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Airport looks to reduce noise

Staff reports
Photo by Lindsey RhynardAn airplane takes off at Truckee Tahoe Airport.
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Climb fast, fly over the roads instead of homes and don’t take off after 11 p.m. or before 6 a.m.

That’s some of what officials at the Truckee Tahoe Airport are asking pilots to do in order to reduce the noise from airport operations.

The suggestions came out of the Airport Noise Advisory Committee, formed in May 2001 by the district in response to public concern over aircraft noise.

Since then, concerned residents, committee members, board members, pilots and airport staff have worked to identify noise issues and come up with solutions.

After the committee came up with their recommendations, the board formally adopted a new noise abatement program earlier this month.

At the heart of the program are voluntary noise abatement procedures that include suggested flight patterns that direct pilots to fly over Donner Pass Road and Highway 267 and avoid neighborhoods such as Sierra Meadows.

Officials also request that pilots climb as quickly as possible while still over the airport. Lastly, they ask that pilots not take off or land between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

General Manager David Gotschall said the airport can’t require that pilots abide by all the suggested operations, but that he still expects most to abide by them.

“The reason for recommendations is that contrary to public belief, we don’t control the airspace above the airport. That is FAA airspace,” Gotschall said. “But I’m seeing a real good compliance rate. People are trying to do the right thing.”

To further encourage that pilots take heed, airport officials say a variety of methods will be used to reach all pilots who fly into Truckee. The district will continue to accept calls from the public about pilots that may not be aware of the recommended procedures.

And how those calls will be handled is perhaps the most noticeable change in the program.

A voice-mail message system has been replaced with a live person who handles noise complaints and contact pilots, who are made aware of public concerns and encouraged to use noise abatement procedures.

Noise complaints are also followed up with a call back to the person who lodged the complaint to let them know that action was taken.

For further information, or to report an aircraft disturbance, contact the noise coordinator at 587-4119.


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