Residents say military jets using runways at ILM didn’t follow federal regulations

The ongoing complaints about jet noise coming from Military jets using the runways at Wilmington International Airport continue
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:07 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (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 ILM 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 ILM 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 ILM.

“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 ILM.

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.”

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