Chamblee, GA, June 28, 2017 – By Anna Williams for The Post – With DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK) being Georgia’s second busiest airport and as the area becomes more inhabited with residential communities, the issue of aircraft noise, remains an issue. According to PDK, aircraft noise, an unavoidable yet, unwanted sound produced by an aircraft during arrivals and departures, resulted in the creation of the PDK Good Neighbor Noise Program.
PDK says the primary goal of the PDK Good Neighbor Noise Program is to serve as a community-based program with “the primary goal to minimize aircraft noise levels in the vicinity of the airport.”
The program’s multi-faceted approach is described to utilize many opportunities to convey information in a succinct manner through monthly community meetings, the creation of the PDK Noise Information office to specifically handle noise related reports, an informative electronic social media campaign, and an open door policy to meet with community members to directly address their specific concerns.
While the Noise Program program strives to reduce overall aircraft noise disturbances by soliciting airport user involvement in reaching and maintaining this goal in an urban setting, the way it will be most successful is through community and airport information exchanges, community education regarding airports functions, and a dedicated noise monitoring team.
Here’s some helpful information PDK sent out in March to further explain their efforts and to provide ways to contact the airport should the need arise.
Noise Abatement Procedures and Recommendations
The PDK Noise Information Office operates a Noise Operating Monitoring System (NOMS) to track reported noise incidents related to aircraft operations that possess the following features:
- Provides a mechanism for the community to report their concerns in an efficient manner.
- Allows airport staff to investigate and identify the aircraft, as well as the owner/pilot in order to educate and/or remind the operator of the proper procedures to avoid noise high events or noise disturbances.
- Allows airport staff to correlate a high noise event to the specific aircraft, altitude, and/or decibel level during various types of operations.
- Identifies the traffic pattern altitudes – 1000’ above sea level (ASL) and 2000’ mean sea level (MGL) – Single Engine – 2500’ MSL and 1500’ AGL multiengine that may be above your home or near the destination of the reported noise disturbance. PDK is at a 998’ MSL.
- Prohibiting touch and go aircraft operations from occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Monday – Saturday) and between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (Sunday).
- Prohibiting maintenance run-ups between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
- Strongly recommend pilots not perform intersection takeoffs between runways thereby reducing noise disturbances.
- Limit aircraft idle power usage and the use of reverse thrust while in the air and on the ground in order to reduce noise disturbances.
- Prior permission is required for aircraft over 75,000 pounds (certified take-off weight), as well as military aircraft wanting to use the facilities at PDK. Before flying into PDK, each pilot must contact the Airport Director, Deputy Director, or Environmental and Noise Abatement Analyst for approval.
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Noise Abatement Procedures
For arriving and departing jet turbine business aircraft, the PDK Noise Information Office recommends pilots use the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) close-in arrival and departure procedures. These procedures support the airport’s desire to address how the airport can achieve the quietest operations possible, while balancing the safety goals and federal compliance regulation requirements.
For additional information, go to www.nbaa.org/ops/environment/noise-abatement/.
Preferential Use Runway Program
With three (3) runways at the airport, PDK has implemented a policy of operating on runways that create the least impact on residential areas. During normal airport hours, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower is in operation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Air Traffic Control (ATC) personnel will move operations to a northbound flow whenever possible. In addition, pilots may be instructed to take off to the north whenever possible to decrease the departure noise impacts on the communities located south, southeast, and southwest of the airport’s main runway, 3R/21L. In addition, from time to time, ATC personnel will also change patterns for take-off and departure procedures based on wind conditions and flow. A key factor is ensuring safe operations in all take-off and landings at PDK. Therefore, when winds blow from a particular direction, a pilot may be requested to take off to the south, southeast, southwest, to improve the safety of operations at PDK.
During the hours that the tower is closed, pilots are advised to depart on runway 03R when wind conditions, traffic, and safety permits. Please refer to our website at www.pdkairport.org for more comprehensive information regarding this program.
Voluntary Night Curfew
All pilots are encouraged not to fly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. While DeKalb County cannot enact a mandatory curfew due to the Federal Noise Control Act of 1990, the Airport has taken numerous steps to inform the flying public of the voluntary curfew period.
The voluntary curfew period is published on the airport’s website, and the curfew information is published in the FAA’s Airport Facility Directory, which professional and private pilots routinely use. Only those operators conducting verified medivac (public safety, medically necessary, emergency, or critical in nature) operations or those related to public safety are considered to be exempt. These operations include, but not limited to: the transfer of patients; the transfer of blood, delivering medical supplies and medical tests; facilitating organ donor transplants, performing official law enforcement matters, etc.
High Noise Events
Letters are sent to those pilots who operate during this period that are in non-compliance of noise abatement procedures. In addition, if aircraft noise exceeds the assigned decibel level to each aircraft operator that flies in or out of the airport during the voluntary curfew period, the airport will notify them of the curfew hours and any violation. Many times, just reminding all pilots to adhere, positively curtails these types of operations.
Noise decibel levels are assigned based on noise threshold levels, measured in maximum decibels (unit of measurement on the loudness scale), and are assigned per each noise monitor located in the community:
- Noise Monitor 1 – (93dBA) 3458 Reeves Street; Chamblee, GA 30341
- Noise Monitor 2 – (90dbA) 2235 Briarwood Way; Atlanta, GA 30319
- Noise Monitor 3 – (90dbA) 2095 Dering Circle; Atlanta, GA 30345
- Noise Monitor 4 – (90dbA) 2225 Heritage Drive; Atlanta, GA 30345
Noise Abatement Hotline
PDK maintains a 24-hour hotline (770) 936-5442 for the public to notify the airport of a noisy aircraft operation and also responds primarily to all complaints from our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, to report a high noise event, residents may also use the airport’s website at (www.pdkairport.org). The airport’s noise and environmental officer, as well as airport staff, utilize this information to further understand such factors as time of day and locations of residential aircraft disturbances.
Lastly, PDK invites the community to attend their regularly scheduled, monthly advisory board meetings to express their concerns, held the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. located at 2000 Airport Road, Ste. 212, Atlanta, GA 30341. Meeting dates, times, and agendas can be found on the airport website (see above), along with monthly noise reports provided for review.