Steve klafka – Turn airport into sustainable housing

Wisconsin State Journal – Letter to the Editor – October 6, 2021
Read online

As highlighted by the State Journal story on Sunday “Future noise concerns could scuttle housing,” Madison City Council members should be thanked for questioning new residential development along East Washington Avenue — ground zero for noise impacts of the county airport and the Air National Guard fighter jet training.

We should protect current and future East Side residents and their children from ugly and unhealthy aircraft noise. Problems will only worsen when those ludicrous F-35 fighter jets arrive at Truax Field. Is it time to recognize that after 80 years, the Dane County Regional Airport has become a burden to Madison? Rather than stopping urban infill to protect the health of our residents, we should ask the county to relocate its airport.

In 1994, Austin, Texas, relocated its 64-year old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. It was replaced with the Mueller Community, reusing many of the former airport buildings. The developer estimates this planned community will be worth $1.3 billion, including 4.2 million square feet of non-residential development, 650,000 square feet of retail space, 4,600 homes and 140 acres of open space. That’s a lot of new residents and property tax revenue.

Madison could have a sustainable showcase, rather than the county airport, which is a posterchild for unsustainable living, pollution and global warming.

Steven Klafka, Madison