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95 APPENDIX D Airport Survey Questions
96 Questionnaire The questionnaire that was used is a simple one consisting of a series of open ended questions. The surveyor kept detailed notes and recorded the of responses and requested copies of any brochures or other printed guidance that is not available on the airports website. The reason this format was chosen rather that a list of specific questions was that programs will vary considerably as we do not expect a common thread to run through each program and we want to make the survey efficient and not ask a lot of questions that are not applicable to the airport. The following is the questionnaire: 1. Introduction: Hello, my name is _________ and I am conducting a survey of helicopter noise management programs at select airports and heliports in the US. I received your name and contact information from Vincent Mestre at Landrum & Brown. This survey is being conducted for the Airport Cooperative Research Program of the National Academies as part of a synthesis study funded by the FAA. The research work is being done by Landrum & Brown under contract to the ACRP. I have a few questions that I would like ask. Is this a good time for you or is there a better time to call back? [proceed or make appointment to call back] 2. Before we start I just want to make you aware that I have two coworkers listening to your responses as well. Would you allow us for note taking purposes to use a handheld voice recorder to ensure we capture your responses accurately? 3. Do you have a helicopter noise management program? [If not, skip to 5] 4. Is the program described in a brochure, SOP, NOTAM, on your website, or by some other communicationâs vehicle? a. [if not on website ask for a copy, if on website ask for the URL] 5. Can you describe your helicopter program? 6. Do you have recommended helicopter routes? a. If yes, ask if they are published on aeronautical charts b. What is evaluation of the adherence to the routes? 7. Do you have recommended minimum altitudes? a. If yes, ask if they are published on aeronautical charts 8. Do you have any other operational mitigation measures such as restrictions on helicopter training operations or time of day? 9. What kinds of helicopters use your facility and approximately how many daily or annual operations are there?
97 10. How many noise complaints do you get per year or per month? 11. What is the issue or issues that most complainants are concerned about? 12. Would you say that noise is the cause of most complaints and if so what are the roles of fear or loss of privacy concerns to the complainers? 13. Do you feel that there are a few operators that cause the most problems or are the community concerns applicable to all operators? 14. Do you hold regular or occasional meetings with helicopter operators? 15. Does the tower support your efforts in managing helicopter noise? 16. What are the most effective and ineffective parts of your noise management program? 17. What would like to do to improve your helicopter noise management program? 18. What could the industry, including the FAA, do to help improve your noise management programs? 19. Would you find a guidebook of best practices useful at your airport or heliport? 20. Thatâs the end of our formal survey questions. Thank-you very much for your cooperation, this information will be most useful in the compilation of our research. If you would like to contact me with additional information I can be reached at: (redacted) 21. We just have a couple more follow up questions. First, would you like to see a copy of what we write up to check it for accuracy? 22. If we have any questions or need to clarify something, is it okay to call you back? 23. Is it acceptable if our report identifies this airport, or would you prefer to remain anonymous?
98 Summary Table of Responses To Survey (paraphrased from telephone survey responses) Question 1: Do you have a helicopter noise management program? The answers were five "yes" answers and four "sort-of"'s. The 'yes' programs were all voluntary and mainly consisted of asking pilots to fly certain routes. Austin Kind of: city ordinance about heliports that limits number of operations by category East Hampto n Yes: Plane Noise Inc. has an automated system that monitors aircraft noise complaints in real time and then analyzes those. FAA Kind of: there's an LA helicopter noise initiative that used stakeholder feedback to identify six actions to focus on. LAS Yes: voluntarily Fly Quiet program with meetings and routes which are monitored for compliance. LGB Yes: It is incorporated into helicopter flight guide. The guide contains suggested flight paths and altitudes. OAK Yes: established in 1970s. Try to get helicopters to fly over freeway as much as possible, avoid hotels & residential areas. UCSF Hospital Kind of: had one planned but became unnecessary. Complaints system active. SFO Kind of: more of a general aircraft noise management program with preferential runways and trying to use routes over water. VNY/LAX Yes: voluntary program that asks pilots to fly specific routes. Question 2: Is this program published? Where? To the question "Is this noise management published and if so where?", the answers are generally "yes" but there but there is a wide disparity in the accessibility of these publications, ranging from a direct website location to some rather vague references. Austin City ordinances, chapter 13-1 under helicopters East Hampto n planenoise.com FAA May 2013 report about the LA helicopter noise initiative on the FAA webpage LAS Partially in a Fly Quietly brochure, partially in the FAR Part 150 program
