With skydiving being such an exciting sport that brings joy to so many people, it may be surprising that there are some places where residents are looking to end skydiving operations. Residents of Sisters, Oregon were hoping to stop Skydive Awesome at the Sisters Eagle Airport from being approved to host skydiving operations. While many people appreciate the unique adventure that skydiving offers as a thrill-seeking experience, some residents of Sisters who lived close to the airport felt the noise was getting to be too much.
KBND, a local news station out of Oregon, reported on the ongoing issue of skydiving over Sisters, Oregon. There were months of opposition from the residents of the area who were opposed to skydiving being allowed to continue nearby. In the end, the Sisters Eagle Airport will be allowed to keep its state designation that will continue allowing this facility to have skydiving operations ran out of it. This ruling only happened this week where the decision was made after a hearing with Oregon’s Department of Aviation in Salem.
One of the individuals from the area, who wished to remain anonymous, talked to KBND. This individual cited noise complaints as the reason many residents were upset. She said, “Once the designation was granted, all those uses become statutorily protected and that leaves the city and the country out of the picture.”
This resident was a member of the group “Save Our Skies.” She cited that the noise from skydiving was affecting local residents. The noise complaints were coming mostly from those who lived closer to the airport.
She further explained that, “It is a deafening roar, at which time all conversation has to stop inside and outside the house; the birds stop singing. We have some people who try to do business from home and they say they can’t conduct telephone meetings when a plane goes over. That’s just for starters, so we only get that maybe 16 times a day.”
While this is a valid concern, there are ways for air flight tourism businesses and local residents to work together. As the anonymous member also talked to KBND about. She said that she would like the airport to work with the local residents to negotiate terms that work for everyone.
Currently, people on both sides of this issue are starting mediation assessments which will determine if they can move to the next step of official negotiation meetings and processes.
From what can be determined, it is the popular consensus that skydiving and other air sports should be accessible to the people who want to experience them while still working with and alongside local residents.
KBND, the Oregon local news station, did request a comment from the airport’s owner. To date, they have not heard anything back on this complex issue.