Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:45 PM
Subject: Yesterday's Meeting RE: Airport Noise & Task Force Initiatives
Dear Mayor Kelley & City Staff -
I wanted to thank you for the time you all took with me and several other members of the community to discuss the airport noise, and the initiatives as set forth by the Noise Abatement Task Force (NATF).
My summation of that meeting is as follows;
It was agreed by all that there is an ongoing problem with noise generated by the airport (specifically flight training). The city affirmed that they take the community concerns seriously, but it was also communicated that due to FAA regulations the city has limited authority to control any of these activities in particular when it comes to where and when planes fly.
The city manager stated that several of the NATF initiatives have been implemented so far and several others were in progress, and that a full report of all initiatives would be released to the city commission by the end of this week and would also be available for the community to review shortly thereafter.
One of the iniatitives in particular was the web based outlet for individuals in the community to register complaints and concerns about airport noise and safety. It was conveyed that this initiative is in place - it is located on the city's website main page. One of the questions brought up concerning calls, complaints /registered concerns was - what actually happens - what is the process for follow thru and ultimate resolution. One of the members of the community conveyed that computer generated complaints/concerns should have a system that generates a return response and resolution component from the appropriate administrative body. It was conveyed that the city complaint/concern outlet available on the city's web page is designed to provide appropriate follow up and feed back regarding viable complaints and concerns.
The airport manager stated that one of the positive aspects driven from the NATF is that he has developed open communication and good relationships with the flight schools - which will be valuable in the ongoing noise abatement and flight pattern issues.
The mayor communicated that he would be willing to visit with flight school owners/operators and ask for greater awareness and compliance with regard to the NATF initiatives - and if compliance and or improvement was not taking place that he would be willing to have these same owners and operators meet with him and his staff at city hall for more serious dialogue on the concerns.
The city manager asked me - notwithstanding the implementation of the NATF iniatives what would I ideally like to see happen with respect to anything that could be done with flight training. I conveyed "how about 4 days a month with no flight training - perhaps all Sunday's, and no flight training on holidays" this was something the airport manager felt could at least be asked for - and to see how the flight schools respond.
It was brought up that the concerns with the airport were dynamic and not just about noise. The other concerns conveyed were about safety and also about the airport being a financially viable entity, and that there was a perception in the greater community that the airport was being supplemented with Ormond Beach taxpayer money. The mayor communicated that the airport has shown a positive variance of $61,000.00 this past year - and that the city had on the books money it had previously loaned to the airport, that the city was being repaid by the airport, and that the current debt service is down to approximately $300,000.00. The mayor further assured that in no way was city tax dollars being used to supplement airport operations. Charging landing fees in the context of the airport being self sustaining/profitable was brought up - and the airport manager conveyed that since the airport was operating at a positive variance that landing fees could not be charged simply to enhance the airport coffers.
The issue of a displaced threshold was brought up in the context of this being a concern in the sense that if this project were approved - could it at some future time be relegated to / viewed as / or become an additional runway - basically being an ultimate "end around" to a longer runway project which was quashed by the city commission several years ago due to a voluminous outcry from the community. The city director of economic development conveyed that that was not the intention of the displaced threshold - that the intention was to add enough footage to the back of an existing north take off only runway - under the theory that planes would have a longer take off runway allowing them to get to greater heights more quickly (while also doing more throttle up on the ground instead of the air) - and that the displaced threshold was thought of as a component to noise abatement. The director further stated that this idea, or the prospect of looking into this idea would be brought forth to the city commission for consideration.
FAA regulations were also discussed at greater length and if all that could be done was being done - the airport manager has provided me with snipets of FAA regualtions concerning noise abatement and municipality control and has also provided me with a larger online link. More study into this area is warranted - FAA regulations are massive and difficult to sort thru.
It is obvious that improvements can still be made - and heightened communications - in particular when flight schools are busiest will be key to this.
If anyone feels that anything conveyed in this summation is incorrect, inaccurate, or you feel you were misquoted or that I misunderstood (I apologize in advance for that) - and or if anyone involved wants to add remarks - please email return respond to me and I will be sure that same information gets copied to all of those that also receive this email.
Thank you all again - and I look forward to the full report on the implementaion of the NATF initiatives.