99 LGB Guide is published and available to operators, as well as on website (http://www.lgb.org/) OAK Yes, pilot brochure and on third party website with monthly subscription-- whispertrack from flyquietoak.com. Has description of program with airport contact information and diagrams of noise-sensitive areas. UCSF Hospital Not in use, but being sent to us SFO On the website (http://www.flysfo.com/) VNY/LAX Look at website, lawa.org then go from there Question 3: Recommended helicopter routes? To the question âAre there recommended helicopter routes?â the answers were generally yes with one ânoâ and one âdonât knowâ. Austin Yes, during major events, mainly Formula 1 race. Create routes that avoid noise-sensitive areas that must be approved for operator to have temporary permit--if pass over private property must alert and ask for permission. East Hampto n Not really; maybe East Hampton doeswe are only involved with compiling the complaints. Try to maximize altitude. FAA Have a few, still in the process of creating them LAS Yes, worked with FAA and operators to come up with routes, which in the end must be approved by the FAA LGB Yes, 8 visually identifiable flight paths, usually over large streets, mainly for arrival/departure, Also have helicopter training flight paths that are designed to avoid residential areas. OAK Yes: brochure has fixed-wing routes/paths on diagrams and one is labeled Heli as well, basically recommended to follow freeway UCSF Hospital Have primary route, and 3 other ones SFO The tower decides/controls these VNY/LAX Yes, but they're all voluntary and generally are for when helicopters are on airport property Question 4: Are these routes published? To the question âAre these routes published?â four responded that their routes were readily available affirmatively; four others responded that they thought they had something, but it was not readily available, and the ninth was a âdonât knowâ. Austin Temporary and not in the ordinance, but may be somewhere else published by FAA or with the operators
100 East Hampto n N/A FAA Helicopter aeronautical chart for LA basin has some, but again, in the process of making more LAS Fly Quietly brochure and letter of agreement with ATC. LGB Helicopter Flight Guide OAK Brochure on whispertrack UCSF Hospital Contour routes were drawn, exist, being sent to us SFO unknown VNY/LAX Also on the site Question 5: Is there an evaluation to the adherence of routes? To the question âEvaluation of the adherence to the published routesâ four did evaluations. Two did this all the time, one did this on the basis of complaints, and one was rather ad hoc. Austin Routes must be pre-approved East Hampto n N/A FAA None: routes are voluntary, recommended, VFR LAS Although voluntary, evaluate using Exelis Environmental Vue Application, a radar analysis package, to track each individual operator by their call sign and see if they pass through narrow gates on the preferred route LGB Yes: We periodically evaluate the dispersion and altitudes via gates in ANOMS. The gates are located along the recommended routes. This information is communicated to operators. OAK case by case basis using flight tracking system UCSF Hospital Seems like helicopters follow except due to weather etc. since so few/specific routes SFO unkown VNY/LAX Used to monitor and still do occasionally based on complaints, but they're voluntary and basically only about airport property. In general adherence is pretty good Question 6: Is there a minimum altitude requirement? To the question âAre there minimum altitude requirements?â the answers were generally no, with one airport suggesting that media aircraft stay above 1000 feet. One had minimum altitudes over the airfield.
101 Austin No, just based on FAA standards East Hampto n unknown FAA Some published on helicopter/hybrid routes, in the works and specific to airport. Voluntary for the LA helicopter noise initiative LAS No, for safety reasons since terrain drops. Do ask them to fly as high as possible LGB Maximum: recommended to be below 500 ft within 1.5 miles of airport, below 700 ft within 5 miles. OAK Ask most helicopters, especially media to stay above 1000 ft but don't recommend anything to law enforcement, medevac since that has to do with safety, health; people's lives. Brochure says 600 ft for fixed-wing UCSF Hospital unknown SFO No VNY/LAX 1300ft MSL/500ft AGL, on airport property. And 1500ft MSL maximum Question 7: Are the minimum altitudes published? The question âAre the minimum altitudes publishedâ is not applicable because nobody has minimum altitudes (except for the one on-field minimum, which certainly is published). Austin N/A East Hampto n N/A FAA See above LAS N/A LGB No: Maximum altitudes are prescribed. OAK LOA between FAA and operators UCSF Hospital N/A SFO N/A VNY/LAX Yes, probably on the site Question 8: What other mitigation measures?
