SPEAK OUT: Should Commercial Flights Be Allowed at Briscoe Field?

This week, the Airport Privatization Citizen Review Committee voted to keep Gwinnett's airport as general aviation, with no commercial flights. Share your thoughts.

The fate of Briscoe Field is still up in the air.

The Airport Privatization Citizen Review Committee, which was set up by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to study the feasibilty of allowing a private company to run the county-owned facility, voted 6-0 (with five committee members abstaining) to keep the facility as a general aviation airport.

The proposal to privatize the airport has been hotly debated. Those favoring the proposal feel that allowing commercial flights at Briscoe Field would bring revenue and jobs to the county.

But homeowners living nearby oppose the move, claiming the increased noise, air and automobile traffic would affect their quality of life - and their home values.

The final decision rests with the Gwinnett County commissioners.

What do you think of this issue? Are you in favor of a private company to operate Brisoe Field and allow commercial flights?

Or do you think the surrounding homeowners' concerns should be the deciding factor?

Use the comment box below to respond.

Sabrina Smith May 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Supporters of commercial service at Briscoe speak about the quieter aircraft that are now available. That's nice, but the FAA will allow NO requirements that only these nice, new aircraft will be allowed to use Briscoe. Supporters of commercial service, including at least 2 county commissioners, have spoken about their desire to place restrictions on the hours of operation and number of flights per day. That is nothing but talk, as the FAA does not allow commissioners to have any say-so in this matter, and does NOT allow restrictions such as these at new airports. Supporters who give examples of other airports with these restrictions fail to mention that these airports were grandfathered in and that the FAA has clearly stated that these restrictions will NOT be allowed at Briscoe. Supporters of commercial service at Briscoe fail to address the fact that no other airport has been successfully privatized under this FAA program. They change the subject to the unsubstantiated claims of 20,000 jobs that will be created. I guess they have forgotten that Gwinnett taxpayers remember similar unsubstantiated claims about the Braves Stadium, the Collins Hill Golf Course, the shady land deals, etc.
Sabrina Smith May 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Supporters of commercial service at Briscoe fail to address that fact that the FAA will require Gwinnett taxpayers to continue to operate a commercial airport at Briscoe if the private operator fails. Given that there is a 0% success rate in this program, do Gwinnett taxpayers really want to take the risk of being burdened with yet another expensive albatross? Supporters of commercial service at Briscoe have yet to explain why they called soundproofing in homes surrounding Briscoe “home improvements” that will increase home values. On a website, they spoke about reducing the number of people “exposed to unacceptable noise levels”. They have yet to answer the question of what is an acceptable number of people to be exposed to unacceptable noise levels. Once supporters of commercial service at Briscoe address the issues that will impact ALL taxpayers in Gwinnett County, not just those who live near the airport, I believe those of us who oppose commercial service will be willing to have a reasonable discussion of the merits of commercialization.
Sabrina Smith May 05, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I have one more question for supporters of commercial service at Briscoe. Can they estimate how much it will cost taxpayers to litigate the lawsuits that are going to be filed and can they estimate how long this will be tied up in court before the first of the 20,000 jobs are created?
Robert Johnson May 06, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Wow, why would you want to hold up the creation of jobs??? That really boggles the mind. I find it interesting after reading one of the expert reports by Kinton Aviation in which it is stated that "The capacity constraints of Atlanta will drive future success of airports within a 500 mile radius of metro Atlanta". I guess this small point is not relevant and so it was overlooked???
Sabrina Smith May 06, 2012 at 09:27 AM
It's interesting that you, along with other airport supporters, refuse to answer the questions that most taxpayers want to have answered.
Robert Johnson May 06, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Maybe if the County released the proposal we would find out or if the company was allowed talk about it they could explain it. Without knowing what has actually been proposed all of this chatter is worthless and silly.
Eric Wagner May 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I say let the commercial flights come in. I travel a good bit and there is nothing worst then landing after a long flight especially late at night and having to drive 40 minutes back to Suwanee. As far as the noise.the noise of a commercial jet can't be that much worse than a private jet that are already Landing and taking off. And traffic can't get much worse on 316 than it already is.
Sabrina Smith May 06, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Once again, supporters of commercial service change the subject and refuse to address the question of why all Gwinnett taxpayers should be forced to pay to operate a commercial airport in the event of Propeller's insolvency, in an FAA program with a 0% success rate.
Robert Johnson May 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Did you know that many of the worlds most important airports are privatized.... London, Sydney, Vienna, Budapest, Singapore, Lima, Auckland, Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Singapore, Amsterdam, Capetown, the list goes on and on and on. So clearly it does work.
Sabrina Smith May 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Would you care to provide details on how much taxpayer money was used for these "privatized" airports? We looked at the overseas privatized airports and there are very few similarities to what is being proposed at Briscoe. A few years ago, people could say France's economy and Greece's economy "clearly were working", too.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew May 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM
How can anyone say it will create jobs as a given when they can't see the proposal either? And yet these sane posters claim others are silly for raising concerns that are NEVER addressed / refuted head on. Seems like that is REALLY the example of silly right there…
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew May 18, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Did you know that many of the worlds most important airports are privatized and NO way have the SLIGHTEST chance in He!! of affecting the wallets of any Gwinnett taxpayer?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew May 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Must not have stayed in many airport Marriotts during your extensive travels either... (smiles)
Gillian Mentor May 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ms Smith.Well said you claim ALL Gwinnett Tax payers of which Gwinnett has about 805,321 give or take a few.But its wrong to speak for ALL the county tax payers you speak for a group who oppose it & I or we understand that.But over all it may be about 30,000 of you that object but what about the rest of the 700,000 plus TAX paying residents who want or support it. I pay $4,900 in taxes to Gwinnett and I have a say just as you.Fly Gwinnett Forward.
Sabrina Smith May 21, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Hi Gillian Mentor: It is a fact that ALL Gwinnett taxpayers, not just those who oppose or support commercial service at Briscoe, will be forced to pay to operate a commercial airport in the event that Propeller goes bankrupt or becomes insolvent. Remember that this FAA program has a 0% success rate.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew May 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Gillian, By all means, if you are a proponent please bring logical, independently verifiable rebuttal to “each” issue listed by the opposition. For instance, the oft repeated claim that ONLY those county residents NEAR the airport object. That is simply NOT true. The claim that there is no possible county tax impact for the project. That the expansion of service as proposed by the sole bidder is a sound move, since not another firm NATIONWIDE chose to participate in this golden opportunity. You have acknowledged approximately 30,000 object, but suggest indirectly that 700k or so agree with the proponent position. Of the total that agrees, I wonder how many are from Gwinnett locally and would directly experience the financial results of a failure? I’m also not aware of any ongoing presence at monthly commissioner meetings from any group that has a proponent position. Based clearly on the citizens that show up and the changing of the faces within that group – the opposition is FAR deeper and of a MUCH broader base than the proponents at this point.


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