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Nov 13, 2013 12:14 AM by Jennifer Horbelt

Neighbors, Air Force Academy meet over noise complaints

EL PASO COUNTY, CO- A town hall meeting over noise complaints against Air Force Academy training flights got loud Tuesday night.

There have been training flights at the Air Force Academy for years, but the flight pattern was changed due to safety concerns.

The old pattern was in the approach line for Denver International Airport, and would put cadets within 500 feet of commercial aircraft.

Neighbors say they understand the reason for the change, but are upset that planes from the Air Force Academy are flying right over their homes starting at 7:00 in the morning.

"I've had a couple of instances, one that I did even videotape, of an aircraft coming toward us low, and actually had to make a U-turn and go back because it couldn't make it over the bluff," said neighbor Mark Morris at the meeting. "That's very concerning for us, that if they can't make the bluff and they make a decision to turn around over the neighborhood, that's a dangerous situation."

"There's nothing that can be done about that, because if we extend to the north, then our turn will be over another neighborhood and another home," Col. Joe Rizzuto, 306th Flying Training Group Commander, said. "We will do everything we can inside the confines of our constrained airspace to stay safe first, and to limit our impact."

Neighbors say the noise is ruining their quality of life and they are worried now for the safety of their families if an accident were to occur.

Some of Tuesday night's heated moments were between neighbors on opposite sides of the issue.



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