Wright is Wrong. No, Wait. Right. Wrong. Uh.
As someone who lives in the flight path of Love Field Airport--by which I mean I must have a runway in my driveway--I must admit, I don't much care about what happens with the Wright Amendment. On the one hand, yeah, the noise is annoying on those rare occasions when I'm on the phone outside, but live in the flight path long enough, and you just stop noticing it after a while--like three days after you move in. (Actually, I've lived in the flight path my whole life, as far back as when Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was a blueprint; no wonder I can't recall hearing a thing my mother told me till the age of, like, 34.) And I know the noise will only get worse--exponentially so, especially for schools and apartments in the immediate Love Field vicinity--if the Wright Amendment's lifted. It says so right here in the Stop and Think brochure that landed in my mailbox yesterday.
"Love Field expansions studies project thousands of residents will be 'affected by noise an aircraft over-flights.' Many will fall in the 65+ decibel level--a level the FAA has set as the noise standard threshold for determining land use compatibility."
Stop and Think, which is a grassroots organization the same way 7-Eleven is a neighborhood grocer, quotes plenty of official-sounding studies and reports and master plans; good for them, doing your homework like that. Problem is, I look at the Stop and Think materials, see the "in cooperation with American Airlines" in fine print beneath the logo and immediately want to give Southwest Airlines a billion dollars (or, more realistically, the $32.27 in my pocket) to support their efforts to abolish the antiquated legislation altogether. American, from my recent experiences on the airline, has so little respect for its worst-class customers some of the flight attendents might as well punch you in the face when you shlep onboard. And fact is, you live close to Love, you want to take advantage of its convenient location; if it's going be noisy, might as well be me making the racket on my way to Los Angeles or New York City rather than some other schmuck just making the 40-minute trip down to Austin.
Both sides make reasonable cases for why Wright's right and why it's so very wrong. I need convincing before I put a sign in my yard or a bumper sticker on my car (that will never happen, unless you wanna pay rent) or host a neighborhood event (again, I don't even like having friends over, so no go there, either). Feel free to win me over, whichever side you side with. Hurry, though, because I am going out of town in a few days, and there's some American flight attendent just waiting to kick me in the junk. --Robert Wilonsky
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.