Critics of the proposed cell phone tower located on the north end of Jennings are out in force as usual. The tower will occupy a space of 50 Feet X 50 feet and it will be located in a pasture that is approximately 900 feet west of North Cutting between 2 rows of a treeline. With the exception of the top of the tower hidden from view for all practical purposes. It WILL NOT be right next to Hwy 102, which is what most of the anti-tower people have been misled to believe. The height will be 147 feet. This opposition for the cell phone tower want to keep things as they are or they are just oppose any changes at all. Who knows. Strangely enough many are Trump supporters but their opinions are more aligned with the Progressive Democrats, not so different to those that protested the Dollar General in Hathaway. They too wanted to keep things as they were.
A local pilot on facebook that has been flying since the late 70’s pointed out that this proposed cell tower would definitely be in the way of the planes in and out of the airport. One can assume he has expertise in the way of “tower avoidance” while flying, since he’s posting on fakebook. Despite his knowledge and experience the final decision will rest upon the FAA ruling. Until that ruling comes out, we won’t really know. In the meantime we can look at the map below to see if that pilots opinion holds water. If the FAA says it’s a problem then I don’t mind a little egg in my face. But you can bet the Mosquito Abatement District and the Airport will still work to prevent it and ignore the FAA.
In case you were not aware the Police Jury surrendered its authority on towers to the Mosquito Abatement District and put decision making in the hands of one man rather than the entire Police Jury, you know the ones we elected! You should keep that in mind.
In the photo below of the Jennings Airport, I have placed a red dot as a marker for the proposed cell phone tower, and for reference I have labeled runways 1 & 2. I have labeled another 3 but this may be a taxi lane, however I have seen planes take off and come straight over the Oil and Gas Park, so apparently it is long enough for takeoffs and landings for certain aircraft.
(Keep in mind takeoffs and landings can occur on either end of the runways)
Traffic on runway #1 goes right over LaRumba. Any takeoffs are south of the proposed cell location with a continuous progress AWAY from the cell tower during and after takeoff. I rarely see any planes coming over head from that runway and talking to a couple of people I know who live in the area they say they never notice planes taking off or landing overhead at their homes so inbound/outbound traffic may be on the other end, well away from the tower. On runway #2, IF the takeoff is from West to East, it would also be progressively AWAY from the proposed tower site. I fail to see where this proposed cell tower would be in the way for planes taking off or landing.
Here is a realization in all this. If you were to decide to take your child to the airport, at random for a couple of hours to watch the airplanes take off and land, you would waste a couple of good hours of that child’s life because in all likelihood you won’t see a single plane take off or land. Its just not that busy!
The population of Jennings from the latest Census number is 9,800 by comparison Crowley is 12,588 a difference of 2788 people. At first glance you would assume the higher the population the larger the airport. When Crowley goes up on their sales tax rate, Jennings quickly follows suit and the local elected uses the City of Crowley or Acadia Parish in their comparisons to justify and sell their tax increase to the public. Both are along the interstate and both between Lake Charles and Lafayette. Since they like to use them for comparison for higher tax justification, it is acceptable to use for other comparisons including this one. We will compare the Jennings airport to the Crowley airport and tie that back to economic benefit.
Maybe we are looking at this all wrong. As far back as I can remember the Jennings Airport has been looked at as the “holy land” of the city/parish. It carries with it the image of “the land of milk and honey” or portrayed as the “crown jewel of the city”. Nobody and I mean nobody has every criticized the airport. That would be almost sacrilegious.
But is it really this crown jewel? Or is it now in the way of economic growth and prosperity for its residents? Lets compare Crowley’s airport to the Jennings airport for a better view as we compare the 2 cities in close proximity to each other.
The below Map is in Estherwood LA because Crowley La, does not have an airport in their business district because Crowley DOES NOT HAVE AN AIRPORT. The airprort used for Crowley by default is the Legros Airport which was a training base at one time, located in Estherwood La well outside of Crowley.
(Read on, below pic)
Crowley La with its larger population, with more business and industry including large manufacturing facilities, that has a Lowe’s, A Chile’s, and other businesses that Jennings lost out on and they don’t even have an airport! The Jennings airport over the decades was supposed to fuel the economy. The airport comparison is an apples to oranges comparison because the Jennings airport is more superior. I get that but you have to look beyond airport superiority and align it with community benefit. The bigger question is “what is the benefit”? The Jennings airport is used by private local plane owners, crop dusting and various hobbyists. This is the air strip that the Mosquito Abatement District uses but it also can also use the same grass strips that crops dusters use all the time. It simply has runways out its back door and probably use the airport more than anyone. Aside from them and crop dusters, not much else flies in or out unless someone is stopping off for fuel or some bigwig flies in the eat lunch somewhere. That superior airport as its value to the community is less than Crowley’s airport, which has none. Do big shot owners of the factories in the Jennings area fly in for their businesses? Which factories or manufacturing facilities? Show them to me! Do big shot owners of the factories in Crowley fly in to Jennings and drive to Crowley? If so, how exactly does that benefit the Jennings area directly? Because people in Jennings work in Crowley? Is that your final answer? Wouldn’t it be great if Jennings people could work in Jennings and make a livable wage?
Business is moving closer to the Interstate and smack dab in the way is a huge “superior” airport eating up valuable and sizable land that could hold businesses and grow the economy and maybe slow the decay of the city. Where is this airport benefit that has been promised for the last 40 years? When you look around you see decay, you may have a difficult time equating its existence to economic benefit. During that period there have been many reports in the local paper about money poured into airport expansion, and for what? Did it increase the traffic? Its looking more like its in the way now!
Crowley is smoking the economic ass of Jennings and they don’t even have an airport. How do you explain that, when they promised economic growth with each airport improvement subsidized by the government?
Well educated people would respond to this by saying if you don’t like it move away. My response to that would be simple..”that’s what people are doing or having to do for job opportunities and its turning Jennings into shit hole or maybe you haven’t noticed. If you have to drive 45 minutes to work it makes more sense to move closer to your work.
You say a new cell phone tower, a critical piece of communication infrastructure is in the way of the airport? Depends on your perspective. It looks more like the airport is in the way of benefiting the entire community. The airport is infrastructure too but of the overkill variety. For at least the last 40 years the airport has been portrayed as the crown jewel of the community. Its no such thing. It’s a farce! It’s the proverbial ”lipstick on a pig”. Maybe its time to find another home for the airport further away from homes and the business district. I’m sure the Fed’s and State will pony up the money for it, they haven’t let them down in the last 40 years. That won’t ever happen!
If your going to have a superior airport then you should have a busy airport but that’s not the case. It looks more like a past strategy of “if we build it…they will come”, which has never materialized. I envision the guy working the tower, and if you only have 1, that should tell you something, napping for the bigger part of his/her day. If planes are not flying in an out regularly then your air traffic controller has plenty of nap time. I am not an aviation expert but I have enough knowledge to know when the aviation and other so called self proclaimed experts are full of shit!
I don’t mind egg in my face, but first, show me the log books showing the arrival and departure times of every aircraft “by type”, including aircraft owner business name or private owner name, over the course of 6 months so we can see what kind of activity it really has to see if it lives up to its reputation as the crown jewel of the parish”. While we look at the need for this cell tower, that is part of communications infrastructure, lets also pause for a moment and look at the real need to have an airport that is superior to surrounding parishes.
Is it a crown jewel as advertised or is just another government waste project?