As a resident of Bethel, I have two serious concerns regarding the proposed changes to low-altitude training flight levels over Western Maine.

First, if the National Transportation Safety Board publicly calls for fast-moving planes to operate at higher altitudes, how could anyone else, even the Air National Guard, seriously propose to lower the flight levels of Condor training space to 500 feet above the ground?

Secondly, if those changes are said to ultimately be for the public’s benefit and protection, can they be justified by destroying the quality of life here where I live and endangering those who use the small airport for recreational and business purposes?

When I say “destroying the quality of life,” officials of the Air National Guard may not understand the enormous value area residents place on the precious (meaning rare) environment, filled with the sounds of nature and the ordinary doings of a rural community.

It would be the ultimate tragic irony if, by lowering the training flight altitudes in order to protect the public, the unintended consequence would be damaging or endangering an area valued for its natural beauty and special qualities of peace and quiet, sought by people everywhere.

Here in Bethel, we have found that peace.

Sally Taylor, Bethel


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