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76 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Summary SDF was selected to be a case study because it illustrates issues associated with large cargo hub airports, has instituted a unique relocation program and has overcome a confrontational envi- ronment through improved communication. SDF illustrates a unique approach to communica- tions that includes extensive involvement of airport users and the community in developing mutually agreeable solutions, as well as the involvement of elected officials in relocating an entire town. The techniques that SDF used are relevant to other airports with a high level of public interest in significant noise effects, particularly those with a substantial level of cargo service or substantial relocation issues. Further information and reference materials for SDF can be found among the best practice tools referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport's noise management website at noiseprogram.asp Communication Techniques That Worked for SDF A very strong working group with very active community and user participation. Setting up ground rules on how they would make decisions helped them succeed. Giving responsibility to all the group members was also a key to success. The SDF Noise Compatibility Study group "gave ownership" to the community for the solutions. The community representatives took responsibility to become partners in the study, teach themselves and learn about aviation and noise issues, and chair committees on a rotating basis. The participation of the primary airport user, UPS, was a model for the investment of time, leadership, and resources for testing ideas. Being willing to invest time (the process can take years), key personnel (personable spokesperson and negotiators, chief pilots and other experts), and resources (offering to do testing on new techniques) is important. Willingness of the user to consider most ideas as long as they are safe, maintain the ability to fly and are economically viable will be the framework for a workable process. The leadership of elected officials was essential to the unique solution of relocating an entire community. Leadership of elected officials can be comprehensive, creative, and capable of bringing along an entire community, saving airports much time. Willingness of both the airport and the community to engage in effective, sincere communica- tions was a key to success. From the community point of view, the change in approach of air- port and consultant spokespersons from one-way communication that was perceived as arrogant and confrontational, to those who were willing to actually work with the community and users was a key to success. From the airport's point of view, the willingness of the commu- nity to also be open and negotiate in good faith was important. Communication Techniques SDF Chose to Avoid in the Future Noninteractive meetings where people are only told about the plan and its results are the least helpful communication technique. Avoid using a process in a Part 150 Study that is entirely consultant driven and does not have meaningful community input throughout. Large General Aviation/Reliever Airport--Van Nuys Airport (VNY) Noise Management at Accessed 7/22/2008 (124) Van Nuys Airport (VNY) was selected for study as representative of large general aviation air- ports. It has a long history of controversy over aircraft noise in its community. Its Part 150 Study, begun more than ten years ago, is not yet approved, and also has a Part 161 Study in progress. The public strongly advocates restrictions on operations, but general aviation users and the busi- ness community are greatly concerned about the implications of such restrictions on their use

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Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 77 of the airport. VNY's evolving communication approach can provide ideas for other general avi- ation airports with similar situations. Located in the San Fernando Valley north of downtown Los Angeles, VNY is the general avi- ation airport in the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) transportation system that also includes Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD). To administer its noise management program and com- munity response efforts, VNY pools resources with the other airports, including a technical staff that oversees LAWA's noise management branch office supported by public and community relations, airfield operations, and administrative staff at VNY. VNY is one of the world's busiest general aviation airports, averaging approximately 400,000 takeoffs and landings annually. More than 100 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including five major fixed-base operators and many aviation service companies. The airport opened in 1928 on 80 acres as the privately owned L. A. Metropolitan Airport. It has subsequently become surrounded by intensely developed land. Immediately to the south for a distance of approximately 2 miles, the area is largely golf courses and parks, while to the west, north, and east the uses are mixed industrial, commercial, and residential development. Seven miles directly to the east is Bob Hope Airport (BUR), a significant air carrier facility, with a primary instrument approach directly over the top of VNY at 2,200 feet above the ground. Southerly departures from BUR (used frequently) turn to the right to fly over or to the east of VNY. The LAWA, known in the City Charter as the Airports Department, is a proprietary depart- ment of the City of Los Angeles, controlling its own funds. The airport system operates under the direction of a policy-making Board of Airport Commissioners appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles and approved by City Council. Brief History of Noise Abatement In August 2001, LAWA completed a Part 150 "Airport Noise Compatibility Planning Study" for VNY to review the airport's noise abatement program's status, comprehensiveness, and effec- tiveness. LAWA submitted a revised version that addressed FAA comments in January 2003. The FAA had not completed its review by the summer of 2008. A 14 CFR Part 161 airport access study was undertaken as one of the mitigation measures of the Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program. Seven of the noise control measures proposed in the Part 150 Study require LAWA to conduct a Part 161 evaluation and receive FAA approval prior to implementation. To these, two additional measures were added by the 2006 VNY Master Plan. The nine proposed measures evaluated in the Part 161 Study are: Incentives/Disincentives in Rental Rates: Establish a set of incentives and disincentives through differential rental rates to encourage the greater use of quieter aircraft and less use of noisier aircraft at VNY. Incentives/Disincentives in Landing Fees: Establish a system of differential landing fees for aircraft using VNY with higher landing fees for noisier aircraft and lower landing fees for quieter aircraft. Establish Fines for Violations of VNY Noise Abatement Policies: This would make the vol- untary "Quiet Jet Departure" program mandatory and establish penalties. Establish Maximum Daytime Noise Limits: Establish a maximum daytime noise limit for all aircraft operating at VNY of 77 dBA. Establish a Limit on Stage 3 Jets: Establish a cap on the number of Stage 3 jets that may be based at VNY. Expansion of the VNY Curfew: Amend the existing curfew ordinance to expand the hours of the current curfew to include all nonemergency jets and nonemergency helicopters as aircraft that would come under the provisions of the curfew during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

