Meeting Notes


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Date: Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Location: Fourth Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky

Attendees: Following is a list of project participants in attendance at the Noise Compatibility Study Group (the 150 Study Group) meeting:

    J. Michael Brown, Chairman, Regional Airport Authority
    Sam Rechter, Director, Regional Airport Authority
    Dorn Crawford, Director, Regional Airport Authority
    Jim DeLong, General Manager, Regional Airport Authority
    Robert Brown, Chief Engineer, Regional Airport Authority
    Ron Scott, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Study Group Chair
    Eric Bernhardt, Leigh Fisher Associates
    Bill Willkie, Leigh Fisher Associates
    Dan Bevarly, Mo’ Better Marketing Communications
    Pamela Schott, Mo’ Better Marketing Communications


The meeting was called to order by Mr. Ron Scott, Study Group Chair, at 7:05 p.m. A motion to adopt the proposed agenda for the evening’s meeting was made and approved. Another motion was called for approval of the minutes from Study Group Meeting #3. This motion was accepted, and the notes were approved.

At this point, Mr. Scott requested Mr. Dorn Crawford review the 1998 and 2005 base case noise exposure contours. Mr. Crawford stated that the purpose of the meeting was to review the key results presented at the last Study Group meeting, and use those results to specify noise abatement measures for analysis by the consulting team. Mr. Crawford stated that the 1998 contour reflects actual aircraft operations and noise monitoring data obtained during the summer of 1999; and that the future 2005 contour reflects projections made by the consulting team. He then briefly explained the day-night average sound level (DNL). Mr. Crawford compared the 1998 and 2005 noise contours with the 1997 contour projected in the previous noise study, and stated that such a comparison illustrates how possible noise impacts might be addressed in the future, and helps identify which noise abatement measures may be appropriate for consideration.

One Study Group member asked for a clarification of the difference between noise abatement and noise mitigation. Mr. Crawford replied that abatement measures are steps that can be taken to affect the shape of contours, such as flight track and runway use changes. Mitigation measures are actions taken after abatement measures are implemented to further reduce noise exposure within the contours that remain. He concluded that it is today’s task for the Study Group to adopt noise abatement measures for the consulting team to analyze and report.

Mr. Scott then took the floor and summarized the following noise abatement categories presented by the consulting team at the previous meeting:

• Runway use programs
• Flight track changes
• Approach and departure procedures
• Advanced navigation technology
• Changes to airport facilities
• Airport use restrictions
• Airport regulations
• Measures to enhance, monitor, or enforce noise abatement

Mr. Scott then called upon Mr. Crawford to present the Navigation Committee’s recommendations. Mr. Crawford stated that it is necessary to develop possible noise abatement measures from two sources: specific local applications based on what the consulting team has offered as potential general measures; and additional measures which may also be appropriate to analyze. The committee recommended that the Study Group consider the following:

Runway use programs

    Alter runway preference

      Eliminate preference of the east runway
      Limit runway preference to daytime only
      Reverse runway preference

    Increase the tailwind threshold for reversing flow to 10 knots
    No allowable exceptions to contraflow, unless in an emergency

Flight track changes

    Set uniform criteria for departure turns based on altitude, distance, markers, geographic features, etc.
    Change west runway departure divergence from 20 degrees to 15 degrees
    Apply divergence to all departures

Approach and departure procedures

    Prohibit visual approaches and route all arriving traffic into IFR corridors
    Develop standard instrument approaches and departures

Advanced navigation technology

    Use of ground-based technology, including markers, beacons, lasers, and other technology currently available
    Airborne systems: GPS/FMS (current & milspec), microwave, other

Changes to airport facilities

    "hush houses"
    counter-frequency generators

Airport use restrictions

    Apply existing noise abatement procedures to all aircraft, not just turbojets

Airport regulations

    Require the FAA to brief all ATCT personnel and pilots on noise abatement measures

Measures to enhance, monitor or enforce noise abatement

    Show effect of full conformance to current noise program, compared to base case
    Noise monitoring
    Flight track monitoring

Mr. Crawford concluded by stating that the committee is in agreement with the consulting team’s proposed noise abatement screening criteria, with a couple of very important stipulations. First assessing noise reduction requires modeling and showing effects of specific measures. Second, to ensure feasibility, Mr. Crawford stated that it will be necessary to perform cost analyses and assess the ability to monitor proposed solutions.

