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Guest Editorial

In the May 3-5 edition article, "Aerial ads are here to stay," it stated Aerial Ads aircraft "must fly from Heber to Salt Lake via the I-80 corridor" and their pilots "stay 1,000′ off the ground, that’s our regulation from the FAA guidelines."

Contrary to these stated regulations, I have observed Aerial Ads’ aircraft circling into the Snyderville Basin, often at altitudes that appear to be under 1000′. In addition to the location and altitude, these planes produce conversation-interrupting noise levels in excess of the stated Park City and Summit County sound ordinances of 65dB on the ground.

In addition to the sound and low-flight complaints, I believe Aerial Ads’ aircraft are a nuisance to the environment and are not congruent with the value Park City and the County wishes to deliver to its residents and visitors. According to the Summit County Checklist & Review Procedure for Sign Permit, the County would agree:

"The purpose of the sign regulations is to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the general public by implementing outdoor advertising regulations to protect property values, create an attractive economic and business climate and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the community. It is further intended to reduce signs or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to clutter or traffic accidents."

Why should it be appropriate for Aerial Ads to break Summit County’s regulations in the air? Low-flying aircraft pulling ads do not enhance the aesthetic appearance of a community, protect property values, or reduce signs or advertising distractions that contribute to clutter or traffic accidents. Aerial Ads’ aircraft seemingly do quite the opposite.

The reality of the situation is Aerial Ads is taking advantage of the gap between two governing bodies’ jurisdictions and charters to conduct business in a way that neither the local or federal entities can regulate. Summit County doesn’t have jurisdiction over air traffic, its contents, or payload, nor is it the FAA’s charter to uphold Summit County’s local sound or signage ordinances or regulations.

This gap is being deliberately exploited for Aerial Ads’ and their customers’ financial benefit. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of those who the advertisers seek to deliver their message by diminishing our community’s aesthetics, increasing advertising distractions, safety, and potentially decreasing our property values.

I and the rest of the Park City community pay a premium to live in an area that affords us the natural beauty, proximity to nature, and the wonderful outdoor lifestyle, all while being near a larger city not to feel like we live near a NFL Stadium on Sunday.

After all, if the FAA allows 5 aircraft to fly over 50 acres of land over a stadium, how many will they approve to fly over I-80 and the rest of Park City?

Luckily we live in a free economy. Soon the cost flying a plane to carry an ad will far out way the financial return to the advertiser, if it hasn’t already.


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