Meeting Notes : Navigation Committee

Committee notes reflect the views and opinions of the committee members and not necessarily those of the Noise Compatibility Study Group, Coordinating Council, Regional Airport Authority of Louisville and Jefferson County, or the Consultant Team.
back to NOTES       July 25, 2000

Attendees: Bob Adelberg, Ernie Blankenship, Terry Borne, Dorn Crawford, Teresa Cusick, John Lanning, Aaron Lucas, Roxanne Lucas, Steve Rogers, John Sistarenik, Bob Welch, Mike Zanone

The meeting began shortly after 7:00 PM. The committee’s intent was to review study developments since the last meeting, assess the status of its priority issues, and anticipate possible near-term requirements. Distributed items included

    • Notes of the April 6 meeting, for approval

    • Noise contour maps for 1998 and 2005 base cases (redistributed)

    • Daytime-only and nighttime-only simulation results for 2005 base case

    • Draft modeling assumptions for noise abatement strategies

    • Airfield capacity and delay analysis, preliminary results

    • Peer review read-ahead contents

    • Summary article on noise study progress and status

    • Tally of outstanding study elements

    • NOISE Symposium presentation materials (circulated)

Notes of the committee’s last meeting were approved. The committee then turned to a number of ‘critical path’ issues setting the pace and extent of progress toward the Study Group’s goals:

    • Extended study timeline. The most recent consultants’ estimate asserts nine weeks to complete work on modeling and related efforts to analyze the Study Group’s noise abatement strategies. This means the earliest presentation of results would be late September. While members expressed some frustration with this failure to meet published study timelines, they resolved that the analysis remain faithful to the Study Group’s objectives, and that no lapse be permitted in haste.

    • Modeling assumptions. The committee reviewed the latest memorandum submitted by the consulting team in accordance with study tasks B7.4 and B7.5, which has not been approved because several measures still have not been properly represented. These include refining flight tracks and runway thresholds; citing all active runways (including 11) for use as required; and applying navigation aids for controlling offset approaches and departures. Various management measures to minimize contraflow exceptions, evaluate program conformance using event metrics, and establish navigational performance standards will also be required, and need to be acknowledged.

    There was some discussion of how exceptions to contraflow should be represented in modeling. The chair expressed some irritation at the distraction this issue has caused, recalling the committee’s own early criticism of runway use assumptions that take little or no account of factors other than wind conditions. One evident consequence of these inputs is that exceptions to contraflow will be largely unrepresented in the model. The focus now must be on reasonable management measures that minimize these operations in practice, as the existing measure anticipates, through scrutiny, dialogue, and careful consideration of alternatives. Avoiding ‘loaded’ terminology, slippery slopes, and misperceived intentions are the conditions for success. Most of all, the study report that crowns this process must express clearly and compellingly our determination to apply rational, moderate steps that serve our mutual aim to solve noise problems.

    • Scope revision. The committee heard a general description of changes proposed in the study scope to take account of the Study Group’s analytical design. The aim is to examine alternative operations north and south of the airport, learn as much as possible from three initial model runs depicting these alternatives, and compile a final case that makes the best use of the results. This process could lead, among other things, to a different combination of measures in the final case than in the three initial ones. The minimum scope revision to support this aim would basically lighten the cost-benefit analysis in the initial stage, where benefits are the key consideration, and reinforce it in the final stage, where full accounting of both costs and benefits against the base case is essential. The consulting team has been provided text to achieve this minimum revision, without reopening other aspects of the scope that may be in dispute, but aren’t pertinent to this objective. The text is available for review by committee members.

    • Outstanding study elements. The committee reviewed an informal tally of open issues in exchanges between the Study Group, airport management, and the consulting team over the course of the study to date. The number and duration of such items is a continuing concern, and calls for management procedures to achieve resolution. The tally itself seemed a useful first step in this direction.

The meeting then moved to an overview of other study-related activities arising since the last meeting:

    • Daytime-only and nighttime-only noise expose. A model excursion was run some time ago on the 2005 base case to show the noise contour generated just by nighttime operations. But the nonlinearity of the decibel scale makes it impossible to draw conclusions about how much of the total contour the nighttime portion represents without examining a daytime-only portion too. So consultants were asked to run both cases for comparison. The results give surprising evidence of the distinction. Since there are somewhat more operations during the day than at night, one might expect the daytime contour to be the larger of the two. But because of the 10-dB penalty the model assigns to nighttime events, that contour is larger by far. It’s a dramatic illustration of how big a boost community concerns, and mitigation prospects, get from this Federal policy.

    • Airfield capacity and average delay. This analysis essentially sets the ‘base case’ for maximum traffic tempo the airport can support, and the average cost (in time delay) of current operations. This was to be a companion to the base case noise contours, but was only issued in preliminary form in a June 12 consultants’ memorandum. Ultimately, this analysis provides a way to compare operational costs between alternatives and the base case, just as changes in the noise contours compare benefits. Committee members took copies for further study and discussion at the next meeting.

    • Peer review. An outgrowth of the committee’s exchange with the consulting team on runway use assumptions, a review of methodology has been undertaken by the FAA Center for Excellence in Aviation Operations Research. Reviewers are studying as advance material correspondence regarding the runway use memorandum, base case working paper, and interim study report on existing conditions. With the cover memorandum listing material transmitted to the reviewers as a guide, committee members were invited to pursue further reading at their discretion.

    • Airport noise officer hiring action. The committee acknowledged, and endorsed, the ongoing action by airport management to establish a noise office and hire a staff principal. The prospect of having an incumbent on board in time to engage in noise study activity and interact with the Study Group is a welcome realization of the aims of the Dec 99 resolution promoting this action. Members also applauded the inclusion of funds in the airport’s FY 2001 budget to begin acquiring equipment to monitor implementation of the noise compatibility program.

The chair circulated a sheaf of material collected at the symposium of the National Organization for a Sound-controlled Environment (NOISE) held in Louisville July 19-22. Those attending the symposium agreed it was a useful opportunity to market the Study Group’s efforts, and to benefit from the experience and ideas of other communities, organizations and firms. Members were invited to make further use of the material collected, and pursue further discussion of the proceedings, as they wish.

The chair proposed that the next meeting be called when results of upcoming analysis begin to take shape, to prepare the committee for its role in the next Study Group meeting. Should results of the methodology peer review be available sooner, another meeting would also be in order. This was agreed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.


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