Monday, the Birmingham Airport Authority met for the first time since the deadly crash of UPS Flight 1354 Wednesday, Aug. 13. The crash took the lives of the cargo planes two pilots.
Al Denson, the President and CEO of the Birmingham Airport Authority (BAA) read a statement offering condolences to the families of the two pilots.
"Our sympathy to the families of the deceased pilots and the UPS family during this time of tragedy," Denson said.
Those who live in communities surrounding the airport have also been shaken by the crash. Robert Walker with the East Lake Community came to the board meeting and invited board members to attend a community meeting at Patton Park Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.
"It was our understanding when the buyouts came about they would stop flying those size of planes over that area. Use smaller planes. If we don't have an agreement then let's make one," Walker said.
Some residents have asked questions about a federal buyout program in wake of the deadly accident. Denson reminded the board the federal noise abatement program, which is being used to purchase homes because of noise problems at the airport, is almost complete.
"The BAA has a noise abatement program in place which is nearing completion with the exception of a few issues. The crash and Flight 1354 are unrelated," Denson said.
Walker also voiced concerns about the psychological impact of the crash on children in the area.
"The children always enjoyed waving at the passengers and them waving back at them. Now they realize they are in danger. I'm not a psychologist on how a child flip flops but I think it's a concern," Walker said.
While the board said little about the investigation other than the authority is cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board, the authority plans to have representative at the community meeting.
"We definitely are concerned on the board about what the citizens are thinking. We want to hear about it that. We definitely want to attend and participate in the discussion," Michael Bell with the BAA said.
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