Seaplanes over Poulsbo mean planes over an entire region: Liberty Bay, Agate Passage, Port Madison Bay, Port Orchard Bay and large parts of Kitsap County.
Planes — by nature being fast, wide-ranging and noisy — take over a region. If you’re spending a quiet afternoon in the garden, you’ve got this noisy machine circling above you. If you’re talking with friends on the deck, you’re bothered by the plane speeding over the water. If you’re sitting on a bench at the park, enjoying the sun and the seals, your moment is overcome by the plane’s noise and movement.
Who would want an airport in their metaphorical backyard?
And yet, creating an airport in downtown Poulsbo is what the Jan. 13 Scuttlebutt column advocated for. It spoke enthusiastically about the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association’s desire to use Poulsbo as an airport and Liberty Bay as a runway. It lamented the sporadic arrivals and departures of planes on Liberty Bay, and it applauded port commissioner talk about expanding the amount of air traffic into Poulsbo.
Expand air traffic into Poulsbo? Think about it. Airports are built away from towns for good reasons: planes are noisy and planes take over regions around airports. In Victoria, Canada, planes monopolize attention as they roar into the air. If you’re a visitor, it’s exciting to watch takeoffs and landings initially, but then they start to interfere with your walk beside the bay, your dinner outside in the sun, your conversation with friends. Think about the effect that this airport-in-their-backyard must have on Victoria’s residents — flight after flight, day after day.
Liberty Bay shouldn’t have any seaplanes. The bay is small, boats and kayaks traverse it, and many homes are located alongside it. Each decision to increase noise and congestion in Poulsbo leads to policies and actions that increase noise and congestion in Poulsbo.
Increasing plane traffic into Liberty Bay is a bad idea, and it should be argued against and voted against whenever it’s proposed.
Michael Maddox Poulsbo