|Project Information Line
|Project Comment Forms
The following is a breakdown of the type of comment and question received:
|General aircraft noise complaints (GEN)
|Flight tracks (FT)
|Nighttime noise (NN)
|Volume of aircraft activity (VOL)
|Runway use (RWY)
|Aircraft altitudes (ALT)
|Aircraft/engine noise (ENG)
|Interior noise levels (INT)
|Land acquisition (ACQ)
|Nonnoise related complaint/comment (OTH)
|Study comments/suggestions (STD)
|General questions or requests for study
A map depicting the location of comments and questions received is provided on the following page.
GENERAL AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINTS (GEN)
Numerous community members stated they would like to submit a complaint regarding aircraft noise for consideration in this FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study (the Study). Some community members provided comments regarding aircraft noise in specific neighborhoods in the Airport environs. A number of commentors stated that aircraft noise is affecting their quality of life, communications, and outdoor activities.
In addition to noise complaints, a few community members stated that they appreciated the RAAs efforts in conducting the Study, as well as the availability of information.
All general noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. These summaries will be posted on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com) and included in the Project Workbooks (Project Workbooks are located at each of the six Project Informa-tion Centers, or can be inspected at the RAAs offices). In addition, specific Noise Compatibility Study Group (Study Group) committees will use this information to analyze potential noise abatement and noise mitigation strategies.
FLIGHT TRACKS (FT)
General Flight Track Comments/Suggestions
A number of community members commented on the disturbances caused by air-craft overflights. A number of commentors suggested that aircraft should operate away from their homes, or over nonresidential areas.
Actual flight tracks obtained from an analysis of Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) flight tracking data were presented at Study Group Meeting #2, on July 29, 1999. ARTS data depicts the actual flight tracks of aircraft along the ground as well as the altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from the Airport.
Potential changes in departure and arrival flight tracks will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, graphic depiction of noise complaints, and input from Study Group committees will be included in the identification of potential flight track changes.
The FAA is responsible for the control of aircraft in navigable airspace and the operation of aircraft in the air traffic control system. Consequently, the RAA has no direct control over airspace management and air traffic control, including use of recommended flight tracks or runway usage. Potential flight track changes can be implemented if included in a FAA-approved Noise Compatibility Program.
Potential I-65 Flight Corridor
A number of community members suggested aircraft operate over Interstate 65 (I-65) when departing and arriving from the Airport. Most stated that the land uses adjoining I-65 comprise a corridor of noise compatible land uses, and are away from residential communities.
Potential changes in departure and arrival flight tracks and the identification of flight corridors over compatible land uses such as I-65 will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, graphic depiction of noise complaints, and input from specific Study Group Committees will be included in the identification of potential flight track changes.
It should be noted that changes to aircraft flight tracks typically result in a shift of aircraft noise exposure to other areas of the Airport environs. Therefore, potential flight track changes must be carefully analyzed in regard to their potential to increase aircraft noise exposure in other residential areas in the Airport environs. Based on existing land use data presented at Study Group Meeting #2 on July 29, 1999, the Consultant Team demonstrated that large amounts of residential land uses are in fact located on both sides of I-65. It is likely that increased aircraft operations over I-65 would adversely impact the residents living east and west of the interstate.
Adherence to Existing Flight Tracks
A number of community members stated that aircraft were not adhering to pre-identified flight tracks. One commentor cited a map included in a newspaper article that depicted a flight path west of Preston and Packard streets. A number of community members stated that they were not previously informed about flight paths over residential areas.
