My Turn: Runway meet-and-greet a calming endeavor | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Runway meet-and-greet a calming endeavor

David Gotschall

If you visited the Truckee Tahoe Airport on a weekend this summer, you may have noticed members of a local group, the Lake Tahoe ’99s, darting around the airport ramp greeting pilots and handing out information about our Noise Abatement Procedures.

As part of our Meet-and-Greet program, dedicated members of our community reach out to pilots to educate them about preferred flight paths, residential areas, and Truckee’s noise sensitive environment. This program is another example of unique efforts we’re taking to serve both the pilots and the residents in our community.

The Truckee Tahoe Airport developed the Meet-and-Greet program over the past several years and first launched it during the summer of 2005. The Airport Community Advisory Team (ACAT) strongly recommended the program continue as part of a package of noise mitigation measures for the 2006 summer, including further contact with jet operators and other frequent users of the airport, installation of the quieter propeller on Soar Truckee’s “Pickle” glider tow plane, upgraded airfield and terminal signage, and the demonstration of a flight tracking system.

Based on the results of our first effort, we refined and improved the Meet-and-Greet program for the summer of 2006.

Each weekend, from Memorial Day to late September, members of the Lake Tahoe ’99s took their positions on the field and intercepted as many arriving and departing aircraft as possible. The program was designed to contact pilots during the busiest periods: Friday afternoons, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons. The ’99s inquired whether pilots knew about our noise abatement arrival and departure procedures, answered any questions pilots may have had, and educated them on our voluntary curfew, preferred flight paths, residential areas, glider activity, and special aviation concerns in Truckee, such as mountainous terrain and high density altitude. In addition, the ’99s handed out updated brochures with noise related information and kept a record of their contacts with pilots.

Our staff is currently analyzing the information collected by the ’99s. Initial results show that a majority of pilots were aware of Truckee’s noise sensitive environment and the airport’s noise abatement procedures prior to their arrival. Airport staff continue publicizing this information to pilots and encouraging them to follow our recommended procedures.

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The Truckee/North Lake Tahoe region has become a world-class destination, and that status has been accompanied by renewed growth and prosperity. As the community strives to meet the challenges brought by these changes, the dedicated staff of the Truckee Tahoe Airport is committed to maintaining a safe, modern airport that brings value to the community. We will continue to implement proactive efforts like the Meet-and-Greet program to minimize impact on our neighbors while providing a safe, high quality facility that can be enjoyed by the entire community.

We would like to thank the Lake Tahoe ’99s and their sister chapter in Reno for their efforts conducting this program. The program simply would not have been possible without their hard work and dedication to helping pilots understand Truckee’s noise sensitive environment and the Truckee Tahoe Airport’s noise abatement procedures.

For more information on our noise abatement and mitigation programs, please contact Kevin Bumen at 587-4119.