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14 CHAPTER FOUR OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES This chapter presents results of the ACRP survey summariz- Airports typically communicate their noise abatement ing responses to questions on methods to minimize and abate flight tracks and procedures to pilots in one of three ways: aircraft noise, including noise abatement flight tracks, noise 37% use posters/hand-outs, 34% use Jeppesen inserts, and abatement operational procedures, and ground noise control. 29% use pilot briefings. FAA Standards are used by 17%, and 23% use other means to communicate flight procedures including air traffic controller instructions, tower instructions, NOISE ABATEMENT FLIGHT TRACKS airport websites, and the airport facility directory. AND FLIGHT PROCEDURES Twenty-two of the surveyed airports (63%) have noise abate- Survey respondents reported that a range of noise metrics ment flight tracks. Half (50%) reported that noise abatement are used to evaluate noise abatement flight tracks and proce- flight tracks were developed to address noise both inside and dures including DNL, CNEL, Maximum A-weighted Sound outside DNL 65, and nearly 41% reported that the noise abate- Level (Lmax), Time Above, number of audible aircraft noise events, Sound Exposure Level (SEL) and Continuous Equiv- ment tracks were developed primarily to address noise outside alent Sound Level (Leq). Respondents also reported a wide DNL 65. Further, all airports reported noise abatement flight range of noise levels used to evaluate flight tracks among the procedures reduced noise and complaints outside DNL 65; various noise metrics. Some airports reported that no assess- 72% said noise abatement tracks were "very to moderately ment was conducted. Responses to this question suggest that effective" in reducing noise and 62% said it was "very to mod- there is a need for better guidance in developing noise abate- erately effective" in reducing community complaints. ment flight tracks. Figure 2 presents responses to the question, "Type of noise The survey results suggest that airports do not have suffi- abatement track" (note there can be multiple responses). The cient information on the implementation costs of noise abate- majority of these airports (63%) use jet departure noise abate- ment procedures, especially the costs to operators and the air ment flight tracks, whereas 51% use jet arrival flight tracks. traffic system. Eight airports reported that airline fuel costs More than 30% of the airports use propeller and helicopter are increased by implementing noise abatement flight proce- arrival and departure flight tracks. dures. The airports also commented that total aircraft opera- tors cost for implementation was between nothing and $750K Thirty-four percent of respondents (12) reported that they annually. Specific responses included, "A bit extra time and have received formal FAA approval for their noise abate- fuel" and "Minimal." FAA cost was reported as "Nothing" or ment flight tracks; 11% reported they have received NEPA "Unknown." approval. Airports report that air traffic controllers implement the flight procedures as follows: 40% use vectoring, 29% spec- The challenges to implementing flight tracks are shown in ify VOR radials with turns and distant measuring equipment Figure 4. The single greatest challenge that airports reported altitude requirements, 20% use RNAV, 14% use a global posi- was communication with pilots (34%); other challenges to tioning system, and 20% cited other procedures but without implementation included communication with ATC (29%), air traffic control (ATC) assistance. communication with the community (29%), increased flight time (26%), and increased fuel costs to airlines (20%). Airports reported a similar use of operational noise abate- ment procedures (i.e., cockpit procedures) designed to mini- Airports reported a variety of navigation procedures to mize noise during different types of operations. As shown in implement noise abatement flight tracks: the most common is Figure 3, more than half of respondents (54%) have some type radar vectoring (40%), followed by VORdistant measuring of noise abatement departure procedure (NADP) or Interna- equipment (29%), RNAV (20%), and Global Positioning Sys- tional Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) procedure; many tem (14%); three airports reported that the procedures were also have jet arrival procedures such as CDA (40%), propeller voluntary and had no ATC involvement. departure procedures (43%), and propeller arrival procedures (37%); more than one-third (34%) reported helicopter depar- Finally, respondents reported that both noise abatement ture and arrival procedures. flight tracks (Figure 5) and procedures (Figure 6) are generally
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15 FIGURE 2 Types of noise abatement flight tracks at surveyed airports. FIGURE 3 Types of noise abatement procedures at surveyed airports.