by Chris Rozansky, Executive Director, Naples Airport Authority
As the Naples Airport nears completion of the Part 150 Noise Study, the efforts to reduce aircraft noise impacts remain a top priority for the Naples Airport Authority (NAA). The NAA eagerly awaits final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review of the noise study documents, but during that review we continue
to move forward on several proactive initiatives aimed at improving noise abatement.
Although we don’t expect to hear back from the FAA regarding the noise study until later this year, the NAA is proactively moving forward with the design of new flight procedures. Should the FAA approve any of the eight noise abatement initiatives recommended in the study, we will already have completed a lot of work towards preparing them for implementation. These procedures focus on changes to arrival and departure procedures designed to reduce aircraft noise or the number of residences exposed to it. These flight procedures include getting departing aircraft higher, faster; quieter, reduced-power gliding approaches; changes to runway use; and changes to flight paths for departing aircraft.
The FAA’s process to develop new flight procedures can take four years or longer due to its backlog of national priorities. The NAA Board of Commissioners believes that this issue is far too important to the community to wait that long. That’s why we’ve hired two internationally recognized firms to help design these flight procedures, essentially doing the work of the FAA, to reduce the timeframe for design and implementation to as little as two years.
While this undertaking could cost the airport more than $3 million rather than waiting for the FAA, we feel that this investment is yet another example of our commitment to being the best possible neighbor to the community, all at no cost to the local taxpayer.
While continuing to vigorously promote its voluntary curfew from 10 p.m. – 7 a.m., the NAA is taking additional steps to address aircraft noise, including the development of our Fly Safe Fly Quiet Leaderboard which will recognize our quietest and most courteous pilots.
The NAA has also launched an airport exploratory study, which will look to identify potential sites suitable for a new airport in Collier County. Besides being a recommendation of the noise study, a projected near doubling of the Countywide population at build out, constraints at the existing airport, climate resiliency and the proximity of other nearby airports are additional factors that will be considered. The study will only explore the feasibility of potential new airport sites for further discussion, it will not result in any recommendations. Public meetings are planned during the study, which is expected to conclude by mid-2024.
As an economic engine for the community that served more than 200,000 passengers last year, the NAA takes great pride in the positive impacts that the airport, its businesses, and customers have on the community, while being keenly focused on minimizing the impacts of aircraft noise.
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