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Ginowan plan to monitor MCAS Futenma criticized

Date Posted: 2003-09-27

Budget-conscious Ginowan City assemblymen are opposing a plan by the city’s mayor to keep track of aircraft landing at MCAS Futenma. A plan to install four permanent cameras to monitor the flight paths of aircraft landing and taking off on MCAS Futenma came under heavy criticism at the city assembly question and answer session this week. The plan is a part of Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha’s policy of getting MCAS Futenma returned within five years.

Critics of the plan at the session focused on the cost of installing and operating the cameras, for which the mayor is seeking approval of a supplementary budget. The critics, all members of opposition parties, also questioned their effectiveness. “Considering the critical financial condition of the city, I really wonder if the cameras are necessary,” one Liberal Democratic assemblyman said.

The mayor claims that having the cameras monitoring the flight paths of the aircraft will help force pilots to adhere to designated paths when they land and take off. “Monitoring the flight paths permanently will prompt the pilots to stay within the designated path. In case they don't keep the designated flight path, we can file complaints and seek improvement based on the data, so I consider them to be extremely effective,” Iha said.

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