102 To the question âWhat other mitigation methods do you use?â, the answers largely repeated the responses dealing with preferred route (questions 3/4/5) but expanded to preferred areas for such things as training. One airport restricted training by time of day. Austin Basically only during specific events, identifying noise-sensitive areas East Hampto n We just collect complaints FAA Possibly limiting time of day and requesting camera pooling for news helicopters LAS No LGB As mentioned above, training flight paths over compatible land uses OAK It's a 24/7 airport, but do try to minimize noise, follow noise abatement procedures 10PM-6AM by avoiding Bay Farm Island, especially have helicopters fly along San Leandro Bay UCSF Hospital Restrictions on which patients are transferred reduces number of flights and thus amount of noise SFO No. VNY/LAX Ensure helicopter training ops aren't repetitive and usually restrict time of day Question 9: What kind of helicopters use your facility? To the question âWhat kind of helicopters use your facilityâ almost everyone mentioned emergency services of one kind or another and included police, fire, medical, and coast guard. Other than the emergency services, the uses were whatever was local to that facility (passenger transport, tours, news media, etc.) Austin Transporting people during special events, police, fire, EMS East Hampto n Lots of tour helicopters in NYC, transport and Manhattan and Wall St both passenger and corporate, and probably transport in East Hampton since there's often transport between these places. Also fractional share model: Blade FAA (Use the LA area) mostly single engine aircraft, definitely news and transport LAS 7-8 seat helicopters, e.g. A Star 350, A Star 135, R22, R44. Tours of Grand Canyon, local police department, media LGB R22's, R44's. Also A Star 350's and A Star 330 Pumas for search and rescue belonging to LA county sheriff's department. Island Express (S76) that shuttles from airport to Catalina and Queen Mary. Law enforcement in general OAK Media, law enforcement (Oakland police department), medevac turboprops, training operations for Coast Guard at North Field
103 UCSF Hospital hospital-to-hospital transport SFO Coast Guard, tours VNY/LAX Training operations, transport, helicopters that need service/repair, LAPD Question 10: How many operations? To the question âhow many operations?â the numbers given varied a lot, ranging from about 400 operations per year to 100,000 operations per year. Austin A couple hundred per weekend, three thousand the weekend of Formula 1 East Hampto n 100,000/year at Manhattan heliport. When it comes to East Hampton, doesn't know. For use in a hypothetical, says 1667/month (1/3 of 5000) but also says 1 complaint/op and 25000 complaints so possibly ~25000 ops FAA unknown LAS About 300 per day, mostly tour LGB Approximately 25,000/year OAK 1300 annually: 598 departures 709 arrivals UCSF Hospital 88-104 in 3 months (not sure if 16 night operations included in the 88) SFO Fewer than 10/day VNY/LAX 100/day Question 11: How many complaints do you receive? To the question âhow many noise complaints do you receive?â the number of complaints varied a lot, ranging from less than a dozen per year to twenty five thousand per year. Austin Only a few/year, except during Formula 1 up to 220/230, though recent years closer to 120 East Hampto n About 1/op at East Hampton. Also says 25000/year but not sure if this is for only helicopters or all aircraft FAA About a dozen/year LAS 81 total/year, 36-37 if don't count repeat households LGB About 200 complaints/year (2 percent of 10000) OAK 937 in 2014 which is about 78 per month UCSF Hospital 2 or 3 complaints between February 1 (when hospital opened) and when interview was conducted SFO 2/month
104 VNY/LAX Quite a few and it varies. Also, if one person marks multiple issues in their complaint, each one counts as a separate complaint Question 12: What is the issue/what are the issues most are concerned about? To the question âWhat are the issues most are concerned aboutâ noise is the greatest concern (8/9), followed closely by altitude (4/9). Also mentioned were time of flights, frequency of flights (especially tour aircraft), and routes. Austin Noise, but in terms of time of day and when different populations feel most disrupted as well as number of activities and level of noise per activity; intensity. East Hampto n In East Hampton, it seems that the majority are noise complaints, but he thinks that their true cause/motivation is that the very rich create the problem. ? In NYC, high-volume frequency during peak hours FAA Noise due to low-flying, hovering aircraft LAS Frequency, especially of tour helicopters LGB Vary by location, but include veering off the routes over major streets and low altitudes. Noise probably triggers a lot of complaints; makes people notice OAK Mostly about noise, vary by location. Berkeley and Oakland: media covering protests leads to low-flying and hovering as well as just high quantity due to addition of law enforcement at protests. Davis West: veering off the path, over residential area UCSF Hospital Noise, definitely SFO Noise and low-altitude flights VNY/LAX Noise, vibration, and low altitudes. Question 13: What about fear or loss of privacy--are these concerns? To the question "Are fear or loss of privacy concerns?" There was again a wide range of responses. The most common answer was "not really" (6/9) ; three indicated that fear is a problem. Austin Not really East Hampto n I think no because he went on to describe actual issues in East Hampton, but never explicitly said fear or privacy. FAA Not loss of privacy but maybe fear of helicopters crashing wherever they're located; safety LAS Not really, since helicopters usually fly pretty high
