Saturday, January 14, 2017

Overhead Flights

I am allergic to noise. The idea of living within range of the military jets that circle Boca Chica Navy Base endlessly practicing maneuvers is more than I could bear. One of my issues with living in Key West is noise. I have long maintained that Americans aren't trained to live next door to each other with no offsets as tightly as Key West requires. Consequently the streets are littered with signs demanding good behavior ("No Parking!" "Keep Off!" "No Dogs!" "No Trespassing!") and the newspaper's Citizen's Voice column is littered with anonymous complaints about every kind of behavior under the sun.
The airport in Key West is a case in point. There are quite a few flights in and out during the day and the single runway which points more or less East and West means aircraft tend to fly directly over Old Town on their approach. Departures climb into the sky over Stock Island and turn north.
They aren't so bad as they come into land but they are noticeable and their presence overhead reminds you how small this town is.  
The newspaper had a front page story announcing direct flights to Chicago starting this month which will change some people's travel plans no doubt. Key West describes itself as an "international" airport but the time they tried to fly to Nassau in the Bahamas the flights were unsustainable. Chicago is as international as it gets. Along with Tampa Miami Atlanta and I think Orlando. 
I rarely fly to or from Key West preferring to drive to Fort Lauderdale (or Miami if I have to) and thus saving a huge bill and the possibility of missed connections on the way home. There's nothing worse than arriving late in Fort Lauderdale and missing the connection because then you are scrambling to get a rental car to make the unexpected four hour drive home...I prefer to have it planned and there is lots of good airport parking available.
The airport lies on the Southeast corner of Ky West separated by salt ponds and fences. I took this picture from Government Road in Little Hamaca City Park alongside the runway:
 Airports to me are mysterious places though I can see the attraction of flying your own plane to and from the Keys, fast and efficient if you have to go back and forth all the time.
 The airport's general aviation also accommodates other business flights including the seaplanes to the Dry Tortugas, a  flight I want to make before too long.
And there is enough room to leave this old hijacked Cuban airliner rotting in the back lot. A Cuban living in Miami won a rather peculiar lawsuit against the Cuban government and was awarded the plane as damage compensation for the monies ostensibly owed by the embargoed Cuban government. It seemed  like a violation of international law which requires hijacked planes to be returned but the ruling did no one any good and here it sits years later:
Flying has changed the way we live and travel. However I prefer to keep my feet on the ground as much as I can.
And the noise all that flying make still bugs me. It just does.