Friday, August 18, 2017

Dos Vientos residents upset with morning noise from jetliners flying new Federal Aviation Administration route

The old flight path for commercial airliners (purple line) approaching Los Angeles International Airport from over the Pacific Ocean was four miles south of the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park.


The new flight path (purple line) is much closer to Dos Vientos and as a result, is generating noise complaints from many residents.



A new flight path close to the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park has many residents upset with early morning noise from commercial jetliners approaching Los Angeles International Airport from over the Pacific Ocean.

The Federal Aviation Administration implemented the new satellite-based navigation route southwest of Dos Vientos on April 27, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. The path serves aircraft arriving at LAX from Hawaii, Asia and other locations to the west, he said.

The route is north of the old ground-based navigation route it replaced, and hence closer to Dos Vientos, Gregor said.

It's part of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, which is the ongoing transformation of air traffic control technologies and procedures in the country, the FAA says.

'Driving us nuts'

The new route, however, isn't sitting well with many residents of Dos Vientos and other sections of affluent Newbury Park.

"The Dos Vientos neighborhood is up in arms over the noise occurring every morning now since April," said resident Jonathan Gunn, a professional pilot and the president/CEO of Camarillo-based AKV, Inc., which designs and manufactures helicopter engine monitoring systems.

"Long story short is now we've got this brand new heavily used airliner route that flies directly over Dos Vientos and is creating a hell of a lot of noise in the early hours of the morning, waking people up at 3 a.m., 4 a.m.," said Gunn, 51, who has lived in Dos Vientos since 1998. "Something needs to be done urgently as the peaceful neighborhood of Dos Vientos is now part of a very popular approach path to LAX."

His wife, Lisa, isn't happy with the noise either, and has started a community blog on NextDoor.com which she says has generated nearly 200 responses.

"There are many, many, many residents who are concerned," she said, though she conceded that a minority of the respondents say the noise isn't a problem for them.

John Dwight, who has lived in Dos Vientos with his wife since 2012, falls squarely into the concerned category.

"It's driving us nuts," he said. "We moved to Newbury Park because it was quiet. We can live with frogs croaking, but jetliners throughout the night is not acceptable.

"It is just outrageous," he continued. "We've had the windows closed and the fan and the air conditioning on and we still hear these damn planes. Last night I went to bed with headphones on."

It's gotten so bad, he said, that he and his wife are considering selling their home and moving.

"This is not what we signed up for," he said.

Vanessa Roccki, who has lived in a section of Newbury Park right next door to Dos Vientos since 2003, said she has "heard the occasional air traffic noise" over the years from Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu. "But that is military and acceptable.

"However, since about April or May of this year, there have been extremely loud planes right over my home between 4-6 a.m., causing my children to be woken up and myself to be woken up," she said. "And I have noticed a decline in my health for the last few months with a serious lack of sleep and having to work full time as a single mother."

Gunn said ideally, he would like the FAA to move the new route four miles south to where the old route was.

"Or something to that effect," he said. "Anything to get it further away from Dos Vientos like it was before when there was no noise here. Move it south to the shoreline."

Gunn said such a move would not foist the noise problem onto another heavily populated community since "there's just sparsely populated mountain area between Dos Vientos and the coast."

Gregor, however, said the new route was selected for a reason, indicating it was here to stay, at least for the time being.

"We created it to separate LAX oceanic arrivals from certain LAX departures and from military 'special activity airspace,' " he said.

He emphasized that while the FAA establishes the routes, it is the airlines that set the flight schedules.




Vectoring uptick?

In addition to the planes flying the new route close to Dos Vientos, other commercial airliners flying another new route sometimes pass over Newbury Park, Gregor said. 

That happens when air traffic controllers direct them off of their route — another satellite-based navigation path to LAX that flies over Thousand Oaks, he said. The route, which is east of Newbury Park, was also implemented by the FAA April 27.

"At times, air traffic controllers have to direct aircraft off the published route to get them properly sequenced for arrival into LAX," Gregor explained.

That is known as vectoring.

When it occurs, the aircraft fly over Newbury Park, he said.

It's possible that more vectoring has occurred in recent months due to ongoing runway construction work at LAX, Gregor said.

"The work has created a short-term reduction in runway capacity, which has resulted in changes to the volume and flow of LAX traffic."

To accommodate the construction, the window of airline operations has widened in both the morning and evening hours, he said.

"According to LAX officials, this condition will likely be in place through August," Gregor said.

The same type of flight divergence over Newbury Park used to happen with an old ground-based navigation route to LAX that also flew over Thousand Oaks, he said. That route was replaced by the new satellite-based route

While some Thousand Oaks residents have been complaining about airliner noise since the implementation of the new route, the new flight path has not resulted in more commercial air traffic flying over the city, Gregor said.

According to a FAA analysis, there were 1,715 flights on the new route the week of July 2, 25 less than used the old route during the week of July 3, 2016, Gregor said.

NextGen

A key NextGen goal is to safely improve the overall efficiency of the National Airspace System by increasing efficiencies in so-called "metroplexes" — metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles with multiple airports and complex air traffic flows, the FAA says.

"The FAA's goal is to enhance the way aircraft navigate this complex airspace to improve airport access and make flight routes more efficient," the agency says. "Through the Metroplex program, the FAA is collaborating with aviation stakeholders to improve regional traffic movement by optimizing airspace and procedures based on precise satellite-based navigation."

Jonathan Gunn encourages residents bothered by the airliner noise to file a complaint with the FAA's Aviation Noise Ombudsman by emailing 9-AWA-NoiseOmbudsman@faa.gov. Gregor said residents can also report the noise by calling the FAA's public information line, 866-835-5322, or by filing a complaint with LAX through its website, www.lawa.org.

LAX has a page on the site devoted to the Metroplex program in Southern California, noting that the airport "is not a sponsor of this project and has not been involved with developing the proposed changes to flight procedures."

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.vcstar.com

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