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VNY Airport Engineering
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LAWA staff presented the results of the Part 161 study and recommendations for follow-up actions to the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) on May 3, 2010. That presentation is provided here . The consulting team completed the technical analyses associated with the nine noise and access restrictions proposed in the VNY Part 150 Study and VNY Master Plan. The analyses led to the following primary conclusions, which were reported to the BOAC and the VNY Citizens Advisory Council (CAC):

  • Measures designed to ban or phaseout noisier aircraft operations; i.e., the incentives/disincentives in rental rates or landing fees, maximum daytime noise limits, and a Stage 2 aircraft phaseout; would produce benefits that exceed costs and would comply with the six statutory conditions for approval.

  • Extending the curfew hours or the types of aircraft to which the curfew would apply would incur costs that significantly exceed benefits.

  • A cap or phaseout of helicopter operations also would incur significantly greater costs than benefits; in fact, under Part 161 they would produce no benefit, because operations and noise would shift to other airports.

  • Analysis of the existing voluntary “fly-friendly” program reveals that it has produced significant, measurable noise reduction, leading to the recommendation that LAWA adopt lower noise targets and continue the program on a voluntary basis; FAA cannot approve a restriction under Part 161 when it can be demonstrated that the benefit can be achieved through a non-restrictive approach. In addition, FAA considers this type of rule “unsafe,” so is highly unlikely to approve any mandatory "fly-friendly" type restriction with fines for violations.

  • The Stage 3 aircraft non-addition rule also would incur costs that significantly exceed benefits, similar to the helicopter proposals. This rule would produce no benefit under FAA accounting practice, because operations and noise would shift to other airports.

Based on these results, the curfew, helicopter, and Stage 3 proposals would also likely fail to meet the “burden on commerce” condition because costs would exceed benefits; the jet and helicopter curfew, helicopter cap or phaseout, and the Stage 3 aircraft non-addition rule would likely fail the “nondiscriminatory” condition, because the rules are based on non-noise characteristics.

Additionally, the FAA's ruling on the proposed night curfew at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank indicates that the FAA is likely to the find the diversion of operations under the proposed VNY curfew, helicopter cap or phaseout, and Stage 3 aircraft non-addition rules would “interfere with safe and efficient use of airspace” and create an “undue burden on the national aviation system.”

While the proposed Stage 2 aircraft phaseout in the shortest possible time via the Part 161 process would produce benefits that exceed costs, and would comply with ANCA's six statutory conditions for approval, LAWA's analysis determined that it would take a longer time period to complete the full phaseout of Stage 2 aircraft from VNY via Part 161 than the ANCA grandfathered phaseout ordinance enacted by City Council, which is now in effect.

The voluntary "fly-friendly" program has been shown to be an effective program that's produced a measurable reduction in noise around VNY. The Part 161 Study's analysis recommended updates to the program including the addition of new aircraft types, new target levels, and a new Friendly Fliers Awards program. You can access the new Fly Friendly/Quiet Departure Program page on the VNY Noise Management web page by clicking on the link. 

The status of the parallel process related to the grandfathered phaseout of noisier aircraft is presented here.