Residents weigh in on Westchester County Airport's future

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WEST HARRISON -

Residents voiced their concerns about the future of Westchester County Airport at a meeting Monday in West Harrison.

It was the final of three public meetings that allowed residents to speak directly to Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Monday's meeting at the Harrison Senior Center focused on airport operations.

George Klein, of the Westchester Sierra Club, said noise is one of the main concerns, with many echoing his issue with an increase in air traffic.

"Some of the residents say (planes) are coming in every few minutes," he said.

Other issues brought up include drainage and air and water quality.

"The question that we have to ask ourselves when this is over is what do we do about it, how do we deal with the FAA that has a tremendous amount of control of what happens at this airport?" Latimer asked.

Although some aspects of the environmental impact were already studied, the county plans to do more to understand residents' worries. But if those problems go unresolved, it could result in a loss in property value for some. One pastor said he's lived on 68 acres of land near the airport for more than 80 years and might have to sell it, depending on how things work out.

Another topic addressed at a previous meeting was the privatization of the airport. The Westchester Board of Legislators will likely make a decision on that by November.

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