A handful of aroused homeowners, no matter how cranky, must not be allowed to dictate Sacramento County's airport policies. So, complaints from residents of Folsom and El Dorado Hills upset about more cargo flights at Mather should not stop the county from going after international port of entry status for the region.
If approved, the federal government would pick up the half million dollars the county now pays every year for US customs officials to check international passengers who arrive at Sacramento’s Airport. And yes - the upgraded status might also help lure more foreign passengers and freight to International and Mather. That’s something to be encouraged! But it worries a vocal group of foothill residents concerned about noise at Mather.
The county should and has tried to reduce noise at all its airports whenever it can. But the port of entry issue is bigger than Mather. It would benefit International, McClellan, and the ports of Sacramento and Stockton too. It's a boon for our economy, a step towards positioning this region for the global marketplace. And that helps everyone, including people who live in Folsom and El Dorado County.
Ginger Rutland writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.