Monday, December 23, 2013

Teterboro Airport (KTEB) to pull an all-nighter after Meadowlands Super Bowl

In recent years, Teterboro Airport has reduced the number of night flights over densely populated Bergen County by asking aircraft operators to not fly in or out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., if they can avoid it.
But when fans stream out of MetLife Stadium after the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, all bets are off.

At least five arrivals per hour will be allowed after midnight at Teterboro when a no-fly zone within eight miles of the stadium is lifted, and private jets can start picking up passengers. And many of the more than 200 jets that will likely park at Teterboro for the game are expected to take off between midnight and 6 a.m., after the game is over.

The Teterboro Users Group, a non-profit comprised of airport operators and users, said in its recently released Super Bowl operations plan that the usual noise restrictions — which are voluntary, anyway — will not be in effect for post-game operations, when the Federal Aviation Administration will be looking to clear much of the Super Bowl air traffic so normal business and leisure travel can resume uninterrupted on Monday morning.

Airport manager Renee D. Spann and Teterboro Users Group President Dave Belastock did not respond to requests for comment, and it is unclear how many overnight departures will be permitted.

However, the operations plan says that for all landings and departures from Jan. 29 through Feb. 4, aircraft operators must make reservations. Departures will be tightly controlled after the game by ramp coordinators, to be provided by each of the airport's five base operators.

Mandatory noise restrictions, such as an 80-decibel nighttime departure noise limit on Runway 24 and a 95-decibel departure limit, the equivalent of a jackhammer at 50 feet, on other runways, still apply.

"Noise is an issue everywhere," said Darren Large, facilities and projects manager at Morristown Municipal Airport, which will take some of the overflow from Teterboro. "We want the pilots to leave as quietly as possible.

"We will have a lot of planes departing that night, too," he said.

Late-night and early morning flights have averaged around a dozen each night in recent years at Teterboro, which asks aircraft operators to try to avoid taking off or landing between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. because area residents complain about the noise.

In the first half of this year, there were 75,569 takeoffs and landings at Teterboro, including 4,693 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to a recent report from the airport's noise abatement advisory committee report, which tracks noise violations and complaints and monitors sound sensors in surrounding neighborhoods.

The number of night flights was unchanged from last year's January-through-June period, and the number was well below the 6,647 night movements logged in the first half of 2008.

The report said measurements of aircraft noise exceeding 90 decibels are most common at Hackensack University Medical Center, where 70 such readings were recorded in the first half of the year, up from 68 in the year-earlier period. A noise-monitoring device in Carlstadt measured 12 flights above 90 decibels, down from 21 they year before.

Hasbrouck Heights and Bogota monitoring devices picked up no measurements over 90 decibels this year through June and a device in Moonachie counted only one.

The number of Teterboro noise complaints dropped to 737 in the first half of this year from 1,684 in the year-earlier period.

The FAA, which is charged with keeping Super Bowl-bound private jets from interfering with the area's normal air traffic, said Monday it expects an additional 1,200 flights to New York and New Jersey airports for the big game, which is about the same number that flew to the last two Super Bowls.

Before the game, from about noon until 4 p.m. during an "NFL Experience" event for fans, no flights will be allowed within a one-mile radius of MetLife Stadium. A second, much broader restriction will kick in from around 4 p.m. until one hour after the end of the game, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Private aircraft, including blimps, are prohibited in an airspace extending eight miles from the stadium in all directions and 18,000 feet up.

Only public safety flights, military aircraft and commercial passenger, cargo and certain private charters will be allowed under a Transportation Security Administration-approved security program.

In an outer ring extending from eight miles to 30 miles away, private-plane pilots will have to keep in constant contact with air traffic controllers.

Unlike Teterboro, the Morristown airport is outside the FAA's Super Bowl no-fly zone, so it expects to see fan departures to begin around halftime.

"We are looking to accommodate about 200 aircraft for that event," Large said.

The last time Morristown had that many planes on the ground was during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when all air traffic was shut down by the government, and pilots had to land at the nearest airport that could take them.

"Right now, we are trying to figure out when the bulk of our departures are going to happen," Large said. "We will probably get that segment that wants to leave before the end of the game — those who are there to see and be seen and want to leave as soon as they get their face time in."

Naturally, he is preparing for the possibility of ice and snow.

"We've stocked up on deicing chemical," Large said. "We contracted a chemical company to keep some extra within a 15-minute drive of the airport."

No comments:

Post a Comment