There are no existing noise abatement flight tracks in place for Louisville International Airport. However, the Airport does include five informal noise abatement departure restrictions. Noise abatement departure restrictions were identified and recommended in the 1990 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Louisville International Airport Improvement Program, to mitigate noise upon commissioning the new parallel runways, but have been revised since initially conceived. The following informal departure restrictions are documented in the Louisville International Airport Informal Runway Use/Noise Abatement Procedures and are to be used to the extent possible by turbojet aircraft whenever wind, weather, traffic density, and airfield conditions permit:
Departures on Runway 17L - maintain the runway heading until reaching the Louisville VOR 270 radial before turning on course
Departures on Runway 17R - westbound aircraft shall maintain a 15 degree divergent heading (200 degrees) and eastbound aircraft shall maintain the runway heading until reaching the Louisville VOR 270 radial before turning on course
Departures on Runway 35R maintain the runway heading until reaching 3,000 feet MSL before turning on course
Departures on Runway 35L maintain a 15 degree divergent heading (330 degrees) until reaching 3,000 feet MSL before turning on course
Departures on Runway 29 - maintain the runway heading until reaching 3,000 feet MSL or four (4) nautical miles before turning on course
For departures on Runways 17L and 17R, the Louisville VOR 270 radial is located approximately 3 miles south of the Airport. For departures on Runways 35L and 35R, aircraft typically reach an altitude of 3,000 feet MSL approximately three miles from the Airport.
It should be noted that the above departure restrictions apply to turbojet aircraft only. Once aircraft reach prescribed altitudes and/or air traffic control fix, they may turn on course or operate in the heading indicated by air traffic control.
This Study will devote substantial effort to development of new and/or refined noise abatement measures, as well as improved procedures for insuring confor-mance to preferred flight tracks; however, actual flight tracks are expected to vary due to wind, weather, pilot technique, and air traffic control requirements.
NIGHTTIME NOISE (NN)
Evening and Nighttime Aircraft Operations and Sleep Disturbance
Many community members commented on nighttime and early morning aircraft operations. Commentors stated that nighttime aircraft operations begin at approximately 11:30 p.m. and continue until approximately 2:30 a.m.; and then occur again between 4:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. The volume and frequency of aircraft operations during evening hours was also mentioned.
Many community members commented on sleep disturbance and wake-up problems caused by aircraft noise. Some residents expressed concern that they could not leave their windows open at night because of the noise.
All nighttime noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. Such information will be used by specific Study Group committees to analyze potential noise abatement strategies. In addition, sound attenuation strategies will be assessed during the analysis of potential noise mitigation strategies. An overview of research conducted in the field of sleep disturbance is included in Working Paper #1.
Base case noise exposure contours (presented at Study Group Meeting #3 on October 15, 1999) account for existing and forecasts levels of nighttime aircraft operations at the Airport. For existing 1998 conditions, nighttime aircraft opera-tions account for 39% of total operations. Air carrier and air cargo aircraft represent 10% and 62% of total nighttime operations, respectively. Nighttime aircraft operations are projected to account for 38% of total operations in 2005. Air carrier and air cargo aircraft are projected to represent 11% and 64% of total nighttime operations, respectively.
Sound events that occur during nighttime hours are weighted in the calculation of day-night average sound (DNL) levels since (1) people are normally more sensitive to intrusive sound events at night, and (2) the background sound levels are normally lower at night because of decreased human activity. To account for these factors, a 10 dB penalty is added to sound levels occurring between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. This 10 dB penalty means that one nighttime sound event is equivalent to 10 daytime events of the same level.
UPS Nighttime Operations
A number of community members commented on noise generated by UPS aircraft during nighttime hours.
UPS operates their primary sorting hub at Louisville International Airport. The nature of a cargo sorting hub requires a nighttime sort so that parcels can be delivered during the following business day. Consequently, the majority of UPS aircraft operations occur during nighttime hours. One of the primary goals of this Part 150 Study is to minimize the impact of aircraft noise exposure, especially during nighttime hours.
VOLUME OF AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY (VOL)
Volume of Aircraft Activity During Evening Hours
A number of community members commented on the volume of aircraft operation. Many commentors stated that aircraft operations occur every one to two minutes. Most of these comments regarded nighttime aircraft operations.
This Study will address all aircraft activity. Although limitations on aviation activity may be investigated as noise reduction measures, the RAA is not able to restrict access to the Airport without following established Federal regula-tions that require an analysis balancing the economic and environmental impacts associated with a proposed access restriction.
