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94 APPENDIX C Case Study: Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport AIRPORT BACKGROUND meet its FAA Grant Assurances obligation to protect lands in the airport environs from incompatible development. DFW is Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) first opened to currently under pressure from local municipalities to update its traffic on January 13, 1974. It is jointly owned by the cities of policy contours to reflect actual (current) noise conditions, and Dallas and Fort Worth and is operated by the DFW Airport has committed good faith efforts to provide this noise con- Board. DFW covers more than 29.8 square mile (18,076 acres), tour update by January 2009. An important question remains and now has seven runways (Figure C1) (Much of the infor- whether local jurisdictions will adopt updated noise contours mation in this case study came directly from DFW's Noise for land use planning purposes, which will no doubt result in Compatibility Office, specifically its memorandum entitled noise-sensitive development closer to DFW. "Mission Relevance," February 18, 2008.) DFW had 685,491 operations in 2007, making it the third busiest airport in the world based on operations; with 59,786,476 passengers in OPERATIONAL MEASURES 2007, it was also the seventh busiest based on passengers DFW has two operational noise abatement measures: (1) a ["Facts about DFW" http://www.dfwairport.com/visitor/index. Preferential Runway Use Plan, and (2) Area Navigation Flight php?ctnid=24254 (accessed Sep. 8, 2008)]. Procedures (RNAV). Aircraft noise was not a serious community issue prior to The DFW Runway Use Plan was developed following the the launch of DFW's Airport Development Plan in 1987. In 1992 Final EIS for two proposed runways and other capacity 1990, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the build- improvements (FEIS Section 22.214.171.124 and ROD Chapter 4). ing of two new runways and redevelopment of terminals was The Preferential Runway Use System identified in that plan released. Neighboring cities challenged DFW Airport on zon- "provides a hierarchical rating of runway use for arrivals and ing authority; court tests ensued on the EIS. In 1992, the FAA departures by aircraft type." This system is used under typical issued a favorable Record of Decision (ROD), approving operations conditions and during typical operating hours; addi- Runways 16/34 East and West. Three cities filed suit to chal- tional stipulations are applied during late night hours (10 p.m. lenge DFW's expansion in state and federal courts. In 1993, to 7 a.m.) (Runway Use Plan 1996). The preferential runway the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 348 reaffirming that use plan for turbojet aircraft is shown in Table C1. DFW is exempt from local zoning ordinances; the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of DFW on the EIS lawsuit, and At DFW, the FAA has replaced conventional departure DFW held the ground breaking for Runway 16/34 East. The procedures, which rely on controller instructions and vector- ROD on the 1992 Final EIS tasked the Airport to "implement ing, with RNAV departure procedures. RNAV relies on pre- an extensive noise mitigation program . . . to mitigate for the programmed routing and satellite navigation. Deployment of increased noise levels to residences and other noise-sensitive RNAV at DFW contributed to FAA's nationwide implemen- uses." In particular, the ROD required DFW to establish a tation strategy to develop more precise and efficient arrival noise and flight track monitoring system to assure communi- and departure procedures at U.S. airports enhancing airspace ties that noise would not exceed predicted levels. efficiency and safety, reducing air emissions, and reducing delays. DFW was one of the first airports in the nation to use NOISE COMPATIBILITY PROGRAM this departure technology. DFW has never conducted a formal Part 150 study; neverthe- According to the Air Transport Association, RNAV tech- less, DFW has a comprehensive noise abatement program, nology increases the number of aircraft departures handled at which includes operational procedures [most notably prefer- DFW by approximately 14%. RNAV Departure Procedures ential runway use program and RNAV (area navigation) pro- can be accommodated generally within existing flight corri- cedures], land use measures (preventive land use planning as dors and using existing approved headings. The use of RNAV well as mitigation for limited areas), and outreach (a state-of- reduces the overall number of population over-flown. RNAV the-art noise and flight track monitoring system, and public departure corridors are compressed, which concentrates outreach facilities). large volumes of aircraft activity over relatively small areas. RNAV effects on DFW's departure patterns are illustrated Arguably, the most important element of DFW's noise pro- in Figure C2. Ninety-five percent of DFW's turbojet fleet gram is the adoption of "noise policy contours" and diligence was equipped to fly the RNAV procedures by 2007. The on the part of DFW Noise Compatibility Office (NCO) staff to FAA estimates an $8.5 million annual savings with the new
