Psst! Airport device to nab noisemakers
New weapon added to noise reduction
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
A new weapon is being added to Friedman
Memorial Airport’s running battle to reduce noise and curfew violations.
During the monthly meeting of the airport
authority on Tuesday, June 8, airport manager Rick Baird alluded to "new
equipment" that will be used to catch violators.
But he did not say then or afterward what
the equipment is.
He said various technologies are always
being evaluated for use in the anti-noise campaign.
Friedman has a much-publicized voluntary
noise abatement program. It includes a nighttime flight operations curfew
between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., a nationally distributed video for pilots explaining
approach and departure procedures to minimize aircraft noise, and a system of
sending complaint letters to aircraft owners whose planes have been identified
as violating curfew or being excessively noisy and asking for their cooperation.
Beyond that, the airport has few powers to
police the noisemakers.
Baird told the board that Memorial Day
weekend brought an unusual number of complaints by residents near the airport or
under the flight path.
He also said the airport is anticipating
several spikes in noise complaints in July, especially between July 6 and 11
when dozens of corporate jets will arrive and depart during the Allen & Co.’s
annual conclave of international media tycoons at Sun Valley Resort.
Although jets bringing participants to the
Allen & Co. parlays are newer and quieter and the pilots cooperative in
observing noise abatement procedures, Baird said the sheer number of aircraft
will make the airport seem noisier to nearby residents.
The authority and Baird make no secret of
the desire to have more local power to crack down on noise. In particular, Baird
has indicated a desire to ban so-called Stage II jets with early generation
engines that are vastly noisier than Stage III jets.
The airport at Jackson, Wyo., was handed
that authority in congressional special legislation, helped along by the fact
the airport is within Grand Teton National Park.
Authority member Martha Burke, who also
chairs the airport’s noise abatement committee, said that letters to Idaho's
congressional delegation complaining about the noise actually helps the airport.
Letters, she said, would help shift more
authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to local airport control.