Volume of UPS Aircraft Operations
A number of community members commented on the volume of UPS aircraft operations during nighttime hours.
UPS operates their primary sorting hub at Louisville International Airport. The nature of a cargo sorting hub requires a nighttime sort so that parcels can be delivered during the following business day. Consequently, the majority of UPS aircraft operations occur during nighttime hours. One of the primary goals of this Part 150 Study is to minimize the impact of aircraft noise exposure, especially during nighttime hours. Although limitations on aviation activity may be investigated as noise reduction measures, the RAA is not able to restrict access to the Airport without following established Federal regulations that require an analysis balancing the economic and environmental impacts associated with a proposed access restriction.
RUNWAY USE (RWY)
Departures to the North on Runway 35R or 35L
One commentor provided three separate comments (July 25, August 16, and August 17, 1999) regarding operations to the north on either Runway 35R or 35L. This commentor stated that such operations did not "conform to the current noise compatibility program" were contrary to normal runway operations or the preferred flow. In each case, the commentor provided ASOS and National Weather Service (NWS) reported wind speed and direction.
Based on the above comments and other input received by the Consultant Team during the course of the Study, there appears to be a misconception regarding runway use at the Airport. The Airport does include informal runway use procedures designed to moderate aircraft noise over noise-sensitive areas. The following informal runway uses are documented in the Louisville International Airport Informal Runway Use/Noise Abatement Procedures, and are to be used to the extent possible by turbojet aircraft whenever wind, weather, traffic density, and airfield conditions permit:
Daytime runway use
Daytime 1 - Land on Runway 17L and depart on Runways 17R and 17L
Daytime 2 - Land and depart on Runways 17R and 17L
Daytime 3 - Land on Runways 35R and 35L, depart on Runway 35R
Daytime 4 - Land and depart on Runways 35R and 35L
Daytime 5 - Land and depart on Runway 29
Nighttime runway use
Nighttime 1 - Land on Runways 35R and 35L; and depart on Runways 17R and 17L (Contraflow)
Nighttime 2 - Land on Runway 17L and depart on Runways 17R and 17L
Nighttime 3 - Land and depart on Runways 17R and 17L
Nighttime 4 - Land on Runways 35R and 35L and depart on Runway 35R
Nighttime 5 - Land and depart on Runways 35R and 35L
Nighttime 6 - Land and depart on Runway 29
The most preferred runway use configurations, Daytime 1 and Nighttime 1, are used whenever wind, weather, demand, and airfield conditions permit. How-ever, it should be noted that during Daytime 1 and Nighttime 1 conditions, some arrivals or departures may occur from/to the north if they are against the general flow of operations. For example, the relatively few departure opera-tions that would be expected during the peak UPS arrival bank will be instructed by the Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) to depart on either Runway 35R or 35L.
In addition, the ATCT directs aircraft to depart or land on specific runways based on actual on-field wind and weather conditions at the time the aircraft requests to depart or land. Runway use decisions are made by FAA air traffic controllers based on real-time weather, wind speed, and wind direction equipment in the ATCT. The ASOS and NWS reported wind speed and direction information are derived based on a single sample of data taken during the hour.
Finally, pilots may request the use of a runway other than the active runway based on operational requirements; and these requests must be honored by the ATCT.
The aircraft operations on Runways 35R or 35L mentioned in the above comment may have occurred for a variety of reasons, including: actual, on-field wind and weather conditions, air traffic demand in the airspace surrounding the Airport, and/or pilot requests. This Study will devote substantial effort to reviewing the applicability and benefits of implementing formal runway use program or improved informal runway use procedures. However, conformance to formal or informal runway use programs will never be perfect due to many variations in weather and air traffic control require-ments that occur at an airport throughout the day.
Use of Runway 11-29
One commentor asked why aircraft were departing on Runway 11-29 since this runway is to be used for emergencies only. The commentor added that during the time aircraft were using Runway 11-29, aircraft were not operating on either Runways 17L-35R or 17R-35L. One commentor asked why Kentucky Air National Guard aircraft were operating between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. on Runway 11-29.
