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Aircraft Flight Tracks: How Can They Stay the Same and Seem So Different? (New Perceptions Without Change?) John S. Leyerle John Wayne Airport (SNA) Orange County, California UC Berkeley’s Airport Noise Symposium 2001 San Diego, California, February 2001

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Aircraft Flight Tracks: How Can They Stay the Same and Seem So Different?(New Perceptions Without Change?)

John S. Leyerle

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

Orange County, California

UC Berkeley’s Airport Noise Symposium 2001

San Diego, California, February 2001

aircraft flight tracks new perceptions without change outline
Aircraft Flight Tracks: New Perceptions Without Change? OUTLINE
  • Community Perceptions.
  • FAA Explanation.
  • Who Is Right?
  • Why Does It Matter?
  • Reconciling Alternate Truths.
aircraft flight tracks community perceptions
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Community Perceptions
  • New Over Flights Are Represented By:
    • New Ground Tracks.
    • Lower Altitudes.
    • New Night & Morning Operations.
  • Community Request: “Please Fix It!”
    • Return To The Way It Was.
john wayne airport aircraft departure operations by altitude
John Wayne Airport Aircraft Departure Operations by Altitude

24 HRS, September 20, 1998

Sunday

24 HRS, September 17, 2000

Sunday

aircraft flight tracks faa explanation
Aircraft Flight Tracks: FAA Explanation
  • Nothing Has Changed! (Really!)
    • Same “Flight Corridors” Are In Use.
    • No Altitude Exceptions Have Been Approved.
    • We’re Still Working 24 X 7. (All the time.)
  • What Is Broken?
    • How can we “switch back” what hasn’t changed?
    • We’re confounded - - honestly!
john wayne airport aircraft arrival and departure operations
John Wayne Airport Aircraft Arrival and Departure Operations

24 HRS, September 23, 1998

Wednesday

24 HRS, September 27, 2000

Wednesday

aircraft flight tracks who is right
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Who Is Right?
  • Both Are Right!
    • The Community in large numbers say “I’m experiencing something new.”
    • The FAA says “We’re using the decades-old airspace routing and we’ve made no changes which require an EIS.”
aircraft flight tracks who is right continued
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Who Is Right?(Continued)
  • What Has Changed?
    • More aircraft are in the airspace.
      • 2% or more passenger growth each year.
      • In the Southern California basin passenger demand is forecast to grow from about 90 MAP in 2000 to about 175 MAP in 2025.
      • Aircraft fly daily over most urban and suburban communities.
      • Increased potential for two or more aircraft in the nearby airspace at the same time.
orange county aerial photograph and flight tracks
Orange County Aerial Photograph and Flight Tracks

Aircraft Flight Tracks

24 HRS, February 13, 2001

Tuesday

aircraft flight tracks who is right continued10
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Who Is Right?(Continued)
  • What Has Changed?
    • Aircraft Separation for Safety.
      • 1,000-Feet Vertical or 3 Miles Horizontal.
      • Vertical separation consumes fuel. Horizontal separation is easy.
      • Horizontal separation distributes ground tracks across a broad span in the established airway.
      • Communities 3 miles from earlier tracks are now over flown.
      • All tracks are safe and within long-approved and long-utilized “flight corridors.”
slide11
John Wayne Airport Arrival Operations with Broad “Flight Corridor” From the East(24 HRS, April 4, 2000, Tuesday)
aircraft flight tracks why does it matter
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Why Does It Matter?
  • Community Response Is Influenced by:
    • Media Coverage.
    • Personal Sensitivity.
aircraft flight tracks why does it matter continued
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Why Does It Matter?(Continued)
  • Media Coverage.
    • Increases awareness regarding airport and aircraft matters.
    • For example, in Orange County, California, the closure of USMCAS El Toro in July 1999, has resulted in contentious reuse planning and substantial media coverage.
slide14
Complaint Call Comparison for South Orange County Cities Before and After El Toro Closure(Q1 1999 and Q1 2000)
aircraft flight tracks why does it matter continued15
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Why Does It Matter?(Continued)
  • Personal Sensitivity
    • Suspicion: Over flights are planned to acclimate the community to a new airport.
    • Noise Level Sensitivity: Work by Ted Schultz (1978) & USAF (1992) on the percent of the community highly annoyed by noise shows:
      • 65 dB DNL Exposure = 14% Highly Annoyed
      • 55 dB DNL Exposure = 4% Highly Annoyed
      • 45 dB DNL Exposure = 1% Highly Annoyed
aircraft flight tracks why does it matter continued16
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Why Does It Matter?(Continued)
  • Personal Sensitivity(Continued)
    • “Awareness Threshold”: Some residents say “I have lived here for a long time and I just noticed aircraft flying over my home.”
    • Perceived Quality of Life.
    • Desire for control of aircraft operations.
aircraft flight tracks reconciling alternate truths
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Reconciling Alternate Truths
  • The Alternate Truths Can Be Addressed Through:
    • Education.
    • Communication.
    • Problem Solving.
aircraft flight tracks reconciling alternate truths continued
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Reconciling Alternate Truths(Continued)
  • Education
    • Explain changes in number of aircraft operations.
    • Explain safe aircraft separation.
    • Show flight track maps to:
      • Compare current & past flights.
      • Identify actual distances between observers and aircraft to help “calibrate” the observer’s perceived proximity.
community perceptions of 2 john wayne airport air carrier departures october 28 2000
Community Perceptions of 2 John Wayne Airport Air Carrier Departures October 28, 2000

“Very Loud” B737-300

PCA=5,402 ft

H DIST=925 ft

ALT=6,423 ft

“Nosiest” B757-200

PCA=6,615 ft

H DIST=3,181 ft

ALT=6,900 ft

aircraft flight tracks reconciling alternate truths continued20
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Reconciling Alternate Truths(Continued)
  • Communication
    • Assure residents that public input will precede changes.
    • Treat each complaint as legitimate.
    • Communicate interest and express compassion.
    • Explain that many authorities are carefully monitoring aircraft operations at all times.
aircraft flight tracks reconciling alternate truths continued21
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Reconciling Alternate Truths(Continued)
  • Problem Solving
    • Explore the potential for new “flight corridors” to reduce impact without shifting exposure to other communities.
    • Involve the stakeholders including representatives of the FAA, community, aircraft operators and the airport.
aircraft flight tracks conclusions
Aircraft Flight Tracks:Conclusions
  • Community perceptions and FAA insights may not always agree.
  • Perceptions and changes can be addressed through:
    • Education.
    • Communication.
    • Problem solving with stakeholders.
questions and thoughts

QuestionsandThoughts?

Aircraft Flight Tracks:How Can They Stay the Same and Seem So Different?