Runway Expansion Gets Noisy

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. --

Imagine signing away the airspace above your house.

In essence, you agree to be part of a pilot program to soundproof your home so planes can fly above.

It's an offer Broward County is making to residents who live near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It comes on the heels of the airport's south runway expansion.

Resident Kevin Letze is so mad about the runway project, he produced a 7-minute long video on YouTube about it.

He told Local 10's Janine Stanwood that he hears commuter planes fly overhead all the time.

But if the runway expansion's approval is on track, which would make it operational in 2014, Letze might hear big commercial jets instead.

The noise, and what to do about it, was the topic of a special meeting Tuesday night at Dania Beach City Hall.

"My fear is that they build this new runway and supposedly twice as much air traffic overhead," said Mike Williams.

Williams was one of the 200 people who attended who lives in Meleleuca Gardens, the community tagged for that pilot program. A county noise study suggested those 50 homes in the community would be impacted the most by noise coming from the new runway.

But most said they would not take the deal for subsidized soundproofing if it meant they would waive their rights to oppose the noise.

"We've had this hanging over our head and the value of our property has dropped," Williams said.

"Oh, absolutely not. No. We're not going to give them any airspace," said Williams' wife Anita.

This was just the first of several public meetings to come.

Broward County has reserved $35 million for funding of the proposed soundproofing. Other money might come from the federal government as part of the airport expansion program.

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