Facts

Falcon Field:

  • Zoning permitted residential neighborhoods to surround Falcon Field for more than 20 years. A buffer zone sufficient to accommodate flight activity of a municipal airport was maintained.
  • The City of Mesa recently changed the business strategy for Falcon Field to a flight-training airport.

CAE/Oxford Air Academy:

  • CAE/Oxford is a foreign corporation, training foreign student pilots for foreign commercial airlines.
  • CAE/Oxford expanded in 2013 to 75 aircraft at Falcon Field.
  • Trainees have little or no aviation experience, and for many, English is a second language.
  • The School uses the riskier "long approach" that stretches take-offs and landings far out over the neighbors in order to prepare for 737-type commercial training procedures. (See 'Danger Factors' below)

CAE/Oxford Impact on Falcon Field:

  • The Flight School now dominates Falcon Field, with take-offs from both runways at intervals of one every 2 minutes for hours on end.
  • Nearly all flights at Falcon Field are from CAE/Oxford student pilots
  • Surrounding neighborhood are exposed to consistently increasing levels and durations of noise
  • Greatly increased usage of exceptionally loud twin-engine aircraft add substantially to the problem.

Long-Term Impacts:

  • The noise footprint is expanding well beyond a reasonable distance from Falcon Field.
  • Large flight schools discourage quality businesses (both aviation-related and non) that may desire to locate and/or stay at Falcon Field and the surrounding industrial park.
  • Crowded runways and constant tower/student radio communications inhibit normal flow of air traffic, and tax the capabilities of tower controllers.

Safety:

Accidents:

  • CAE has already had 2 offsite crashes (4 fatalities) since coming to Falcon Field and is currently being sued by a victim for flight agreements with a client that contributed "to a culture whereby safe flight practices were sacrificed for economic gain."
  • Based on testimony of a fireman at the Falcon Field Fire Station, approximately 10% or more of the emergency calls per week are related to CAE issues and incidents.
  • On the night of October 6, 2013, two CAE pilots were conducting touch and go patterns amidst a Mesa Police Helicopter Emergency. The pilots were “reprimanded by CAE management.”

Danger Factors:

  • The risk of accidents by inexperienced, barely proficient pilots has increased exponentially.
  • Language barrier: new students struggling to understand aviation directives and communicate in English, not their primary language, while in a high-stress training environment. 85 Vietnamese students had to be sent to an ASU English immersion program in 2012
  • The "long-approach" commercial-type flight-training patterns are much riskier, both to those under and near the flight patterns, and to the private pilots caught in the patterns.
  • Past YouTube videos (now taken down) and blogs by CAE students reveal harrowing training experiences conducted over our neighborhoods.

Noise:

  • CAE training flights: 7 days a week day and night, 360 days a year; start as early as 5 a.m.
  • With their back to back touch and go patterns, there is a near constant CAE droning sound over areas even miles from the airport for hours on end.

The Cost of CAE/Oxford at Falcon Field...

To the City of Mesa and Falcon Field:

  • CAE/Oxford operations provide minimal economic benefit to The City of Mesa/Falcon Field
  • Wear and tear and maintenance costs to airport facilities has increased.
  • Potential tenants have avoided Falcon Field due to extended departure delays, flight patterns and difficulty in communicating with the tower.
  • Tenants suffering from an airport clogged by flight training are not satisfied with conditions at Falcon Field. Vacancies on and especially around the airport are common.

To Mesa Residents:

  • Significantly higher levels of noise and airplane related pollution affect health and well-being.
  • Quality of Life has been negatively impacted:
    • Sleep is frequently interrupted by increased late night or early morning air traffic
    • Residents limit enjoyment of neighborhoods and back yards because of noise and air pollution.
    • Outdoor meetings and events are often moved indoors for the same reasons.
    • Residents often can't even open windows in beautiful Spring/Autumn weather without being inundated by near constant flight noise.
    • Property values in surrounding neighborhoods will ultimately decrease as the training continues to impact our area in multiple ways.
Visit the Voter Initiative page for more more information on a solution that finally shows some promise.

City Council

Mayor, Council & Manager's
Contact System:

http://apps.mesaaz.gov/citizencontact/
E-mail Mayor &
all Council members:

council@Mesaaz.gov

City of Mesa Contacts

Mayor:

Alex Finter
480-644-2388
mayor@mesaaz.gov

City Manager:

Chris Brady
480-644-2066
commanager@mesaaz.gov

Ass't to City Mgr:

Natalie Lewis
480-644-4938
natalie.lewis@mesaaz.gov

District 1 Councilmember:

Dave Richins
480-644-4002
councilmember.richins@mesaaz.gov

District 2 Councilmember:

Terry Benelli
480-644-3772
councilmember.benelli@mesaaz.gov

District 3 Councilmember:

Dennis Kavanaugh
480-644-3003
councilmember.kavanaugh@mesaaz.gov

District 4 Councilmember:

Christopher Glover
480-644-3004
councilmember.glover@mesaaz.gov

District 5 Councilmember:

David Luna
480-644-3771
councilmember.luna@mesaaz.gov

District 6 Councilmember:

Scott Sommers
480-644-4003
councilmember.somers@mesaaz.gov

FF Airport Director:

Corinne Nystrom
480-644-4045
corinne.nystrom@mesaaz.gov