Community counts in Moffett's future use
Original post made on Sep 27, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 7, 2013, 12:00 AM
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:08 am
Since the summer of 2005, the Navy's position concerning Hangar One was made clear at many public meetings in the Mountain View area. For the past eight years, the reaction from the public continues to be strongly in favor of restoring Hangar One. Despite overwhelming public support for the hangar, a federal buck-passing exercise has been going on for almost a decade. Both the Navy and NASA have been metaphorically tossing the restoration of the hangar around like a hot potato. Everyone gives lip service to restoring the hangar but nobody wants to pay for it. It's a national disgrace that NASA and the Navy have been blowing off fixing Hangar One.
An offer by the H211 to step up to preserve the hangar should have removed the cost argument from the discussion. You'd think that NASA would jump at the chance at free money to make this PR nightmare go away but you would be wrong.
NASA's behavior sums up what's wrong with government. An offer was made for private funding to re-skin the hangar. Paying for the re-skinning was the sticking point in the discussions Then money comes along, and what does NASA do? Stall, diddle and procrastinate. This is why people hate government.
A proper Restoration Alternative would involve re-skining Hangar One in addition to all of the environmental work described in Alternative 2- "Implementation of Institutional Controls," which is fundamentally flawed because it justifies an already-reached conclusion by ignoring the community's strong desire to see the hangar preserved. It's time to discard Alternative 2 and prepare an Alternative 3 that meets the joint goals of protecting the environment and preserving history. These goals need not be mutually exclusive.
Although we can argue about the number of flights allowed at NUQ, we don't want to lose the Federal airfield adjacent to Hangar One. The MV Voice reports that "[Lenny] Siegel has long advocated for Moffett's runways to be torn up and redeveloped with 'badly needed' transit-oriented housing." I respectfully disagree. Keeping NUQ open for NASA, Air National Guard and emergency flights as it is now is a fair compromise between "no growthers" and aviation advocates. It's virtually impossible to build new aviation capacity in this country so let's not destroy what we have.
This should have been settled years ago. NUQ has lots of restrictions on flight operations and it is doubtful more flights would come to NUQ. Air cargo is down in North America. On August 26, Aviation Week reported, "North America and the Asia-Pacific area proved to be the weakest regions in terms of international AFTKs (Available Freight Tonne Kilometers) and cargo demand in the first half of the year, contracting by 2.7% and 2.9%, respectively."
So, please, let's not try to scare people into believing that fleets of air freighters are about to descend on NUQ if only those pesky restrictions were lifted, it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Just drive down to SJC at 7:00 PM and watch what's left of the cargo "rush." I'll save you the time, it's down to two Fedex and one or two (depends on day) UPS flights. This region does not generate the same small amounts of air freight that it did in the 1990s and SFO, OAK and SJC can handle it for years to come.