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95 FIGURE C1 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and environs. procedures, resulting from reduced delays and increased departure throughput (Marion Blakley, Aviation Today, May 11, 2007). Land Use Measures Built on a greenfield site, there was little noise-sensitive devel- opment surrounding DFW when it opened. At the time of DFW's opening, the North Central Texas Council of Govern- TABLE C1 DFW PREFERENTIAL RUNWAY USE SYSTEM FOR TURBOJET AIRCRAFT (6:00 A.M. TO 10:59 P.M.) FIGURE C2 Comparison of conventional departure flight tracks Flow Type of Activity Rating East West with RNAV departure flight tracks. Airfield Airfield South Arrivals 1st 17C 18R ments (NCTCOG) developed a forecast set of DNL contours for future 1985 activity (Figure C3). These contours have been 2nd 17L 13R used over the years as "policy contours" and serve as an impor- tant factor in minimizing and preventing incompatible land use 3rd 17R 18L from developing around DFW. Departures 1st 17R 18L The NCTCOG contours established the following zones 2nd 17C 18R (see Table C2): 3rd 17L DFW's NCO takes a number of actions to implement its North Arrivals 1st 35C 36L responsibilities to restrict the use of land adjacent to or in the immediate vicinity of the airport to activities and pur- 2nd 35R 36R poses compatible with normal airport operations. Specifi- cally, the NCO: 3rd 31R 4th 35L · Reviews weekly the meeting agendas for ten local cities surrounding DFW for potential incompatible land Departures 1st 35L 36R use proposals and takes proactive measures to influ- ence local city decisions to ensure compatible land use 2nd 35C 36L development; 3rd 35R · Recommends measures to convert incompatible land use(s) to a compatible land use by means of structure
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96 FIGURE C3 DNL contours for 1985 operations at DFW (as projected in 1971). sound attenuation, avigation easements, and public dis- mated 300% to an average of 746 units per year. Devel- closure requirements. Nearly 4,600 residential units, opments proposed in the Southlake area are shown in 11 churches, and two schools have been made compat- Figure C4; NCO commented on each of these. ible with airport operations during the past ten years; 76% of which occurred in the past four years. Monitoring and Outreach Measures · Commented on proposed incompatible developments over the first 5 years of the past decade involving an Relationships with local communities became contentious average of 173 units or parcels per year. In the last five during and following DFW's 1992 Final EIS, and the con- years development pressures have increased by an esti- struction of the eastern-most north/south runway. DFW man- TABLE C2 NOISELAND USE PLANNING COMPATIBILITY GUIDELINES ESTABLISHED BY NCTCOG Zone Noise Level (DNL) Comment C >75 Non-compatible development restricted B 6575 Non-compatible development permitted, with modifications (acoustic treatment) A <65 No restrictions NCTCOG = North Central Texas Council of Governments.
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97 FIGURE C4 Southlake land use proposals acted on by the DFW Noise Compatibility Office. agement designated the NCO the community liaison to restore ested audiences, large and small. This graphic capabil- trust and reestablish credibility. The following tools are respon- ity has proven, over time, to be a premier tool in further- sive to this declared responsibility: ing community and stakeholder education, outreach, demonstrating transparency, and restoring credibility in · DFW instituted several community forums and out- the context of DFW meeting its Final EIS noise-related reach programs pursuant to the above referenced legis- mandates. lation and responsive to the provisions embodied in the · DFW NCO staff often use noise and flight track data 1992 Final EIS. to inform communities about proposed modifications in · DFW's Noise Center (Figure C5) was established with flight track corridors and application of new technology aircraft noise and flight track displays. This NCO func- [e.g., RNAV]. tion provides "real time" data presentations to inter- · DFW NCO tracks and responds to its Noise Complaint Hotline; since 1999, noise complaints have dropped an average of 20% per year (Figure C6). · DFW has developed a number of informational brochures and reports, including: Runway Use Plan, Noise Mon- itoring Brochure(s), and related informational take- away(s). SUMMARY OF PROGRAM MEASURES OUTSIDE DNL 65 The most recent DNL contours for DFW were prepared in 2002 for the Environmental Assessment of RNAV proce- dures. Those contours show that the 65 DNL noise contour of 2002 is almost entirely within the airport property boundary. Figure C7 presents a comparison of DNL 65 contours at DFW FIGURE C5 DFW Noise Compatibility Center. over time, including: NCTCOG contours prepared in 1971
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98 FIGURE C6 DFW Noise Complaint Trends, 19952007. FIGURE C7 Comparison of historic DNL contours at DFW.
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99 (for 1985 future operations--the policy contour); 1992 con- depicted on the policy contour is well outside the DNL tours prepared for the Final EIS, and 2002 contours prepared 65 noise contour based on an acoustic contour of today; for the RNAV Environmental Assessment. hence, DFW protects a substantial amount of land in its environs that is outside of the current 65 DNL. As a result, most of DFW's noise program is focused on · A state-of-the-art monitoring system to track noise levels areas outside DNL 65, including: over time. · Operational procedures to minimize noise in neighbor- One of the biggest challenges currently facing the airport is hoods surrounding the airport: FAA has implemented the continued application of policy contours for land use plan- precision navigation procedures for departure using ning that do not reflect acoustic reality. DFW has committed to RNAV; this is estimated to improve efficiency and update noise contours by 2009. An important question remains reduce noise in some areas--all outside DNL 65. whether local jurisdictions will adopt updated noise contours · Policy contours that limit noise-sensitive development for land use planning purposes, which will no doubt result in in non-compatible areas. The DNL 65 noise contour as noise-sensitive development closer to DFW.