Thursday, November 11, 2021

Residents say military jets using runways at Wilmington International Airport (KILM) didn’t follow federal regulations

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (WECT) - The ongoing complaints about jet noise coming from military jets using the runways at Wilmington International Airport continue. While County Commissioners move to sign a resolution showing their support for the military’s use of KILM others are saying it’s not about supporting our troops, but following the law.

Tracy Sloop lives in Wilmington, her home is just a few miles from the end of the runway and the noise from jets is taking its toll and she says the federal government didn’t take the necessary steps before using KILM as an unofficial military base.

“From the end of the runway all the way to the river stretch several National Register historic districts that are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act”

That act is supposed to protect historic districts from actions that could be detrimental to them by the federal government and undertake impact studies if any major changes are made.

Sloop says the government didn’t do that when they decided to start ramping up their use of the runways at KILM.

“They are supposed to give the community notice and a chance to comment on the possible impacts; they’re supposed to do an impact assessment”

It’s been a battle for folks living in downtown for more than a year now. Sloop said county commissioners have been unwilling to do much, but it’s an issue State Representative Deb Butler has taken on herself.

Next week county commissioners are set to approve a resolution showing their support for the military use of KILM.

Sloop says it seems like a red herring that takes away from the concerns of those impacted by the noise.

“Yeah, it’s a lose-lose kind of situation and it sort of frames the whole issue as either you’re pro- or anti-military which is ridiculous, that’s not what it’s about at all,” said Sloop. “I don’t know if it’s just meant to intimidate people, if it’s meant to totally change the narrative and make it about a totally — to deflect what the real issue is.”

Commissioner Rob Zapple said he is hopeful that a resolution has been found to address the concerns, while maintaining the business and support of the military.

“We’ve got the solution, moving the flight path higher, doing away with the afterburners when you’re in the highly populated areas. Booms, you’ve got a solution here.”


  1. Don't move in near an airport. Boom, problem solved!!

  2. Residents don't like the noise airplanes make within proximity to their homes. I'm puzzled by this because they so often purchase homes very close to airports. I was a controller, but there are pilots on this venue who are keenly aware of an airport's "noise abatement" procedures. Each one is custom tailored to the particular area so the wealthy and incessant complainers will be silenced most of the time. Noise abatement procedures come in two varieties - Formal and Informal. The procedure might be something like climb on runway heading until leaving 2000 then whatever the departure clearance entailed. Most of the time they are informal with a caveat. Adhere to the procedure with your departures or the informal noise abatement program will become formal. For the most part a scripted mostly empty threat. I never saw an informal program morph into a formal one in my career. On the other hand, tower controllers don't make a practice of blowing the shingles off of resident's roofs with airplanes. To be clear, if I had to violate and informal program for separation or something imminent, I did. Most of the time there was no complaint. On a few occasions, the supervisor would ask you why one of Mrs. Hightower's braziers, previously hanging from a clothesline in her back yard was now draped across a neighbor's mailbox two houses down.

  3. Comments about "people should know better when buying near an airport" are ridiculous. This isn't about people moving into an airport traffic area, it's about the MILITARY using a commercial airport for training purposes. I'm sure the residents expect to hear airliners taking off and landing but military jets are a whole different thing. It's no surprise the politicians are going to support the military on this when you consider who won North Carolina in 2020. Keep drinking that Kool-Aid and waving that flag, residents be damned.

    1. "It's no surprise the politicians are going to support the military on this when you consider who won North Carolina in 2020. Keep drinking that Kool-Aid and waving that flag, residents be damned."

      How did the recent Virginia governator election work out for you Demmunists? Kool-Aid indeed, drunk.

    2. This person must be a communist. It’s the sound of freedom.

  4. when I lived in San Diego, I worked in Sorrento Valley, the jet noise from miramar was so loud you couldn't talk to each other if you went outside.
    I loved it!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.