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Creative Solutions for Eliminating the Noisiest Jets. Peter J. Kirsch. We’re making a lot of progress in addressing the problem of the noisiest aircraft . . . .

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Creative Solutions for Eliminating the Noisiest Jets

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We’re making a lot of progress in addressing

the problem of the noisiest aircraft . . .


Aviation noise management is crucial to the continued increase in airport capacity; community noise concerns have led to uncoordinated and inconsistent restrictions on aviation that could impede the national air transportation system.

ANCA Congressional Findings

The long-term outlook beyond 2000 is for a generally stable situation with respect to noise contours around airports, followed by further reduction as the result of advances in noise abatement technology and the replacement of hushkitted Stage 3 airplanes by built Stage 3 airplanes.

-(Still Draft) FAA Noise Abatement Policy (2000)

my undisputed assumptions
My Undisputed Assumptions
  • FAA will continue to actively oppose all restrictions
  • Part 161 is on life support
    • Regardless of outcome of Naples case
  • National focus will increasingly be onlarge general aviation airports
  • Money to solve noise problem will become increasingly scarce
noise at ga and commercial airports
Noise at GA andCommercial Airports

Stage 2 phaseout


Amount of Noise

proportion of noise from stage 2s
Proportion of noise from stage 2s

Percentage of noise

from stage 2s

some arguable assumptions
Some Arguable Assumptions
  • NBAA/AOPA membership will decreasingly want to spend resources on protecting dwindling number of Stage 2s
  • Noise will increase at least at large GA airports
  • Economic benefits of Stage 2 operations will be perceived to be questionable
why is part 161 on life support

Why is part 161 on life support?

  • Staunch opposition to restrictions
    • FAA, Industry
  • FAA views are site-specific
    • Guidance, what guidance?
  • Process for stage 2 restrictions is cumbersome and awfully expensive
  • Grant assurances are a separate
  • matter (the ‘gotcha’)
life support death of 161
Life support ≠ death of 161
  • Rules with limited scope, limited purpose, limited effect
  • Part of comprehensive approach
    • Capacity enhancement
    • Community peace
    • Obvious carrier/user benefits
  • Preventive vs. remedial rules
  • Formalizing existing conditions
since 1990 who has been successful

Since 1990 – who has been successful?

  • One part 161 restriction (Naples)
  • No stage 3 restrictions
  • A few ongoing studies (BUR, LAX, VNY)
  • Grandfathers, part 161 exceptions are the norm, not the exception
  • Non-part 161 approaches
if part 161 hasn t worked what will

If part 161 hasn’t worked, what will?

  • Voluntary limits
  • Part 150-based measures
  • Indirect controls
  • Grandfathered noise rules
  • Legislation
  • Environmental mitigation
voluntary limits and part 150 ncps

, Voluntary limits and part 150 NCPs

  • Voluntary limits not subject to Part 161
  • Compliance is a function of education, monitoring, and “jaw-boning”
  • Part 150 NCP measures
    • Demand more
    • Push harder
    • Not much better than voluntary rules
    • Not way to circumvent part 161
indirect controls

 Indirect controls

  • Non-noise-based controls that could affect noise (e.g., weight limits)
  • Non-aircraft management controls (e.g., hours of operation)
  • Planning and leasing decisions (e.g., location of airfield improvements)
  • Minimum standards
  • Flight patterns
  • Local agreements
grandfathered noise rules

 Grandfathered noise rules

  • Part 161 does not apply to pre-1990 noise rules
  • Amendments to pre-existing rules
    • Must be as restrictive or less restrictive than original (San Jose)
    • May be able to extend time limits (John Wayne, Westchester)
    • Some modifications OK
  • Restrictions may appear in unlikely documents

 Legislation

  • Federal legislation
    • Current pressure for an all-stage 3 fleet
  • Airport-specific legislation bypassing FAA
    • Jackson Hole, WY (exemption)
    • Centennial, CO (exemption)
    • Teterboro, NJ (safe harbor)
    • New Orleans, LA (no expansion)
  • Burgeoning national effort at federal legislation to phase out remaining stage 2s
environmental mitigation

 Environmental mitigation

  • Mitigation, not removal of noise
  • Vision 100 (FAA reauthorization) provides FAA limited right to impose airspace restrictions to mitigate expansion projects
  • FAA has recognized/approved restrictions in its Records of Decision (Boston-Logan)
  • Becomes condition of project approval
conclusion 1 deciding whether to pursue a part 161 based rule

Conclusion (1): Deciding whether to pursue a part 161-based rule

  • Have we exhausted all feasible less-restrictive alternatives?
  • Can we prove it?
  • Do we still have an empirically-observed noise problem (DNL 65 dB)?
  • Can we solve the problem without restricting stage 3?
  • Is there any way to get there without part 161?
conclusion 2 alternatives to a part 161 rule

Conclusion (2): Alternatives to a part 161 rule

  • What can voluntary limits or Part 150 realistically accomplish?
  • Can we quietly factor noise into other decisions?
  • Do we have any existing noise rules to work from?
  • Can Congress help?
  • Can we use a restriction to mitigate expansion?
questions discussion


Peter J. Kirsch

(303) 825-7000