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       November 26, 2001

Attendees: Jim Anderson, Robert Barker, Dannie Bennett, Terry Borne, Dorn Crawford, Mike Eplion, Mary Rose Evans, Robin Harris, George Hudson, Fred Liggin, John Sistarenik, Mike Zanone

The meeting began at 7:15 PM. The main purpose of the committee session was to review materials discussed at neighborhood orientations held since Study Group meeting #5A, and consider feedback and next steps to complete the recommended noise abatement package. The orientations responded to a need for additional outreach to elements of the community expressing concerns about implications of the abatement measures under discussion. The Study Group chair had deferred seeking consensus on the proposed program until these concerns could be addressed. The committee discussed a number of additional steps that were taken as a result:

Issues aired at meeting #5A were compiled, classified and weighed against available facts. This material helped focus the content of neighborhood orientations. As a preview, the committee chair published a short commentary on the dozen points most prominently heard.

Because of concerns expressed about the impact of additional airport operations, noise samples were taken at several sites along the proposed offset approach and departure path for runway 17R/35. Copies of the engineering firm’s report were circulated for discussion. Members noted that current ambient noise levels already exceed exposure associated with airport operations under any scenario examined. These findings were consistent with EPA benchmarks for urban environments, as set out in reports previously studied by the committee.

To convey additional Study Group background material and previous findings, and discuss questions and concerns, neighborhood orientations were conducted in the Park DuValle (Nov 12, at New Zion Baptist Church) and Portland (Nov 15, at Martin Luther King Elementary School) areas. Participating committee members shared their observations on these sessions, noting that the presentations drew primarily from material shown at Study Group meeting #5A, but covered additional details and tie-ins to previous work. The main elements included:

    • a look at current noise exposure, emphasizing that this represents
    the first hard data available on the new runway configuration

    • non-attainment of approved levels of exposure

    • unprogrammed, and hence unmitigated, impact on neighborhoods near the airport

    • a look at current flight patterns over noise-sensitive areas, noting the lack of standardized flight routes

    • liberal use of visual flight rules

    • routine exceptions to standard approach altitudes

    • Consequent challenges of developing an abatement package that manages noise effectively throughout the airspace, yielding radical reduction in exposure to noise above Federal thresholds

    • regularization of flight patterns, and concentration over least sensitive areas

    • robust mitigation and implementation strategies

The chair noted that data are also being sought to assess the impact on residential and other noise-sensitive facilities along each lobe of the noise contours, to insure that the expectation of a “fair” distribution of noise impact is realized. The Study Group has hesitated arraying data at this level, wishing to avoid any indication of a “we-they” calculus at work in evaluating abatement alternatives. But since the noise contours are already being interpreted geographically in these terms, it makes little sense not to compile information that could be interpreted demographically, which is what matters. The Study Group’s objective, in other words, is to minimize airport noise over people, not over geography.

Members expressed an eagerness to get this additional information in hand, so as to permit either affirming or amending the abatement measures already assessed through modeling, and thus moving on to the remainder of the package. With procedural measures still to be developed, mitigation strategies to be determined, and a robust implementation and oversight program to design and document, quick and resolute progress is needed. The committee agreed to meet again as soon as the necessary data could be collected and assessed.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM.


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