Opposition to MV-22 Ospreys grows

Photo: Walter Ritte

From different sectors of the community there is growing opposition to the proposed stationing of MV-22 Osprey and Cobra attack helicopters at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay and their plans to train across the islands.

Molokai residents are mobilizing against the Marine Corps proposal to station Ospreys tilt-rotor aircraft and Cobra helicopters in Hawaiʻi. The proposed plan would include flight training and landing on most of the islands, including Hoʻolehua and Kalaupapa on Molokai.  In the photo above, a kuahu (shrine) was built in Hoʻolehua as a protest against the military expansion.

The Marines have been engaged in a process to consult with Native Hawaiian individuals and entities to establish a programmatic agreement for the treatment of cultural sites and artifacts under Sec. 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. But the process has been extremely frustrating to the Native Hawaiian participants because the military is essentially ignoring the key recommendations being put forward by the cultural practitioners.  Basically the military is reserving its authority to define what is and is not culturally significant.  This is the same problem with the Army and its expansion plans in Lihuʻe (Schofield) and Pohakuloa.  The military is ignoring Native Hawaiian input, and in some cases, buying more favorable Native Hawaiian input by assembling their own Native Hawaiian group that supports the military’s plans.

A Kāneʻohe Neighborhood Board member Bill Sager wrote in the Hawaii Independent:

Without exception at all official EIS review meetings, Windward Neighborhood Board meetings and spontaneous community meetings, fears have been expressed concerning the impacts of the proposal on Koolaupoko.

People have expressed concerns ranging from the increased noise, impacts of noise on student learning, potential dangers posed by the safety record of the Osprey and the impacts of added personnel requiring housing in the Kailua and Kaneohe communities. Hawaiian groups have expressed concern over the impact of construction activities on graves and other cultural features.

Because noise has been the overriding community concern, aircraft noise and it’s impacts on our community is the focus of this statement. The bottom line is that the noise models used in the EIS are flawed and our community will not be able to evaluate noise impacts until we actually hear them.

[. . .]

·       The model used to determine noise levels did not have mountains in model at end of takeoff end of runway. We know from experience that the cliffs surrounding Kaneohe reflect, echo and amplify aircraft noise.

·      The model used 737-700 when the P8A(replacement for P3) produces approximately 10 times more noise when using a short takeoff runway.  http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/mma/

·       What is the dBAs for 737-800 during a full power brake release take off?  I have read in a Boeing briefing that at break release the noise level at 8.9nm is around 85dbs. This does not match the numbers in the final EIS, Annex D.

·       Believe the dbBA numbers have been average over 24hours which will give MUCH lower readings. Therefore, the numbers for schools might look ok but as the studies show average over ONE HOUR!  What is important is not the average noise, but it is the peak noise generated during landings and takeoffs.

The length of runway at Kaneohe Marine Base will required the P8A to use full military power to take off.  Source is article from Whidbey Island, WA were an elected official, Angie Homola is quoted.  Her website is:  https://fortress.wa.gov/ga/apps/sbcc/Page.aspx?cid=898

·       King Intermediate School and 4 other schools are close to being at end of runway.  http://public-schools.findthebest.com

NOISE LEVEL EFFECT ON CHILDREN   Annex D.3.7 covers school effects on children in schools.

·       The following is quoted from Annex D.3.7.1,  Effects on Learning and Cognitive Abilities.   “The ANSI acoustical performance criteria for schools include the requirement that the one-hour-average background noise levels shall not exceed 35dBA in core learning spaces smaller than 20,000 cubic-feet and 40dBA in core learning spaces with enclosed volumes exceeding 20, 000 cubic-feet.  This would require schools be constructed such that, in quiet neighborhoods indoor noise levels are lowered by 15 to 20 dBA relative to outdoor levels.  In schools near airports, indoor noise would have to be lowered by 35 to 45 dBA relative to outdoor levels(ANSI 2002).”

Paragraph 6 of Annex D.3.7.1    “ Similar, a 1994 study found that students exposed to aircraft noise of approximately 76 dBA scored 20% lower on recall ability tests than students exposed to ambient noise of 42-44 dBA(Hygge 1994).  “The Haines and Stansfeld study indicated that there may be some long-term effects associated with exposure, as one-year follow-up testing still demonstrated lowered scores for children in higher noise schools(Haines, et al. 2001a and 2001b).

Representative Cynthia Thielen (R) has been working with constituents from the Kāneʻohe area to oppose the Osprey.  She submitted comments on the Marine Corps environmental impact statement (EIS) that were critical of the noise studies. Her comments can be viewed here:  Rep Thielen comments on Navy FEIS 7 10 12


One Comment


That’s what I like about the Kaneohe Bay Airshow, it only happens once a year. But, you can still hear the jets all the way from the H3 tunnel while travelling in your car with the radio on.

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