105 LGB Fear is yes due to flying over elementary school, loss of privacy isn't explicitly expressed but alluded to and about law enforcement. OAK Fear helicopters being too close to ground, crashing (corrected by interviewer to say not that much fear of crashing?) Paranoia about law enforcement spying on them, and about their aircraft circling around fields/crops looking for marijuana UCSF Hospital Not really SFO Not really VNY/LAX Very few; 1-2 in 14 years Question 14: Are there a few operators that cause the most problems? To the question âare there a few operators that cause the most problems?â it appears that the answers addressed a slightly different question. The few that answered our question answered the question âwhat type of operations gave rise to the most problemsâ rather than the question âwhat operators cause the most problemsâ. The answers were that tour helicopter, transportation helicopters, and media helicopters were the type of operations that caused the most problem. The three airports that used the term operator said that all their operators were about equal. Austin During the year, EMS and police, although people often retract complaints once they know who it is. Also banner-towing aircraft. East Hampto n In NYC, people are concerned about the idea of Blade (a helicoptor transport service to NYC), but in general it seems to be passenger transport for both East Hampton and NYC FAA Depends. Based on location: some places have more surveillance so public service helicopters cause many complaints. If operations based at airport, then ingress/egress causes a lot of issues. LAS No, in recent years all about the same since all are aware of the concerns-- they meet and discuss these. LGB Not really, about equal for each operator OAK No, applicable to all UCSF Hospital There's only really one kind of operator SFO Tour and Coast Guard, but out of the two, tours. Also occasion-specific news copters VNY/LAX Tours over people's houses, police flying low for surveillance especially if there's no crime, and news copters hovering so low for so long Question 15: Do you hold regular or occasional meetings with operators?
106 To the question âdo you hold regular meetings?â 4 responded âyesâ, 1 was a qualified âyesâ, 2 were âSemi-yesâ, and 1 was ânoâ. Austin Kind of; meet before Formula 1. During the year, informally with police/fire department. Also meet when heliport/helistop needs to be approved, etc. East Hampto n No. FAA Yes, as part of the LA helicopter initiative LAS Yes, quarterly or biannual meetings talking about route compliance, noise areas, general issues, and growth of the operators. Meet with FAA Air Traffic Control, local police department, FSDO, and operators LGB Not exactly, but quarterly meeting with airport noise abatement committee that includes helicopter operators. Might form helicopter-specific committee OAK Yes, annual meetings UCSF Hospital Community advisory board that will meet quarterly, with representatives from the community, community/government relations, and the transport manager. SFO No VNY/LAX Informal: sometimes they go and sit in on professional helicopter pilot association meetings that happen once a month, sometimes talk afterwards in office Question 16: Does the tower support your efforts? To the question âdoes the tower support your effortsâ the answers were 7 âyesâ, and 2 âdonât knowâ. Austin Yes, provide separation for aircraft during the year and even a special division of FAA comes in to help with Formula 1 East Hampto n unknown FAA Yes, with routes, altitudes, operating practices-- LAS Yes generally, and tower has also supported them in trying to hold onto the radar feed LGB Yes, very much. OAK Of course safety is priority, but try to assist and adhere to noise abatement procedures UCSF Hospital N/A SFO Generally yes. Sometimes helicopter placement decided by tower causes disruption, but placement choice is out of necessity
