I applaud the language in the draft tourism plan that says "Juneau has no alternative but to address flightseeing noise in a significant way. Both float plane and helicopter flightseeing impacts need to be addressed." Unfortunately this noble goal is simply not carried out.
There are four helicopter operations and several float plane outfits in town. To many Juneau residents, the float planes are the biggest noise problem. Yet the draft tourism plan's answer to this problem is to simply assume a heliport will be built at Sheep Creek or Dupont in Thane, despite the fact that there has not been adequate study of the suitability of these sites or of alternatives. Then there is the fact that neither Thane site would decrease noise from float planes or helicopters other than Era's, while both sites would severely impact the safety, peacefulness, rural nature and property values for Thane residents.
It is inappropriate for the draft tourism plan to simply assume a heliport will be built in Thane. It should, instead, call for a thorough look at all impacts of all reasonable solutions, so that the right balance can be struck in addressing the problem of all flight seeing noise.
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