To the Editor:

While the issues of the Indian Point nuclear power plant raised by Rory Kennedy (“A Target on the Hudson,” Op-Ed, Sept. 5) certainly warrant close review, and the impact on our region of virtually any mishap there would be one of great harm, the first suggestion she makes – a no-flight zone – is a red herring.

Prohibited airspace at Indian Point, say a five-mile ring, would do only two things. First, it would, to a degree, disable flight patterns in the region, particularly to Westchester County Airport (and conceivably make flight patterns more concentrated to the south and east of the airport), not to mention create consequential delays in peak periods and bad weather. In part, this is because a key bad-weather arrival route, its path dictated by the alignment of the primary runway, crosses the region east of (but not over) Indian Point.

Second, if prohibited airspace went in only at Indian Point, it would raise the question of why such zones are not installed at the 103 other plants around the nation. Doing so would create a patchwork of aerial roadblocks that could inhibit air transportation and close airports nationally.

Of most consequence, however, is that such a prohibited area would be useless, because a jet entering such airspace with the intent of an attack would be, in relatively few seconds, upon its target. If somebody in government wants to establish, say, a 30-mile zone that closes several airports, has missiles ready 24 hours a day, and where any airplane or airliner entering that zone is immediately shot out of the sky, including airplanes that end up there inadvertently through navigation error or equipment malfunction, then let him or her propose such a Draconian solution.

Berl Brechner
The writer is a director of the
Westchester Aviation Association.