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62 Airports and the Newest Generation of General Aviation Aircraft willingness to work with the airport. It is important to commu- Hosting an Event nicate regularly with community leaders, community members, and the media, even if it only involves updates to information The Indianapolis Airport Authority took already provided. Examples of these types of communication advantage of a relationship with an Eclipse follow: 500 VLJ owner and invited him to fly the Making annual reports available without the local media having aircraft to a reliever airport for a luncheon event. Elected and local community leaders to ask for them. Asking local newspapers to run airport information articles. and media representatives were invited to a Regularly providing positive press releases. lunch at the airport, so they could experience Regularly making presentations to local business and community the capability of the airport to support busi- ness jet aircraft and the low noise level of organizations. the Eclipse. 6.6 Addressing Specific Issues It is important to be proactive in addressing specific issues that may arise. Although it may not be feasible to resolve the issue immediately, demonstrating an understanding and willingness to work with the community is important to generating good will. If the airport operator is undertaking a development program, it is important to build on the existing community outreach pro- gram to address the project specifics. A common issue at many airports is noise. One of the advantages associated with new generation GA aircraft is the opportunity to publicize their small noise footprint. As discussed in Chapter 2, these aircraft are quiet--in fact VLJs have noise characteristics similar to (or better than) other existing small piston and turboprop aircraft. Airport operators need to be careful when addressing the issue of noise. It is important to address existing community noise concerns, but it is not desirable to generate new noise concerns. The FAA has a program through FAR Part 150, Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, that can be used to address noise issues; but if an airport does not have significant noise issues that can be addressed through undertaking a Part 150 study, it will not be a benefit. There is a difference between a high level of operations with a consistent noise level and localized complaints from a few individuals about a small number of aircraft or operations. Addressing a few localized complaints can be handled by trying to identify the aircraft in question. If possible, talk to the pilot to determine if the aircraft can be operated in a more community-friendly manner. Some airport operators have also established preferred departure procedures. Although these procedures may be voluntary, they can help pilots be better neighbors by directing departures away from the most noise-sensitive areas or having the aircraft climb higher before flying over noise-sensitive areas. An airport operator can also take steps to minimize noise complaints by owning the RPZs and other protective areas beyond the end of the runway, as described in Chapter 5. Also, it is important for the airport operator to work with the community to establish compatible zoning/land use near the airport to try to reduce the level of noise-sensitive development near the airport. The level of surrounding community interest in aviation noise is one factor that can be used by an airport operator to identify an appropriate noise program. For example, the Boca Raton Airport Authority in Florida has a Noise Abatement Program designed to mitigate aircraft noise and educate the public on the procedures used to operate a noise-sensitive airport. Through