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64 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Dealing with Complexity Public involvement practitioners "must develop ways to capture and maintain public attention and convey complex information, as well as receive complex feedback." (13, p. 5) The Internet and new multimedia programs should be considered. Dealing Effectively with Issues of Timing Practitioners need to develop innovative ways to sustain public interest in transportation infor- mation over what can be long planning processes and must also seek to streamline the planning and decision processes. Developing Standards and Assessment Tools Practitioners need to develop commonly accepted methods for evaluation of public involve- ment programs. The general justification that public involvement prevents delays, lawsuits, and costly reassessments of policies needs to be supplemented with quantified performance mea- sures. These public involvement performance measures should relate to "how well the expec- tations of participants were met, costs in relation to benefits, and effects on decision making." (13, p. 6) Developing Professional Standards and Training Programs "The goal should be to ensure adherence to a consistent set of best practices." (13, p. 6) Vision for the Next Decade The lessons learned in the past 20 years should be applied to the future: · Public involvement programs should become a routine part of the development of all trans- portation policy. · There should be a common set of expectations about what constitutes good practice. · Agencies should routinely set aside budgets for conducting public involvement programs within accepted parameters. · Citizens should accept their responsibilities--to put in the time and energy to understand the needs of and solutions to transportation projects that affect them and their communities, and to accept the results of a fair and open process. Conclusions Almost all of the recommended best practices of this white paper for the surface transportation industry appear to be directly applicable to the air transportation industry. Federal Mandates Although society and other major industries and institutions are proceeding toward greater public participation, the federal mandate for public involvement in air transportation planning is not nearly as strong as for surface transportation. With other less complex and more attrac- tive uses of aviation resources, such as marketing and public relations, which are perceived as being more directly tied to an airport's economic success, it is difficult to get airports to do more in the area of public involvement than is mandated. Culture Change Required A comprehensive, interactive approach to public involvement requires a cultural change from the top down. This is especially true of airports when the mandate is not coming from federal regulators.