I live in Denver, however I was a resident of Langley and Oak Harbor for over 20 years. I’m responding to letters concerning Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and the Outlying Field at Coupeville (OLF).
NAS Whidbey has been in existence for over 75 years, and field carrier landing practice (FCLP) of jet aircraft has been conducted at OLF Coupeville for 50 years. Concerning the 10 percent increase in EA-18G Growler aircraft, people must have short memories. From the 1960’s through the mid 1990’s there were more aircraft operations at OLF Coupeville using noisier aircraft. During those years there were more carrier based squadrons which operated both the A-6 Intruder and the EA-6 Prowler. Use of OLF Coupeville was nearly continuous.
FCLP training at OLF Coupeville is essential to the naval aviator. There is nothing close, not even in simulators, that offers the same realistic low ambient light conditions pilots require for aircraft carrier training. And those highly trained carrier pilots are needed to maintain the security of the United States. It is incumbent on us to support them.
The Growler is quieter than the Prowler in all flight regimes except approach, where it is demonstrated to be one decibel noisier. The average person cannot discern a three decibel difference. The F/A-18 Hornet, (same basic airframe and engine) has been operating similarly for well over 10 years in Virginia. Hornet flight operations at NAS Oceana are more extensive than what is proposed at NAS Whidbey or the OLF. In that more densely populated area, there have been no documented health impacts to individuals.
For those complaining about noise, I can only comment that researching the area you are about buy into is one of the first rules of real estate. If residents weren’t informed of the proximity of OLF Coupeville, which I highly doubt knowing how strict Washington real estate law is, perhaps they should have wondered at the low price they paid for view property.
Read the Navy’s environmental impact statement. Learn the facts. Understand the history. Support the men and women who serve our nation.