The Fly Quiet Committee met on December 11, 2018. View Meeting Packet

Presentation – Departure Procedures  - View Presentation

Representatives of the FAA were in attendance to present An Overview of Departure Procedures to Consider for Noise Abatement.

Guests included: Beth White, FAA Senior Strategist for Public and Industry Engagement and Bill Tracy, Air Traffic Manager for Chicago District – responsible for air traffic from Green Bay to South Bend to Champaign.

Ms. White began by stating that in order to develop and enhance community engagement, the FAA is focusing on lessons learned, and looking at what is working. ONCC is an example they would like other roundtables to follow. It is well established, has worked successfully for many years, and she discussed bringing other groups to observe how ONCC is conducted because, as she said, it is the “gold standard.”

Ms. White’s presentation highlighted the process that the FAA has been undertaking for many years to modernize the use of the airspace in order to meet demand and changing technologies.

She compared airspace to a network of highways, but explained it was further complicated by factors like wind, weather, obstacles in terrain and other air traffic. She described four types of procedures:

  • Conventional - spreads traffic. Good for airports with a lot of demand. Allows for dispersal for heavy departures.
  • Open Standard Instrument Departure (SID) - Uses an initial RNAV track, controller guidance for a portion of the flight path (dispersed area), paths become concentrated farther away from the airport
  • RNAV – off the ground navigation - very precise immediately. Can skip waypoint. This is “the rail” very precise, very predictable.
  • RNAV Vector SID - planes are giving heading, vector to join procedure further in the distance.

Not every one works every place. Terrain, weather, fleet mix so many factors come into play. Every different element is brought into play in deciding which of these to use.

In developing a new procedure, safety is the first priority.

  • Safety
  • Feasibility
    • Technical
    • Operational – airspace, demand
    • Environmental
  • Airspace complexity
  • Efficiency – how the aircraft can fly – depending on what the mix is, equipment
  • Environmental - review
  • Public Engagement – focus on enhancing this piece. Part of entire thought process of how develop procedures and airspace changes.

The Design and Implementation Process is a well-defined multi-step process which can take a number of years to complete depending on the complexity of the proposal and the level of environmental review required.

FAA representatives explained they could not rule out any options – they could only respond to a proposal.

Follow Up On Operational Questions
Jeffrey Jackson of Landrum & Brown provided an update on two of the operational questions posed by the committee: How many runways can be open during Fly Quiet, and How many operations require 13,000 feet runway.
Mr. Jackson reviewed existing and future runway use and length. He presented data from January – October 2018 on arrivals and departures by region to help understand where flights were coming from and going to. Then he highlighted each region looking at the previous tests (Test 2 and 3) to see which runways were used according to region during the weeks that the 4/22s were the primary configurations.

When the 4/22s were used as a pair, there were quite a few requests for a longer runway. When these two were used together, 10L had to remain open as well. New north runways (9R, 9C) will offer additional options. Despite the misconception that many overnight flights are traveling to and from far distances, the majority of departures (60%) were domestic, and almost all of arrivals were also domestic (81%). Mr. Jackson stated that based on the data, a north runway could be included in the configuration. 10L would still need to be available by special request. So with regard to runway usage, as many as 4 runways could be open if the 4/22s are in use. If 9C and 9R are both open, 10L would likely not be needed, so that configuration would only require 3 runways.

The next meeting of the Fly Quiet Committee will be held on January 22, 2019 at the CDA Administration building at 9:30 a.m.