Welcome to the ‘Aviation Impact REFORM’ website, version two.
The original version of aiREFORM.com was started in September 2012. It would be nice to say things have improved since, but that would be lying. In fact, the imbalance of power, between the aviation community and the non-aviation community has only worsened.
The minority increasingly dominates the majority in a classic inequity. In the last decade, we have seen FAA roll out NextGen and set up for more capacity with multiple Metroplex redesigns. All this, to enable a couple airlines at each hub airport to boost profits while impacting people below under concentrated ﬂightpaths. We’ve also seen:
- the vast majority of toxic lead pollution continues to be caused by mostly recreational pilots, burning 100LL fuel (three decades after we ended lead in automotive fuel).
- FAA and lobbyists continue to impede local efforts to allow officials to shut down problematic airports, like KSMO Santa Monica.
- Aviation’s percentage of greenhouse gas emissions has grown, while industry deceives and greenwashes false ﬁxes like sustainable aviation fuels.
- We recently elevated aviation thrill-rides to include quick rocket launches sending rich civilians to space and back … just because they can afford it.
- Aviation impact activism is on the rise: more people are connecting via social media, and attending airport meetings, but they are being stonewalled and ignored by FAA and airport authorities.
- Worse, more pilots have become emboldened by FAA laziness (and perhaps the uncivil examples of depraved politicians?), and are aggressively ‘aviation bullying’; the homes of local aviation impact activists are being targeted with fly-bys, dives, low-altitude maneuvers, and other pilot aggression.
- And, we face renewed industry efforts to develop supersonic air transport, in a political and economic environment that seems utterly incapable of saying ‘NO!’.
Even more than in 2012, it is clear: aviation beneﬁts itself while imposing large impacts upon many. This inequity is wrong. Reforms are long overdue, and require action by Congress and FAA. When will they step up and ﬁx this?
Purpose of this Website:
This website aims to provide the data, analysis, and documents activists need (1) to clearly understand the impacts and culture of their aviation nemesis (the impacting industry); (2) to navigate around the obfuscation and bullshit deployed by FAA and their industry partners; and (3) to push back factually and intelligently, to correct the inequities. In short, the goal is to empower people to achieve impact reforms and restore an appropriate balance between aviation and the non-aviation ‘human’ part of our communities.
Democracy, community integrity, and human health are more important than airline profits or the recreational whims of the tiny fraction of general aviation (GA) pilots in our population. Amazingly, FAA’s own data shows that, at the end of 2022, there are 442,400 certificated airplane pilots in the U.S., and at least 121,100 of those have no instrument rating, thus are solely recreational pilots. For a U.S. population of 336 Million, these figures represent a mere fraction of 1%; that is, 1 in 759 citizens (0.13%) are airplane pilots, and 1 in 2,775 citizens (0.04%) are certified for recreational flying only. Yet, we divert many billions each year, from airline passenger taxes and air cargo taxes to subsidize GA airports and these impactful (and sometimes abusive) GA pilots. George Carlin was right: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”
A few notes about the aiREFORM.com website design, and what to find and where:
- the website aims to serve as a handy resource for activists and others concerned about the impacts, so they can quickly gather and learn information, some stored within the website, but much of it at other web addresses.
- the Menu Bar (at the top and bottom of the primary webpages) includes menu items with drop-downs, and a search icon.
- Menu items include: Home, blog, [Aviation], [Impact], [Reform], and the ‘A to Z’ webpage.
- the blog aims to provide analysis, compilations of data and records related to issues or airports, and timely alerts to help people attend online sessions and submit comments ahead of deadlines. The blog will NOT attempt to be a news service (there is too much news to cover, plus many others are doing a great job on current news via social media).
- the [Aviation] webpage(s) focus on defining aviation, with content that identifies all types of aviation, as well as all industry players (the operators, the lobbyists, the regulators, etc.), the few most common aircraft types, and airport types as well. It is valuable to learn these details, and not hard to do if this website succeeds at organizing the details in concise webpages. Frankly, one of the uglier problems with FAA and other industry players is they spend a lot of time (and money) shrouding aviation in mystery, solely to discourage activists and stymie advocacy against excessive aviation. Activists armed with facts and knowledge are far more effective and can surgically rebut the obfuscation; decisions can then be nudged away from aviation excess and toward what works for the local community.
- the [Impact] webpage(s) focus on precisely defining the full set of aviation impacts, including:
- toxic pollution from aviation leaded fuel.
- air pollutants: both those that offer immediate health hazards, and those that contribute to accelerated climate change impacts.
- Noise, especially that produced by concentrated flight patterns (NextGen procedures, closed pattern flying (for flight instruction and practice), air tour routes, and patterns for recreational flying (skydiving, aerobatics, and glider tows).
- the impacts of poor planning of the overall airport system (for example, the many short-hop added flights for air charter operators who are based at key ‘garage’ airports but haul their high-priced passengers from other airports).
- the loss of control and revenues by local community officials, when FAA becomes an absentee regulator for non-aviation businesses on lands acquired with federal AIP funds; the result is evolution of a parallel economy, and destabilization of the community around the airport.
- data, documentation, and analysis related to aviation Accidents & Incidents.
- aviation’s vulnerability to viral transmission and pandemics.
- …and a few other impacts, including privacy invasion, aviation bullying, and the excessive per person impacts of VIP and charter flights.
- the [Reform] webpage(s) focus on the tools and strategies for fixing the current problems:
- reference materials, including a searchable FAA history, PDF copies of key FAA Orders and other documents, compilations of data and documents related to specific airports, and much more.
- legislative proposals (because, ultimately, we depend on Congress to tell FAA what to do)
- the ‘A to Z’ page is an alphabetical index webpage, with short definitions of terms and acronyms, and plenty of useful weblinks.
Please bear with the process of rebuilding this website. Over the coming months, a lot of work will go into re-compiling the contents. Hopefully, this can help us all to restore the balance, with responsible moderation by the aviation community, and improved livability where we live and work.