107 VNY/LAX Kind of. Clears helicopters to fly route but doesn't monitor them after that. Then talks about FAA, saying they issued letter agreements in the past that were helpful Question 17: What are the most effective and ineffective parts? To the question âWhat are the most effective and ineffective parts?â the response to effective was pretty clear, and listed communications/outreach as the best method, with minimum altitudes and routing also being strong, effective parts of a plan. Ineffective was mentioned by a minority and it consisted mainly of methods that had the effect of controlling how the pilot flies the plane. Austin Outreach in working with the stakeholders and always notifying property owners about applications, especially during Formula 1: it's the most effective as in it works well, but ineffective as well in how much labor is involved in this depth of involvement East Hampto n Doesn't say what's most effective/ineffective for East Hampton/NYC, only talks about opinions/knowledge: believes that maximizing altitudes would be/is generally effective, and believes in diversifying route structures. FAA N/A LAS Most effective is communication, making operators challenge each other/compete to fly quietly. Also higher altitudes, route compliance, and quieter helicopters. Ineffective is trying to control how a pilot flies; speed, rotation angle, etc. during arrival/departure, because that can become a safety issue. LGB Least ineffective is just publishing flight guide, establishing procedure. Need personal follow-up with individual operators to ensure they're aware of community concerns, and then becomes effective OAK Most effective is outreach: educating pilots and community on what airport can/cannot do. Ineffective is same as what they need to improve UCSF Hospital N/A SFO Website and Fly Quiet program are most effective, as well as general good flow of information VNY/LAX Recommended routes are effective; good compliance. Possibly in the past, deviation monitoring program was effective. Ineffective is how agencies like police and fire dept. deal with complaints Question 18: What would you like to do to improve it, if anything? To the question âWhat would you like to do to improve it?â four want to do things to improve communications and outreach, two say itâs fine the way it is, two donât answer the question, and one says maximize altitudes and diversify route structure.
108 Austin Not much, it's really good the way it is. The things that really disrupt people, like EMS, are life-saving so no real debate East Hampto n Maximizing altitudes and diversifying route structures FAA No comments. LAS Recognize and support the efforts operators are making to Fly Quietly, both on a community and national level; positive reinforcement LGB Make community understand what airport can/cannot restrict, instead of just blaming /complaining. Also establishing specific helicopter noise abatement committee to improve outreach mentioned above; keeping helicopter operators informed, especially in terms of training operations where operators are continually changing OAK Work on brochure and make pilots/operators aware of noise abatement procedures before they arrive at Oakland Airport UCSF Hospital Nothing, it's pretty good SFO Improve complaint page, keep lines of communication open VNY/LAX Not explicitly answered. Question 19: Is there anything the industry including the FAA could do to improve it? To the question âWhat would you like the FAA to do to improve it, if anything?â four specified a desire for more communication/outreach from the FAA. The other four are very short and specific. Austin FAA could make Integrated Noise Model easier to use, so that it took less training East Hampto n Same as above; work with FAA/Industry to accomplish those things FAA They've already done a lot LAS FAA could help with openness with radar data: get rid of 1200 codes, create local call sign so operators are identifiable. Also, generally create brochure/guidance document talking about what has been done to reduce noise impact. Finally, being aware of repeat caller impact when analyzing data LGB Communicating to operators how important noise is and making noise abatement measures simpler/more comprehensible to transient pilots OAK The FAA could attend more research meetings and offer their expertise in explaining to the community why things are done the way they are in the tower
109 UCSF Hospital N/A SFO FAA could work with media, create media bill of rights. VNY/LAX Industry (pilots association) has been slowly improving, in the sense that they've become aware that they need to do more. And FAA could encourage transponder code use, possibly restart monitoring deviation from routes? Question 20: Would you find a guidebook of best practices useful at your airport/heliport? To the question âWould you find a guidebook useful?â we were greeted with four âyesâ answers, two âmaybeâ answers, and three ânot-reallyâ answers. Austin They already have noise abatement procedures, he thinks it might be more useful in a place where there's more helicopter activity. East Hampto n No comment. FAA N/A LAS Yes, especially if it had specific examples of what airports have done LGB Yes, but possibly more useful at airports without a good noise abatement program OAK Yes! UCSF Hospital Possibly SFO Wouldn't turn it away VNY/LAX Always, and something similar is in the works by helicopter pilots association