Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tweed-New Haven (KHVN), New Haven, Connecticut: Noise at airport due to rise; study could enable mitigation work for 9 houses (document)

NEW HAVEN — Aircraft noise around Tweed New Haven Regional Airport is likely to increase by 2017 but can be mitigated with a number of noise-reduction measures, according to the preliminary draft of a year-long noise study that will be released soon.

The study identifies nine houses, primarily along Burr Street, directly opposite Tweed’s passenger terminal in New Haven, that are most affected by current noise. It is expected to open the door for federal funding to address their issues, said Tweed Executive Director Tim Larson.

It forecasts an increase in noise levels by 2017 because of modest general aviation growth and a “planned new commercial service introduction” to Washington Dulles airport and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, according to a recent visual presentation to the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority.

The possible new service routes the study took into account are the same ones airport officials have long discussed with various airline officials, Larson said. No airline has made a decision to add service at Tweed, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will only let Tweed use current noise conditions for any funding applications it may submit, Larson said. Any houses beyond the nine identified would only qualify for mitigation measures if addition growth takes place, he said.

Options available — all voluntary — include soundproofing such as double-pane windows at affected homes, construction of a noise barrier and, if neighbors are willing, purchasing of some properties, a representative of the Virginia-based consultant doing the study said.

The draft study will recommend that the airport relocate the General Aviation helipad and that run-up locations be moved about 500 feet to the southwest, said Jawad Rachami, director of operations of Wyle Aerospace Group, based in Arlington, Va.

The version presented to the authority last week also suggested a feasibility study for a noise barrier west of the terminal, which it said could lower sound levels 5-10 dB. Other possibilities include “voluntary noise abatement procedures” by pilots, increased use of GPS equipment and establishing a voluntary curfew for late-night flights.

Rachami met with the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority recently. He went over preliminary results with the Authority board last week, including computer model animated simulations of three different types of airplanes taking off and landing.

The simulations show, via color-coded bands, how far various levels of noise reach in each case. The three simulations are of a turboprop plane, a business jet and a typical general aviation “touch and go” training exercise.

While Rachami released the simulations — which also are now posted on the study website — and discussed options, he said Wyle will not release numerical findings of the study until Oct. 1, the scheduled release date of the study in advance of an Oct. 16 public hearing.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the Nathan Hale School auditorium, 480 Townsend Ave.

The simulations of the noise generated are viewable now on the video/simulations tab of the study website, located at www.tweedupdate.com. They can be accessed directly at www.tweedupdate.com/video.html.

The study’s key goals were to evaluate existing and future airport noise and potential measures to abate and mitigate it, establish eligibility for federal funding to address noise and promote a sustainable and collaborative relationship between the airport and the community.

Among other things, it established two study committees, a Technical Advisory Committee and a Community Advisory Committee:

Community Advisory Committee member Barbara Carroll — a Morris Cove resident who also is chairwoman of the East Shore Management Team in New Haven — said she has been impressed with the work the consultants and airport officials have done so far.

“They are very committed to the neighborhood” and “Tim Larson, who is the executive director, (is) always willing to listen to what people say,” said Carroll, who said her yard was one of three on the New Haven side that Wyle had installed noise monitoring equipment in a year ago when the study began.

Another three noise monitors were installed in yards on the East Haven side of the airport, which straddles the border between New Haven and East Haven.

“They sat in my yard for probably a half-hour each day” for two weeks, “just taking the data off the monitor,” said Carroll, who lives on Hyde Street, which runs parallel to Burr Street between Burr and Townsend Avenue.

She said she looks forward to learning the results of the study. Some of her neighbors would like to get double-paned windows, but Carroll said that because the terrain slopes up from Tweed toward Townsend Avenue on the New Haven side, she doubts that a noise barrier would help.

It would have to be very high in order to make a difference, she said.

Source:   http://www.nhregister.com

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