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Apr 10, 2016 10:24 AM

Keene city council votes to allow controversial Aerobatic Club practices

KEENE — A controversial decision to let an airplane aerobatics club hold practices at the Dillant-Hopkins Airport has upset some people who live nearby.

The city council voted this week 9-6 in favor of allowing the practices on five Saturdays this year, according to the Keene Sentinel.

At a meeting on Thursday, opponents argued the practices disturb the neighborhood.

One neighbor, James T. Dunn, said that the events destroy half of the day for about 500 families living in the area. He said he understands that he lives near an airport and is accustomed to the sounds of planes, but the noise from jets doing aerobatics is constant.

He got support from city Councilor George S. Hansel.

“I am a supporter of the airport, I want to see it thrive, and it’s a great potential asset for the economy and the region,” Hansel said. “But I remain unconvinced that buying food and some gas is a trade-off for the extreme level of public nuisance.”

But other residents supported allowing the practices because of the attention brought to the airport and the opportunity to watch professional aerobatics free of charge.

This isn’t the first time neighbors have been irked about the airport. They also have been fighting tree cutting in the woods that gives the area a buffer from the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the tree cutting, saying the white pines in the 15-acre forest have grown too tall and are a hazard to pilots.

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