See comment above.
Runway 11-29 is the crosswind runway at the airport, oriented in an east-west direction. The runway is typically used when wind conditions prohibit the use of Runway 17L-35R and 17R-35L. The runway is not designated for emergency use only.
Runway Use Recommendations
One commentor asked mentioned a perceived increase use of Runway 17L-35R (west runway), and inquired if this was a recommendation of this Study.
Potential noise abatement measures such as preferential runway use programs will be analyzed as part of this Study during Fall 1999 and discussed during Study Group meetings #3 and #4. No noise abatement measures have been recommended for the Airport as part of this Study at this time.
AIRCRAFT ALTITUDES (ALT)
General Comments Regarding Aircraft Operations at Low Altitudes
A number of community members commented on aircraft operating at low altitudes.
The altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from an airport is determined by a number of factors, including aircraft weight, payload, engine type, engine thrust, weather conditions, safety factors, and instructions provided by the ATCT. There is no "correct" height for aircraft operating from an airport on takeoff. For landings, aircraft follow a prescribed glide slope once established on the approach.
A total sample of twenty-eight (28) days of ARTS data was analyzed for this Study to assess existing runway and flight track use at the Airport. ARTS data depicts the actual flight tracks of aircraft along the ground as well as the altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from the Airport. Based on the Consultant Teams review of the ARTS data and experience analyzing such data at airports throughout the United States, the altitude of aircraft operating in the Louisville airspace is typical of aircraft altitudes in terminal airspace.
Potential changes to aircraft operating altitudes will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, input from Study Group committees, and noise complaints regarding aircraft altitudes will be included in the identification and screening of potential noise abatement measures. It should be noted that potential changes to departure and arrival altitudes must be carefully analyzed in regard to the air traffic control environment and aircraft safety.
Changes in Aircraft Operating Altitudes
A number of community members commented that aircraft are operating at lower altitudes.
The altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from the airport is determined by a number of factors, including aircraft weight, payload, engine type, engine thrust, weather conditions, safety factors, and instructions provided by the ATCT. On occasion, aircraft may be directed by the ATCT to operate at a lower altitude when initiating an approach to the Airport. These directions are sometimes necessary to safely space arriving and departing aircraft in the airspace system surrounding the Airport.
AIRCRAFT/ENGINE NOISE (ENG)
One commentor stated that aircraft were "screaming" when operating over their residence. This commentor suggested that these aircraft were producing noise not typical of jet aircraft.
Standard air carrier, air cargo, commuter, and general aviation aircraft operate from the Airport. The cause of the "screaming" sound referred to by this commentor is unknown.
One commentor noted an increase in ground noise between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m. on one occasion.
Potential aircraft-related vibration or low frequency ground noise will be investigated as part of the noise monitoring program being conducted for this Study. Input from Study Group committees and data compiled in the noise monitoring program will be considered in the identification, screening, and selection of potential measures.
One commentor stated that aircraft-related vibrations were causing damage to furniture inside the residence.
Analysis of noise and vibration in the study area indicates that noise levels may cause structural vibration, but would be well below the levels which would lead to structural damage.
INTERIOR NOISE LEVELS (INT)
Many members of the community commented on interior noise levels. Most com-mentors stated that aircraft overflights disrupted conversation and other indoor activities such as watching television. Other commentors mentioned that they were compelled to leave windows closed.
All noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. Sound attenuation measures will be assessed during the analysis of potential noise mitigation strategies. An overview of the effects of noise exposure on people is provided in Working Paper #1, FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study Overview.
LAND ACQUISITION (ACQ)
No comments received
NON-NOISE RELATED COMPLAINT/COMMENT (OTH)
Three commentor expressed concern regarding possible adverse health effects related to aviation fuel exhaust.
These comments are noted. Potential air quality impact associated with existing and future aircraft operations are not included in the scope of this Study.
A number of community members stated that the value of their property has decreased due to aircraft noise. One commentor, who is the owner of a salon in the study area, stated that aircraft noise was detrimental to his/her business since it disturbed customers.