One Study Group member stated that he is interested in the western runway because it appears that air traffic controllers and pilots have an agreement with certain neighborhoods that this runway will not be used, except when necessary. This participant concluded that he would like more use of the western runway. Mr. Crawford replied that this was part of the analytical process, in which it will be determined what would happen if such recommended actions were made, and how would such measures affect the contours.

One Study Group member asked if the proposed measures would have an effect on the 2005 contours, or the DNL 65. Mr. Crawford replied that the focus of recommended measures should be to decrease the DNL 65 because this is the area in which the Federal government will approve and fund noise mitigation measures.

Mr. Scott asked Ms. Marinelle K. Varela to present the Sensitive Facilities Committee’s recommendations. Ms. Varela stated that the following suggestions were based on approved FAR Part 150 noise abatement measures, and are intended to shift noise away from sensitive facilities, without impacting commerce:

• Eliminate visual approaches and adhere to approved flight tracks to reduce random aircraft overflights
• Establish flight patterns that restrict operations to those to and from the south
• Apply penalties for non-compliance with recommendations
• Increase retention time of ARTS data to simplify the next Part 150 study
• Create a public noise forum and employ an RAA Noise Abatement Officer to review proposed Airport development and monitor compliance
• Utilize acoustical shielding and soundproofing for repair and testing facilities that meet or exceed FAA requirements
• Place a cap on future Airport development that causes noise above the DNL 65
• Complete implementation of mitigation measures prior to construction of new Airport facilities
• Maintain ARTS data to monitor Stage 3 compliance
• Require approved noise abatement measure be implemented in a timely fashion

Mr. Scott introduced Mr. Denny Rued, a representative of the Public Information Committee. Mr. Rued began his committee’s presentation by stating that the committee determined steps to enhance, monitor, and enforce noise abatement, and stated that these measures should be compared to ARTS data to ensure effectiveness. The committee proposed the following:

• Expand the Project Website and Project Information Centers to provide information on noise monitoring data, runway use, public feedback, and detailed maps
• Establish an Airport Noise Information Office
• Determine and enforce true flight patterns
• Perform on-going flight track monitoring
• Set standard approach and departure criteria
• Maintain that no area is to receive increased air traffic as a result of mitigating noise in another area

Mr. Scott called Mr. Bill Simpson to the podium to present recommendations from the Metrics Committee. Mr. Simpson offered a definition of noise metrics, explaining that these metrics measure annoyance levels, frequency, variability of noise, and occurrences that are not part of the FAA’s INM. Mr. Simpson stated that runway use assumptions are of particular concern to the committee given the large area exposed to noise north of the east runway. The committee also expressed concern about the possibility that mitigation efforts that remove residents within the DNL 65 will have little effect.

Mr. Simpson presented the following for consideration:

• Keep ARTS data for longer periods of time for analysis
• Maximize use of contraflow
• Define flight tracks that follow consistent and predictable flight patterns
• Require and implement latest navigation technology
• Review cancellation of instrument approaches and departures
• Consider maneuver points to avoid overflights of densely populated areas
• Explore the potential of landscaping to mitigate noise
• Install beacons and other markers to remind pilots of sensitive areas
• Explore potential implementation of hush houses and provide data on success rates and previous experience at other airports
• Study dampening generators to cancel out ground noise
• Explore the possibility of using runway overruns, if constructed, for noise abatement
• Employ alternative metrics, including SEL, L-max, and C-weighting
• Train pilots and controllers to comply with current regulations
• Implement measures to enhance, monitor, and enforce compliance with new regulations

