WELLSBORO — The Tioga County commissioners are against the low-level training flights over the area as proposed by the Maryland Air National Guard.

“As it stands today, our board is apposed to the proposal,” said Commissioner Roger Bunn.

The board said their are multiple reasons behind the position they adopted at the Jan. 11 meeting.

The Maryland Air National Guard proposes expanding its low-level flight training area over northcentral Pennsylvania, including large portions of Potter, McKean, Cameron and Elk counties and smaller areas of Clinton and Tioga counties (see map). The proposal lowers the flight floor from 8,000 feet above sea level to 100 feet above ground level.

Since the initial proposal, commissioners have learned that the type of aircraft being used in the flights has expanded and the number of flight days totals 272 days per year, or more than five per week.

Commissioner Mark Hamilton said he opposes the proposal as the airspace around the Wellsboro-Johnston airport has not been addressed with low-level flights into and across the air space, along with the additional aircraft and flight days.

The greater impact will be felt by other counties, said Commissioner Erick Coolidge. In light of their concerns, the Tioga County board is supporting their concerns.

“I think as a board, we hesitate to embrace the proposal and look at it with apprehension,” Coolidge said.

Noise is another issue, which would disrupt people, livestock and wildlife, said Bunn.

“Jets at low level and at slow speed make a lot of noise,” Bunn said.

The public comment period for the proposed low-level training flights has been extended to Jan. 31

In other business, commissioners:

  • Approved a request of $125,000 for the Tioga County Farmland Preservation Program in 2022. That award will allow the program to leverage another $235,000 to be used to preserve natural and agricultural areas in the county.
  • Approved an agreement with EADS Architects to develop a schematic design for the Marsh Creek Greenway trailhead building on Charleston Street. The county will use $130,900 in Act 13 Impact Fees.

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