One commentor stated that flashing lights from aircraft were causing sleep disturbance.
Community annoyance caused by aircraft lighting systems is not included in the scope of this Study. However, such annoyances were discussed during Study Group Meeting #2. Based on input provided by Study Group members, such annoyances are most likely caused by aircraft approach lighting systems that are mounted on the aircraft landing gear. Aircraft approach lights are necessary for safety, and recommendations that prohibit aircraft lighting will not be considered.
Two community members expressed concern regarding potential aviation accidents caused by severe weather. One commentor stated that UPS uses the Airport during severe weather conditions, but passenger air carrier aircraft do not.
All aircraft operators possess pre-established thresholds for operations during weather conditions such as snow, rain, or wind. These thresholds are different for individual air carriers. The FAA and RAA also establish severe weather thresholds that would necessitate closure of the Airport. When the Airport is closed due to weather, all aircraft operations (including air cargo, passenger air carriers, military and general aviation) are prohibited from operating. Decisions regarding aircraft operations during severe weather conditions are outside of the scope of this study.
STUDY COMMENT/SUGGESTIONS (STD)
A number of community members suggested locations for the placement of noise monitors.
The noise monitoring program for this Study was conducted during May and June 1999. In accordance with the Study Group Charter, focused committees such as the Noise Monitoring Committee have a key role in evaluating techni-cal elements of the Study and making decisions. In regard to the selection of noise monitoring sites, the Noise Monitoring Committee met on April 29, May 6, and May 26, 1999 to discuss technical materials provided by the consultant team and select a total of ten noise monitoring sites. The ten sites selected by the Committee were endorsed by the Study Group on May 26, 1999, and provided to the consultant team that evening. No additional noise monitoring is planned for this Study.
The results, location of noise monitors, and dates/times that noise monitoring took place at each site posted on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com) and included in the Project Workbooks (Project Workbooks are included at each of the Project Information Centers).
GENERAL QUESTIONS OR REQUEST FOR STUDY INFORMATION (INFO)
Requests for Information
Some community members requested information on receiving additional Study information.
Detailed information regarding this Part 150 Study can be obtained on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com) or in the Project Workbooks contained at six Project Information Centers located in Louisville and southern Indiana. In addition, technical and other materials related to the Study can be obtained by attending Study Group meetings. Study Group meetings are scheduled, advertised, and held at key points during the Study. At each meeting, members review key technical information and/or analyses prepared by the consultant team, ask questions and voice opinions about conclusions and technical materials or recommendations, and provide input on subsequent Study tasks. Documentation of each meeting is provided in the Public Participation section of the Project Workbooks.
Requests for Meeting Dates and Times
Some community members requested information on upcoming Study Group and/or committee meetings.
Dates and times for Study Group meetings are announced on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com). In addition, the RAA mails future meeting announcements to all study participants. To receive meeting announcements in the mail, please provide your name and address on the sign in sheet provided at all Study Group meetings, or call the RAA at (502) 368-6524, Ext. 119.
Committee meetings are scheduled by individual committee chairs. Future meeting dates are typically identified at the end of each committee meeting. Once the date for a committee meeting is set, the meeting date and time is announced on the Project Website.
One commentor asked what areas would be included in this Study.
The specific study area for this Part 150 study is generally bound by the Ohio River (including some parts of southern Indiana) to the north, Bowman Field to the east, Brooks Hill Road to the south, and the north-south spur of I-264 to the west. However, potential noise abatement measures will be assessed for their potential to reduce noise exposure levels in areas outside of the specific study area boundary. A description of land uses and noise sensitive facilities located within the study area was presented at Study Group Meeting #2, and is currently provided on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com).
A number of community members requested that RAA or consultant team members contact them individually to discuss problems associated with aircraft noise.
RAA staff and members of the consultant team are available to speak with any member of the community regarding aircraft noise at Study Group meetings. In addition, the designated chair of each Study Group committee may call designated members of the consultant team with technical or other questions at any time.
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