OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The City of Alameda and a community organization both published responses this week criticizing the Oakland Airport expansion plan. It would add 25 gates, and critics say it’s an environmental hazard.
The Port of Oakland says they are just trying to create the best experience for passengers, but people who oppose the plan are calling it insufficient and a failure.
These would be the first major upgrades to the airport in 40 years. The Port of Oakland published an environmental report for its proposed terminal modernization and development project, and some people aren’t happy. Alameda City Manager Jeniffer Ott says they held a community meeting to discuss it.
“We had a significant number of community members from the surrounding community that is affected by this come out and express a lot of concern about the noise and the air quality,” she said.
The community’s biggest issue is the possibility of an increased number of flights. City officials believe this could impact air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise in the area.
“The main thing I got out of it was it’s totally disclaiming responsibility for air pollution and noise population increasing,” said Lin Griffith, founder of the Stop Oakland Expansion coalition. “It said those things were going to happen but it wasn’t their responsibility. However, it isn’t anyone else’s at present either.”
The coalition sent a letter challenging the Port of Oakland’s report. It was co-signed by 47 local community groups. David Foecke with the coalition says he thinks the port is trying to hide the expansion by calling it a modernization.
“They’re trying to sneak this by, they’re trying to abdicate responsibility for the impact it will have on our children’s future,” he said.
The Port of Oakland said in a statement to KRON4 that they need to address the future passenger demand in a responsible way. They will review and respond to the comments as they prepare their final environmental impact report. Ott thinks the port needs to start from scratch.
“We actually think they need to recirculate this analysis. Do another job, revise it, and really make every attempt to mitigate the impacts as much as possible,” she said.
The Alameda city manager says they are happy to continue to have conversations with the Port of Oakland to try and come up with a better plan.