I am humbled and honored to take on the issues of District 1 of El Dorado County and represent El Dorado Hills/Bass Lake/parts of Cameron Park as well as El Dorado County as a whole. On a daily basis as a full-time job I deal with many pressing issues from land use to public health but for this article I want to focus on something I think has the potential to devastate our community as we know it — the expansion of Mather Airport.
Sacramento County intends to turn Mather into a premier cargo hub for the entire Pacific Rim region. The numbers are arguable but I believe the volumes of flights per day and night will be significant and very disruptive. These flights will be low in altitude due to our proximity to Rancho Cordova, so the noise pollution could be extreme. The particulate matter from jet fuel pollution is concerning. “The expansion plans include lengthening runways and upgrading Mather Airport’s navigation aid, or instrument landing system, to a Category IIIb, which means aircraft are allowed to begin approach if visibility is greater than 300 feet instead of the current half mile requirement.” — Village Life, April 7. This would change the flailing airport which loses more than $1 million annually into a premiere job-creating, revenue stream for Sacramento County.
But at what cost to Folsom and El Dorado County? The numerous additional flights have the potential to devastate our local economy, drive down home prices and increase noise and air pollution. Generally cargo companies fly at night, so our nights may become rather sleepless. We aren’t asking Sacramento to lose jobs or revenue, but rather to return cargo operations back to its origin, Sacramento International Airport, which has the infrastructure to accommodate air cargo operations without an impact to neighboring communities
“The expansion of Mather airport is not a district problem, it is an El Dorado County problem,” according to an e-mail sent to constituents from Mikulaco’s assistant Cindy Munt. “Should the expansion go through it will negatively impact the quality of life and beauty of the county with major environmental and noise pollution problems, none of which Sacramento County will be mitigating according to the DEIR. The negative financial impact to El Dorado County will be huge, while Sacramento County will be enjoying all the financial benefits. I recommend writing to Sacramento and El Dorado County Supervisors and let your wishes be known.”
If you are currently being awakened or disrupted by airplanes, please report all noise events so Sacramento County government and airport officials will realize the noise impact of Mather air cargo flights. Either e-mail your complaint to [email protected] or call the SCAS aircraft noise report line at (916) 874-0800.
“Affected areas would include Rancho Cordova, Silver Springs, Rosemont, Gold River, Fair Oaks, Folsom, El Dorado Hills (north and south of Highway 50), Cameron Park, Rescue and Shingle Springs.” Village Life, April 7.
Ron “Mik” Mikulaco represents District 1 on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.