Airport team developing solutions | SierraSun.com

Airport team developing solutions

ACAT
My Turn

This is the third in a series of articles by the Airport Community Advisory Team (ACAT) concerning our work with the Truckee Tahoe Airport and the Airport District Board of Directors.

The first article described the ACAT, the reason we formed, and our role in the community. The second article, published March 21, 2006, discussed our extensive efforts investigating stakeholder concerns and some of the important conclusions we drew from that process. Both articles are available on the ACAT Web page at http://www.truckeetahoeairport.com/acat.htm under “Educational Documents.”

This article will discuss some of the important recommendations we have made to the airport district’s board of directors, how we decided to make those recommendations, and why we think they will be effective.

Developing solutions that address the negative impacts of our community airport on its neighbors is a process that demands continuous and constructive communication and collaboration with all affected stakeholders. By conducting scientific surveys of residents and businesses, convening targeted focus groups, interviewing representatives of key stakeholder groups and holding open and public meetings, the ACAT has incorporated those central tenets of our mission into our ongoing efforts.

Potential solutions considered by ACAT come from many sources, and the ACAT did not have to start from scratch. In addition to the extensive input we have received through the stakeholder investigation and other less formal channels, we have been able to draw on the hard work already done by airport district staff, the board of directors, and the Airport Noise Advisory Committee (our predecessor advisory committee to the board).

When developing solutions to negative airport impacts, the solutions subcommittee and the ACAT as a whole has considered suggestions subject to a rigorous set of testing criteria to determine feasibility. Each potential solution is categorized by likely implementation time and prioritized based on its potential effectiveness at addressing impacts, cost, legality, practicality, and acceptability to affected stakeholders.

At the March board of directors meeting, the ACAT submitted a list of recommendations for mitigation and abatement programs that could easily be implemented this summer.

Increasing the effectiveness of communication with local and transient pilots is one of the easiest ways we can reduce negative impacts on the surrounding community. To that end, the ACAT has recommended the airport district implement several pilot education, communication and training measures this summer, including improved runway signage and a state of the art message board for communicating with pilots.

By establishing a formalized program, the ACAT hopes to raise the level of awareness in the pilot community ” both local and transient ” regarding the noise sensitive environment in Truckee and the voluntary noise abatement arrival and departure procedures the district has already implemented here.

The pilot education program is only one of several solutions the district will put into action this summer. The district has also agreed to subsidize a propeller replacement for an aircraft operated by Soar Truckee, the local glider operation. This equipment modification is expected to result in a noise reduction of up to 20 decibels.

Furthermore, at a recent Impact Mitigation Solutions Workshop, dozens of members of the public collaborated to develop over 30 potential solutions for consideration by the ACAT. More information on other recommendations the ACAT has made to the board is available on our Web site.

Finally, the ACAT would like to remind the community that all regular meetings of the airport district’s board of directors and the Airport Community Advisory Team are noticed and open to the public. Your participation is essential to the collaborative process. The board meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Truckee Tahoe Airport terminal. The ACAT meets the second Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. in the same location. We look forward to seeing you there.

We welcome any questions or comments regarding ACAT and our work. Please contact us at acat@truckeetahoeairport.com

ACAT Members:

Bruce Eisenhard

Sandra Korth

Rob Lober

Don McCormack

George Moore

Bill Quesnel

Tom Van Berkem