No reactionary ideals for airport

Letters to the editor

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2004

Our city revolves around the use and safety of flying in and out of the International Airport. Currently the Federal Aviation Administration has a group looking into the current rules governing fire safety at all American airports. The panel, appropriately named the Airport Rescue and Firefighting Requirements Working Group, has made some brief findings that are less than encouraging, and even frightening. It was reported in the online version of USA Today that they've found federal standards are restricting the ability of firefighters to save lives and they do not have the equipment needed for the extremely volatile flames produced during an aviation accident.

The overwhelming response from airport officials has been that the measures recommended are unneeded and costly. Costly, I ask? What kind of price can you put on a human life? And are you in a position to make such a determination? I'd like to ask our airport manager if he thinks that the findings of this study warrant a good look here locally. Unlike most airports in the nation, both approach ends of Juneau have hampered access due to the nature of the land. Not to mention the tidal fluctuations in our area, which pose an even a greater risk.

So Juneau, I make it your duty to find out how our airport officials feel about the adequacy of our safety and what sort of plan they have if the most terrible of incidents were to occur. We can't make this some reactionary ideal; we can't afford that sort of price. We need to know now whether or not the flying public here in Juneau is a life, or just numbers.

Ben Madison


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