Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Noisy jet rattles sleepers

Owner of aircraft not named

Express Staff Writer

The noisy arrival and takeoff of an older, twin-engine private jet that touched off a flurry of citizen complaints is owned by a part-time resident that Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird said "doesn't cooperate" with the local noise abatement program.

Baird told the Friedman governing board at its Jan. 5 meeting that the arrival and take-off on Dec. 20 after 1 a.m. apparently involved picking up a "family member" for a flight to an unidentified destination.

He identified the aircraft as a Gulfstream II, whose original engines are especially noisy but which, on this aircraft, have been outfitted with a "hush kit" noise suppressor to reduce the volume.

Airport Operations Manager Pete Kramer said he spoke to the pilot and reminded him of noise abatement.

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However, neither Baird nor Kramer would identify the aircraft owner, saying the voluntary noise abatement program tends to work better if citizens who complain about noisy or late aircraft operations after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. are not identified and aircraft owners are not identified.

Baird said he hopes peer pressure from other pilots will act as deterrence to violators. Some late flights—such as medical evacuation aircraft—are excused.

When residents complain about noisy or late flights, they receive a call from Kramer acknowledging the report. Then a letter is sent to the aircraft owner or operator explaining the noise abatement program, which has been heavily publicized throughout the nation and is contained in printed literature and CDs.

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