2013 Part 150 Study
The Lee County Port Authority has received the Record of Approval (ROA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding Southwest Florida International Airport's (RSW) Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. As mentioned throughout the noise study process, which included 11 public workshops, six community meetings, three public board meetings and one public hearing, the most challenging aspect is that federal agencies do not consider the aircraft noise levels for surrounding communities associated with RSW operations as “significant” according to noise standards. The 65 DNL noise contour, the required standardized measurement of airport noise, is the lowest threshold for incompatible land use and at RSW this noise level is contained nearly 100 percent on airport property.
Therefore, from a federal perspective, RSW does not have a noise problem and the FAA has declined to approve the operational measures proposed in the noise study. However, in the course of developing the noise study, LCPA staff and local communities (i.e., Fort Myers Beach, Estero, etc.) have worked with the FAA Air Traffic Organization to implement voluntary flight procedures and operational measures to reduce aircraft overflights to areas of concern, whenever possible. LCPA continues working with the FAA as some of these voluntary measures are being implemented now, while others need more analysis. These voluntary measures have already proven to help reduce the number and/or increase the altitude of aircraft over communities where overflights are a concern, without jeopardizing safety or sacrificing one community for another.
Even though the FAA has procedurally declined the operational recommendations made in the noise study as they do not meet the technical requirements of FAR Part 150, the cooperation between invested communities, LCPA and the FAA that took place during the preparation of the study has been invaluable. This process has resulted in an enhanced understanding by the FAA on why voluntary operational issues are important to the quality of life in Southwest Florida, a better understanding from communities on what can and cannot be accomplished and a continued commitment on the part of LCPA to document, educate and communicate overflight concerns to the FAA and RSW airlines. RSW is very fortunate to have the FAA already investigating and implementing operational procedures that will benefit communities outside the 65 DNL noise contour.
LCPA retained ESA Airports, the consultant contracted by the Board to prepare the noise study, to review the FAA ROA, document the current implementation status of those recommendations, and next steps and timeline for implementation. View the results of the 2014 Noise Compatibility Program Study Update and Status of FAA Initiatives here.
LCPA retained ESA Airports again in 2018 to update the implementation status of the Noise Compatibility Plan outlined in the Part 150 Study. This document provides an overview of the Part 150 Study process and recommendations, the resulting FAA determination, updated implementation status of those recommendations, and continued next steps and timelines for implementation. For those measures already implemented, attempts are made to either quantitatively or qualitatively identify the net benefit provided. The 2018 Noise Compatibility Program Post Study Update and Status of FAA Initiatives report (originally prepared in 2014) has been updated to reflect conditions as of May 2018.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the LCPA 24-hour Noise Comment Line at 239-673-0055 or fill out our online webform.
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