Noise Activist Wants Voice in Bush Expansion Planning

A local activist concerned about noise issues at Bush Intercontinental Airport says Humble civic and elected officials need to push for representation on a land use management committee being formed by Houston Mayor Bill White.

Mike Cothran of the grassroots organization Coalition of Homeowners Alliances Requiring Government Equity told members of the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce governmental affairs committee the airport must be held accountable for noise issues, particularly since it plans to build two more runways.

Cothran said this proposed land use management panel will have direct input to Houston leaders who oversee the airport.

He said once the two runways are added, as much as 80 percent of Humble will be impacted by the noise.

Humble City Manager Darrell Boeske said he would like to participate in the land use management effort and it is important for the city to be involved.

Cothran said the coalition is also pushing for the airport to change flight patterns to match existing roadways on the ground so flight traffic would be over concrete rather than residential areas.

The management committee would not zone but would establish flight corridors and oversee land use to prevent noise problems, Cothran said.

Under the current flight configuration, planes fly over Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, North Harris College and four Aldine school district campuses.

For more than two years, the coalition has advocated for a reduction in noise and air pollution it says is a result of Bush's northernmost runway.

Cothran said homeowners have seen a reduction in home values and quality of life issues since the runway was opened.

The city of Houston is expected to release results of an impact study in the coming months.

Cothran said it is important to have local representation on the proposed land use management committee.

"I guarantee you that if the players that are affected by this don't come to the table they are going to be pretty much controlled by the city of Houston," he said.



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