Here are a few updates regarding activity around the ongoing airport noise and emissions issue.
The newly contracted Aviation consultant, HMMH, presented an analysis of 3 open Airport Community Roundtable motions:
The FAA concedes the arrivals are lower because it moved a “fix” a couple of miles, thus lowering approaches descending over East and South Charlotte. (The same is likely true for the Northwest Charlotte arrival routes).
Here’s what all that means: air traffic controllers want the planes lower sooner so they can turn them onto final approach sooner (such as over Pineville instead of rural South Carolina.) That’s what the FAA calls “efficiency.” The airlines like this for obvious reasons. It’s also consistent with the Nextgen Metroplex planning documents literally saying “efficiency,” not safety and noise, is the driver of the project.
HMMH, however, concludes in its analysis:
In other words, the ACR asked the FAA to determine whether flying arrivals a little higher over Charlotte-Mecklenburg is doable.
HMMH also included findings regarding departures saying a delay of "turns could potentially be accomplished by increasing south flow east and west downwind altitudes." If the aforementioned arrivals altitudes can be increased, departures don't have to turn quite as soon and can increase altitude over industrially zoned areas around I 485 and I 77.
Engagement of City and State Officials
Residents in Southwest Charlotte Mecklenburg have engaged at-large City Council members Braxton Winston and Dimple Ajmera. (District rep Lawana Mayfield continues to be unresponsive). They have also met with NC Senator Tarte, and Tarte subsequently attended the July ACR meeting.
There is growing dissatisfaction, particularly in Southeast and Southwest Charlotte, with the lack of oversight and governance provided by Charlotte City Council for airport policy and planning. The fundamental question: if the City is not interested in providing governance, do residents need to appeal to the NC General Assembly? Suggestions of lawsuits are being supplanted with suggestions of appeals to Judge Ervin regarding his previous injunction that stopped the NC General Assembly from forming an airport authority. Others are saying it’s time to find candidates responsive to the noise/emissions issue.
Engagement of Federal Officials
Citizen groups ranging from MD to CA are appealing to the Senate consideration of noise related amendments to the FAA’s reauthorization bill. Members of the Airport Community Roundtable collaborated on a letter to key Senators regarding the issue.
While the various communities were contacting their respective Senators, representatives in the aviation industry sent a letter encouraging the Senate not to consider any recommendations. Some might say this is evidence of the aviation industry wrapping itself in the blanket of the FAA with little intention to consider local public policy interests.
Please consider contacting Senators Burr and Tillis to urge their consideration of amendments addressing airport noise and emissions as part of the FAA's funding reauthorization bill.
Closing Note: If you are interested and willing to be a contributor and editor of JetNoiseCLT.com, please send a note to JetNoiseCLT@gmail.com.