It’s been a few years since the request to renew Skydive Cape Cod’s contract at The Chatham Municipal Airport was declined. Some of the residents are pleased with the outcome and others carry on without any concern. However, if this ban can continue could this affect other businesses in the future?
Residents who live near the airport feel that skydiving is unsafe and it disrupts the community. No matter where you live you have the right to voice your concerns about safety. However, are the concerns of a few justifiable to the point where it takes away enjoyment for the rest of the community? If you live in a neighborhood that is near a local bar, do residents have the right to petition and shut down a local business or limit their hours of operation? What if you live on a busy street where there is a lot of traffic and community events? Do you have the right to petition and have local events banned? Could downtown residents complain about the nightlife and come together to institute a curfew? Harding’s Beach in Chatham is a popular area of town, could residents protest about the high amounts of traffic? If this ban is allowed to continue and essentially be approved this could give way for other protests.
Essentially no matter where you live there will be certain aspects that you may not be too fond of. However, it comes with the territory. It should be considered that if you decide to live in areas that have popular attractions and high noise levels you can either accept it or find another area more conducive to your liking.
“We were pleased by the judge’s decision, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that the Chatham airport is operated in a safe manner that protects the interest of airport neighbors, as well as all of the citizens of Chatham,” Ira H. Zaleznik, the attorney for Citizens for A Safe Chatham Airport, said in a statement. In result, a Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo set a trial date for December 4th to proceed with the determination of the ban. The decision to continue to ban skydiving activities in Chatham has caught the attention of The Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA ruled that the skydiving ban must be lifted as Chatham continues to accept millions of dollars in federal funding to continue the improvement of the George Ryder Road facility. The FAA ordered the town to begin their search for a skydiving vendor. However, since the motion was filed to set the court date there has been no further pursuit of finding a vendor, nor has the FAA continued to push their demands. City officials are set to make a decision in the upcoming weeks to determine whether to continue the holding off of the contract until the case is tried.
Who would have thought that an enjoyable recreational activity would cause so much of an uproar? As Chatham enters its fourth summer season of no skydiving it comes with negative outcomes.
Locals who enjoy the sport will have to find other ways to enjoy their spare time but a local company is seeing a decrease in profit. It’s a benefit to competing counterparts but the local business who owns and operates the facility is seeing a decline in profit. Furthermore, what if the claim goes through and skydiving is permanently banned at the airport? That will still not eliminate the concern for noise levels and safety measures. The Chatham Municipal Airport is open to general aviation activities year-round. With airplanes taking off and landing at the airport daily, there is no way to put a filter on the noise levels. According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s master record it is estimated that Chatham’s airport can average around 26,000 aircraft operations in a 12-month time span. Regardless of whether skydiving is banned or not, it’s not going to eliminate the noise level completely. Skydiving is a way to generate revenue to improve the town’s economy. When there are more attractions available in Chatham it will attract people in and out of town to participate in those activities as well as spend their hard-earned money locally. This is something the residents may need to consider.