaints for several years.

 

Waterbury-Oxford Airport will receive $8.2 million to acquire land and homes near the airport, bringing the total amount for the project to more than $13 million.

A news release from Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal states that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will give the money to provide for relocation of residents who have been impacted by noise disturbance from the airport. Most of the residents affected live in Middlebury and they are the ones who will be relocated.   

“We applaud FAA’s strong commitment to the Middlebury residents who live next to Waterbury-Oxford Airport – the noise pollution that these homeowners have been subjected to for the last several years poses severe health and safety concerns,” stated Lieberman and Blumenthal in a joint prepared statement. “We are glad these homeowners will finally receive the restitution that they deserve – fair compensation for their homes – and that a process that has taken far too long for these residents is one step closer to being over.”

State officials and others have studied noise complaints at the airport for several years. A study completed last year indicates that residents have reason for concern because the area is considered a "noise impact area," per federal standards, according to a website formed in partnership with the state Department of Transportation titled www.oxcstudies.com that has information about the noise issues at the airport. The informational website states the noise study indicated the following recommendations could be implemented:

  • Voluntary acquisition of homes in the Triangle Hills neighborhood located within the airport's Runway Protection Zone, or RPZ.
  • Voluntary acquisition or sound insulation of homes in the Triangle Hills neighborhood that are not within the RPZ.
  • Directing more aircraft activity to depart to the south when conditions permit, in order to reduce takeoffs over the populated areas of Middlebury.
  • Conduct other operational modifications that may reduce noise levels adjacent to the Airport and result in more consistent flight patterns.
  • Recommendations for local zoning and subdivision regulations that would reduce the future potential for airport noise impacts. These land use measures can only be implemented by the Towns.

 

Ken September 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM
When was the Oxford-Waterbury airport constructed? If you are sensitive to noise, which most people are, why would you purchase a home that near an airport? Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that over time, even a small, lightly used airport has the potential to become bigger and busier and therefor noisier? I would support the idea if people were in their homes BEFORE the airport was constructed...
Ed Rowland September 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Morning Ken.The homes in question were their before the airport was built.Early to mid 60s for the homes and mid 60s the airport construction started.Early days of the airport consisted of small planes then went to midsize commercial planes.Pilgrim airlines was the first passenger company to operate out Oxford airport.If memory serves me.Might be wrong on some of that.
Ken September 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Thanks, all before my time... Still doesn't quite answer the question however. The houses may have been there before the airport was constructed, but have the current homeowners been there since before the airport was constructed...or did they move into a sitution they should have recognized...Well, I think you understand my point.
Ed Rowland September 28, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I would guess that there are only a handful of the original homeowners that may still live there.When I was growing up on Christian St.during the 60s and 70s it was a big deal to watch the construction of the airport although know that I think back and reflect it was mostly farms when I was very young.Triangle Hill was a farm when I was young.I do miss those farms.Good times growing up in Oxford .
Tanya Carver September 28, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I have been told that Oxford Airport has the 2nd longest runway in Ct, Bradley being the longest. I don't believe that the traffic at our airport will decrease but increase. Interesting statements made by Sens Lieberman & Blumenthal in regards to the noise pollution being "severe health and safety concerns". If the study suggests "directing more aircraft activity to depart to the south when conditions permit", does this mean more noise pollution on the Oxford side?
NANCY September 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM
ok great i am on the jacks hill side and my windows and house rattles everytime there a take off.
OxfordCitizen September 29, 2012 at 04:14 PM
A few years ago we lived on the Woodbury/Middlebury line and we could hear the planes as they climbed out of the airport. In 2003 we moved to Oxford and I now watch & listen to them as they descend in. Since being in Oxford I have had several dreams where planes crashed and I raced to the scene in the middle of the night to look for survivors in the burning wreckage. Having said all that I think this is a waste of taxpayer money. I agree with Ken. Folks moving into these areas had to be aware of the proximity of the airport and the possible implications. They do not need or deserve a bailout. I’m sure the money could be better spent elsewhere or perhaps even (gasp!) returned to the tax payers.
Zeke September 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
There are those of us who live in Oxford in close proximity to the airport, but have been here long before it was built & we've had to endure its noise & pollution since the 1960s, & also four crashes in the neighborhood. I certainly wouldn't have moved here with an airport so close by, but having had no choice in the matter, here I am. The smell of jet fuel & noisy take-offs & too much air traffic is not pleasant. Couple that with all the vehicular traffic on our local roads from the industrial buildings & businesses & the golf course has really destroyed a once beautiful place to live. If only the FAA would offer me adequate cash to relocate, I'd accept in a nanosecond! Not all of us chose to live next to an airport. I was here first!
OxfordCitizen September 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM
@Zeke....if you truly were there before the airport came in then I believe you would have a valid claim to settlement money....assuming your house is within the zone covered in the settlement. I do remember looking for houses years ago and wondering why those within the airport/industrial zone were so cheap. A little asking around with locals/realtors quickly gave me all the info I needed to cross those properties off my list.
Peter Bunzl September 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
The arguments made here are valid. I purchased here in Oxford Greens and knew about Oxford Airport. Having spent years working at JFK airport I felt the noise of private aircraft takeoffs and landings were tolerable. Of course at that time was aware that most takeoffs were heading (Middlebury) north. An occasional landing did not bother me. However I have noticed larger aircraft being used at times. I would warn everyone in all the surrounding town that we have to be alert for any attempt to bring larger aircraft into the airport. Years ago I was told of an effort by Oxford to try to attract the Federal Government into establishing a federal Foreign Trade Zone at Oxford Airport. Believe me that is the last thing you want being establised at that airport. Frankly I would be very surprised if the Federal; Gov't did it. But we should all be alert for any efforts being made in that regard. Briefly, Free Trade Zones bring merchandise made overseas into a facility free of customs duty. The products are then altered and reclassified for Customs Duty purposes. If there being trucked from Bradley into the airport that would be bad enough. But if there FLOWN in then that's requires much larger aircraft and we all have a lot to be concerned about. Having worked at JFK for 37 years we constantly heard the noise arguments. I always felt that if you purchased when JFK was there you had no valid argument about the noise level. But of course I only worked there. I lived many miles away!
Zeke September 30, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Yes, OC, I truly was here before the airport was & the streetlights & a yellow line down the center of the road detracting from the ruralness of the area. If my house, or any others close by, are not in the zone covered by the settlement, is of no consequence to us who still are subjected to the noise, air pollution & ever increasing traffic, which by the way, has no regard for the posted speed limit. You are fortunate, OC, that you could cross these cheap properties off your list; however, this is where I grew up in a lovely neighborhood that is not as lovely as it once was. Now that I'm reaching retirement age & want to relocate, I'm sure my house is not worth as much as your house on the other side of Oxford.
Tanya Carver August 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM
The FAA FAR Part 150 Noise Study for the Waterbury-Oxford Airport completed in October 2008, also recommended a "Land Use (UL) Measures" which states: LU-1 Encourage Middlebury, Oxford, and Southbury to Retain all Commercial and Industrial Districts within Two Miles of the OXC Property Line, with Zoning Changes Forwarded to ConnDOT for Comment (Pages 4-9 and 5-20). This measure would promote compatible land use within the vicinity of OXC by appointing an OXC representative to review proposed zoning changes within the towns of Middlebury, Oxford and Southbury." In light of the recent tragedy in East Haven which appears that the airport's distance is .87 miles (via mapquest) this new Land Use Measure as requested by the FAA may possibly reduce this type of tragedies in Oxford.

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