The European Commission (EC) has issued revised noise proposals that abandon its earlier demands for a blanket ban on hush-kitted aircraft with mtow of more than 75,000 lb using any airports in the 15-state European Union (EU) after this coming April. But the new draft directive, published on November 28, leaves open the possibility of a limited number of individual airports being able to exclude or restrict “marginal Stage 3” aircraft.
The town of Islip, N.Y., said it will not enforce an ordinance adopted in September that would have imposed a “noise surcharge” of $50,000 per flight on all aircraft operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.
Part 150 (airport noise-compatibility planning) study recommendations for Palwaukee Municipal Airport (PWK) in Wheeling, Ill., were recently accepted by the city’s airport commission. The recommendations include a ban on Stage 2 jets with mtow under 75,000 lb between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport (SMO) has developed a “conformance program” for aircraft using the airport. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, airport officials deny the program is a back-door effort to reduce noise, but it would effectively ban half the jet traffic at the field, setting civil and criminal penalties for aircraft operators who violate its terms.
Public comments released last month on an FAR Part 161 noise study at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR) support a nighttime curfew (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) on all aircraft operations except certain emergencies, military flights and those delayed for reasons beyond the control of the operator.
A noise study will be one of the first jobs of the new Palwaukee Airport Community Engagement Council (PACE), an airport/citizen group organized earlier this year to address issues the local community has with the Wheeling, Ill. general aviation airport.
A ban by the coastal California city of Huntington Beach on all aerial advertising flights in its airspace is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The law–should it survive legal challenges, one of which was filed even before the ordinance became effective on October 16–could set a precedent with profound implications for general aviation.
In light of the comity that almost turned a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on national parks overflights into a “lovefest” early last month, it is difficult to fathom why it has taken more than 15 years to reach agreement on rules for air tours over such noise-sensitive recreational areas.
When an airport considers environmental impact on neighbors, noise is usually the top concern, but dealing with water- and air-pollution issues is becoming a more important part of the mix. At an environmental symposium held at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y., on October 17, there was good news on the anti-noise front.
Politically, the European Union had to replace the controversial hush-kit regulation to avoid continuation of the U.S./EU dispute as per Article 84 of the ICAO Convention before this April 1. The EU’s recent adoption of the new directive on airport operating restrictions officially ended the so-called hush-kit war.