As part of its good-neighbor program, Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y., presented its annual Spirit of Noise Abatement awards at an environmental event organized by the Westchester Aviation Association at the end of May. Since 1994 the program has honored those business aircraft operators who have abided by the airport’s noise-reduction policies during the previous year.
According to John Inserra, the airport’s noise-abatement officer, the awards also motivate operators to maintain awareness about the airport’s noise policies. Unlike the noise-reduction program at nearby Teterboro Airport, which includes the threat of banishment from the airport, HPN’s program relies strictly on the conscience of its operators. “We have no teeth here; I cannot fine anybody. I don’t have three strikes and you’re out, so all you get is a letter or a phone call,” said Inserra, who added that the voluntary flight curfew is the most heavily scrutinized program at the airport.
Voluntary Noise Abatement
The awards are presented to operators based for the full year at the airport who made no flights during the period of voluntary restraint from flying, which extends from midnight until 6:30 a.m., and who cause no high-range noise events (90 dBA or higher as indicated by the airport’s 20 noise monitoring sites). They are broken down into three categories. In the jet category, those with 100-percent compliance are Air Frantz, Bresnan International Aviation, Lower Cross Aircraft, McGraw-Hill, Met Life, PMI Global Services, Polo Aviation, RD Aviation, R.T. Vanderbilt and Wayfarer Ketch Management.
The 2009 turboprop category winners are Air Frantz, Donnellan Aviation, Richard A. Foreman & Associates, John Friel, Greenhill Aviation, Joe Howley, ISDM, K.W. Griffen Packaging, NY Power Authority and Robert Wilner.
The helicopter category was represented by Citigroup Corporate Aviation, Gateway Helicopters, IBM Flight Operations, Interlaken Capital Aviation Services, Safe Flight Instrument and Wayfarer Ketch Management.
Honors for the lowest average sound level for a jet went to RD Aviation’s Cessna Citation 550, while the 2009 award for the lowest average sound level for a jet fleet went to JPMorgan Chase, which operates a pair of Gulfstream G450s, a GV and a G550.
Added this year were platinum, gold and bronze honorable-mention categories for operators with one, two or three late landings, respectively. “We tried to open the Spirit awards to more companies, because a lot of these companies are good neighbors. They’re environmentally aware and noise conscious, but sometimes they get in 15 minutes late because they hit weather, or some kind of delay somewhere along the line and a lot of times it’s circumstances beyond their control,” said Inserra. Those noted among the jet category were AIM Aviation, Beauty Central, Charmarac, Citigroup Corporate Aviation, EAC Air, Ernst & Young, King Aircraft, Polygon Air, Wayfarer Aviation, CP Air, Eastway Aviation, OAKLR Aviation, WISC, HM and PepsiCo. Honorable mentions in the turboprop segment included Gene Hall, Dr. David Volpi and Zaitz Overland.
The airport counts 70 corporate jets among the more than 300 aircraft based there. Last year, the airport saw more than 150,000 operations.