Schenectady County

Air Guard night flights rattle Scotia residents

Village residents are complaining that the aircraft from the Stratton Air National Guard Base see


Village residents are complaining that the aircraft from the Stratton Air National Guard Base seem louder than ever and are flying frequently at night.

“We’ve never had the level of noise from aircraft late at night,” said Karl Horstmann, a 21-year resident of the village. “One night, I counted seven or eight planes after 9:30.”

Horstmann said he wished that the planes would fly over the less densely populated west Glenville, instead of the middle of the village. “This wakes people up. It’s a heavy rumbling. Things can shake,” he said.

He added that hoped that it would be a temporary situation.

Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg said he had received a few calls from concerned residents.

“The planes are flying over the village at a low level at their approach to the airport. The reason for that is there’s a new requirement of the National Guard for night vision training. They’re doing their final flights between 10 and 11 at night,” he said.

Kastberg spoke to a representative from the guard. He passed along Horstmann’s request to ask the guard officials if the C-130 planes can alter their approach to the airport.

The planes are circling over the village several times.

He understands that some of the planes have to fly low because of the training requirements.

Kastberg said the National Guard has been very cooperative but he has not heard back from them about what can be done to be rectify the situation.

Maj. Robert Donaldson, community manager for the 109th Airlift Wing, said there have not been any recent changes to the flight patterns or training. He attributed the rise of complaints to the warmer weather.

“People start opening their windows and hear the traffic pattern,” he said.

He said guard officials have to fulfill training requirements, which he could not elaborate on because of security concerns.

“We try to balance that against avoiding those populated areas as much as possible,” he said.

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