    Video training, enhanced communication between pilots, RAA and community, etc.
    Measure the psychological effect of noise on people
    Prepare a report on variations within the INM

• Expanded use of the INM to assess proposed measures

One participant asked Mr. Simpson to define the INM. Mr. Willkie stated that the INM, or FAA’s "Integrated Noise Model," is a sophisticated computer model that graphically depicts varying levels of noise exposure around an airport. One Study Group Member then asked if noise data is based on maximums, means, averages, or all of the above. Mr. Willkie explained that the noise levels produced by the INM represent average cumulative noise from all flight occurrences during the night and day on an annual average day. However, Mr. Willkie stated that average noise levels produced by the INM are heavily influenced by the loudest events.

One Study Group Member wanted to know whether the noise contours would be altered significantly during winter months due to the absence of foliage. Mr. Willkie answered that noise monitoring during winter months does produce different data. However, since noise is generated from airborne aircraft, foliage is not a useful noise barrier and has no noticeable affect on noise contours. In the summer, aircraft performance is decreased due to temperature and pressure. More noise complaints are generated during the summer due to the fact that more people are out of doors.

Mr. Scott then turned the floor over to Mr. Marvin Pilkenton of the Noise Monitoring Committee. The committee requested consideration of the following:

• Perform a re-evaluation of INM data for possible variables
• Perform continuous or sporadic noise monitoring to assure the effectiveness of adopted noise abatement measures
• Demand compliance with accepted measures
• Maintain oversight of any changes in runway protocol to measure changes and evaluate the result on noise levels
• Use ARTS data, noise monitors, community noise forums, and employ an Airport Noise Officer to monitor noise

Mr. Scott then called Mr. Arnold Celentano of the New Technologies Committee to the podium. Mr. Celentano stated that the committee has identified aircraft engines as the major source of noise, and were looking forward to the implementation of Stage 3 aircraft. Mr. Celentano then presented the following for consideration:

• Examine current aircraft designs, and consider possible take-off and landing technology to reduce noise
• Consolidate navigational tracking to limit noise to certain areas
• Implement airfield barriers that absorb noise
• Consider construction of longer runways
• Consider on-runway dampening devices and hush houses
• Install sound absorbing materials in buildings
• Use "white noise" to reduce the impact of aircraft engines

Mr. Celentano concluded his presentation by stating that alternative construction materials were under consideration, and that the committee is working with the City of Louisville to explore new construction possibilities and the re-orientation of buildings, repositioning of windows within buildings, and other possible noise reduction solutions.

Mr. Scott then called on Mr. Don Conrad of the Relocation Liaison Committee. Mr. Conrad charged the RAA to develop a plan to relocate or soundproof the homes of the estimated 2,200 residents identified by the consulting team within significant noise areas, and challenging the RAA to relieve excessive noise exposure as quickly and humanely as possible.

Mr. Scott then opened the floor for questions.

One Study Group member asked the consulting team to provide data on the fluctuations of noise patterns during different seasons and weather patterns.

One Study Group member asked that copies of the different committee presentations be made available. Mr. DeLong replied that copies of presentations would be mailed to every person on the sign-in sheet.

Mr. Scott noted the commonality of the committee recommendations and suggested that a consolidated report be provided to the consulting team. Mr. Crawford agreed to prepare a consolidated report.

Mr. Scott then called for further committee activity reports. None was offered.

Mr. Scott then called for discussion of other business, and called for consensus on a recommendation to establish an Airport Noise Office. There being no objection, Mr. Scott stated the Group will present this recommendation to the RAA for action.

Mr. Scott then announced the date and time for the next Study Group Meeting, #4 (January 13, 2000, 7:00 p.m.).

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.


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