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78 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Establish a Cap or Phase-Out of Helicopters: Establish a cap on the number of or a phase- out of helicopters from VNY. Phase out Stage 2 aircraft in shortest possible time. Extend the curfew to 9 a.m. on weekends and holidays. In addition to the required cost-benefit analysis required by Part 161, two special considera- tions are included in this evaluation: (1) separate evaluation of the effect of the 77 dBA maximum daytime noise limit for Stage 2 and 3 jets and (2) identification of the effects of proposed restric- tions on historic airplanes. The Part 161 Study is to address these nine elements in a "severable" fashion, to permit the FAA to review each proposed measure separately and so that any required FAA approval or disapproval will not affect the FAA's considerations of other measures. The pro- posed restrictions would be established through new or amended City Ordinances, regulations, lease conditions, or use agreements, with sanctions for noncompliance. The Los Angeles Airport Commissioners, who oversee Van Nuys Airport, are simultaneously pursuing a ban of Stage 2 aircraft, although the legality of such a local ban and the potential eco- nomic impact of a ban on the businesses at VNY are still being debated at the time of this writing. According to interviewees, the public is most concerned about eliminating Stage 2 aircraft, deal- ing with helicopters, and extending the curfew. Neighbors are supportive of the proposed noise control measures. Users and the economic development interests, however, are concerned about the operational and economic impacts of the measures. Without FAA approval or City action it will be difficult to achieve change on major noise mea- sures. VNY has taken a more conservative approach to involvement in the studies than some other airports and still has a noise advisory group as opposed to noise roundtable. There also does not appear to be a strong user involvement as in some other airports. Currently, because noise abate- ment and public relations staff have good reputations for reaching out to the public and support- ive leadership on the advisory committee, conflict with the community appears to be modest. Interview Results The Case Study interviews were focused on including the primary people responsible for man- agement and communication of the noise abatement program and representation of commu- nity interest groups, as well as others with insight into the noise issues at VNY. Case study interviews built on interviews in the fall of 2007 conducted as follow-ups to the airport noise offi- cer survey. Those interviews included LAWA's Environmental Affairs Officer and the chair of the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Committee. In new interviews conducted for the case study review, the LAWA Environmental Affairs Officer was re-interviewed. In addition, the following were interviewed: Staff for Part 161 Study, LAWA; Noise Abatement Officer Van Nuys; Director of Public and Community Relations for Van Nuys; and Long time resident and involved citizen in the Van Nuys Airport area. Key Issues. VNY is a major economic engine for a densely populated area. It is also one of several airports in a fairly small geographic area. There are strong constituencies on all sides of any question relating to noise and no solution is clearly best for all. Judging from the press and interviews, there does not appear to be a large organized anti- airport group, but even media attention on a new terminal or proposals from other airports such as Burbank to shift night flights to VNY could upset the current equilibrium. Some of the pub- lic is very negative about the airport, but that does not appear to be a large percentage of the total population.

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Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 79 VNY has been unable to make major changes for noise abatement while the Part 150 and Part 161 studies are underway, but not yet approved by the FAA. No one has suggested a conclusion of the FAA's review is eminent, or that the recommendations of the studies are likely to be approved when completed. Even if approved, implementation through "new or amended City Ordinances, regulations, lease conditions, or use agreements, with sanctions for noncompliance," could take substantially more time. (124) VNY's governance structure is as one of the airports under the City of Los Angeles's Depart- ment of Airports system, whose airport general manager is appointed by the Airport Board sub- ject to confirmation by the Mayor and City Council, and can be removed by the airport's Board subject to confirmation by the Mayor. Because VNY's governance structure ties it closely to the Mayor and Council, the public has a direct channel of influence through their elected officials to address their concerns about noise. Others perceive that the noise issues are not balanced fairly with economic development. For VNY, the problems are not yet resolved as they consider new communication approaches, including professional facilitation to work with the current or a reorganized noise forum. Findings. The interviews were open-ended to allow for exploration of the particular situa- tion at VNY. The conclusions that follow were drawn from the interviews to include a selection of the primary ideas about communications techniques the airport has used. The obser- vations reflect techniques that have worked for VNY and techniques that VNY chose to avoid. Communication Techniques That Worked for VNY Make sure that FAA is part of any noise forum or study group. The Agency is key to getting changes. To keep them involved there must be belief at the highest levels that it is a valuable exercise and has the potential to succeed. Consider supplementing the efforts of a small noise staff with other key parts of the airport that work with the public. It is essential that they all have a similar public service orientation. Both the Noise staff and the Public and Community Relations staff at VNY saw themselves as being responsible for working with the public on noise issues and took pride in their efforts to be the personal face of the airport to the community. Pursue voluntary compliance, which requires good communication between the airport and users, as the best short-term hope for noise abatement. Some noise concerns, including Stage 2 aircraft phase-out, helicopter operations, and extension/expansion of curfews (closing hours for flights and arrivals on weekends and holidays), have stakeholders who are proponents or opponents. The measures may not have federal support, and consequently may take a long time to address through voluntary action. Communication Techniques VNY Chose to Avoid in the future Do not allow noise consultants to do their analysis and present it without early public involve- ment. That approach can conflict with building strong community relationships. Summary VNY was selected for a case study as the representative of large general aviation airports for these analyses. It has Part 150 Study and Part 161 Study in progress or undergoing federal review, but few expect recommendations to be approved without comment and change. The airport's evolving communication approach can provide ideas for other general aviation airports facing similar public controversy and challenge. Further information and reference materials for VNY can be found among the best practices referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport's noise management website at Main.cfm.