Connecticut Residents Threaten to Sue
the State If Airport Noise Isn't Reduced

OCTOBER 2, 1997

The Hartford Courant (Town News, page B6) reports that a group of residents in Suffield, Connecticut are threatening to sue the state if noise from planes using the Bradley International Airport isn't reduced. Residents insist the noise has grown worse this year, and have submitted a petition with 195 signatures asking that the noise be controlled.

According to the article, Suffield residents from the southeast end of town submitted the petition at a meeting of the Bradley Airport Commission, a citizens advisory group. Edward Kenney of Diane Street said, "It's consumed our lives and health. If something isn't done in the near future, we'll consider it as deliberate intent to hurt us and we'll take legal action." Bernie Gooch of Suffield Street said the jet noise has changed in the three years he's lived there. He said the noise has gotten so loud, it has drowned out his lawnmower and shut down his stereo.

Another resident, Earl Genero, has lived on Boston Neck Road for 39 years and said the noise this summer from low-flying planes is the worst he has ever heard. "If you look at my roof, you're going to find tire marks. If I had a ladder, I could get on some of the planes," Genero said. "Do we have to live like this?" Meanwhile, Ted Goodman of East Street said his dining room hutch has been moved by the noise, and he wondered what happened this year to account for the louder noise.

Meanwhile, Robert Juliano, who heads the state Department of Transportation's Bureau of Aviation and Ports, said nothing had changed at the airport to his knowledge, the article reports.

The Bradley Airport Commission later voted to hold a public hearing in Suffield in mid-November and invite the DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss what noise mitigation measures are underway, the article says. Before that meeting, another meeting will be held between some commission members, DOT officials, and FAA officials to discuss the issue. Bradley Airport Commission member Astrid Hanzalek said, "In order to maintain credibility, the DOT is going to have to offer solutions." Commission member Michael Long said, "This has turned into an explosive thing that needs to be addressed."

Some commissioners suggested that zoning officials in the towns surrounding Bradley (Suffield, Windsor Locks, Windsor, and East Granby) also should be invited to the November hearing because some of them have allowed houses in their areas to expand to the airport's borders. Commission Chair Charles Watras said that zoning officials were advised in the early 1980s about what type of construction should be allowed next to the airport. Since then, the article says, many homes have been built near the airport.