Working to get the word out on airport noise
With all of the recent articles and letters regarding the airport, it is important to highlight the measures that have been taken to mitigate noise. We established a working group including representatives of the airport board, local pilots and airport neighbors to recommend noise abatement measures. These ongoing efforts are continually evaluated and refined through community input. As a public-use airport any measure taken must not compromise safety. Measures must be non-discriminatory and reasonable. Working within those criteria the airport has undertaken the following noise mitigation measures: • Reduced aircraft service hours 6 a.m. to midnight from 24/7.• Published voluntary curfew 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.• Published and distributed recommended visual flight rules (VFR) noise abatement approach and departure noise procedures. Map published on Web site (www.truckeetahoeairport.com).• Created pilots’ perspective photo presentation, and comprehensive noise information pages on Web site.• Added automated weather observation system (AWOS) message requesting pilots to be familiar with noise procedures. This broadcast repeats every couple of minutes, 24 hours a day.• Installed taxiway “Burma-Shave” type signs near the holding areas for runways 19 and 28 (“Truckee is special, noise is our concern, fly 300 degrees to interstate before you turn”).• Ongoing corporate education and outreach via Web, e-mail, seminars and national conventions. • Educating local certified flight instructors (CFIs) about procedures and issues.• Sponsored the update of the comprehensive land use plan (CLUP).• Raised traffic pattern altitude to 7,000 feet above sea level for light aircraft and 7,500 feet above sea level for heavy aircraft.• Implemented transient use fee (TUF) for turbine aircraft over 8,000 lbs.• Contact turbine aircraft flight crews with VFR procedures when TUF is paid.• Ongoing community outreach to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe communities.• Web-based pilot education program with interactive quiz.• Discourage intersection departures by aircraft (ensures use of full runway and maximum altitude when departing the airport).• Special event review process by board of directors.• Federal Aviation Administration review of standard instrument departure (SID).• Noise abatement and business operations staff position created.• Purchased and installed aircraft traffic counters to establish accurate flight operations count.• Ongoing board of directors quarterly community noise workshops.• Publication of “Quarterly and Annual Operations Reports” including data on noise abatement program performance.• Nationally published (web, hardcopy) noise procedures.• Charter member “sound initiatives” to lobby the U.S. Congress on Stage I/II (oldest/nosiest) aircraft phase-out (www.soundinitiative.org).• Constructed all-weather kiosk at self service aircraft fueling area to educate transient pilots on noise abatement procedures.Many of these items can be viewed in greater detail on the airport’s Web site (www.truckeetahoeairport.com) or by visiting the airport. The list keeps on growing as we continue to work with the community to develop new and creative ways to approach the issue. Dave “Grizz” Gotschall is the CEO/general manager of Truckee Tahoe Airport.
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