Love Field looks to replace decades old noise monitoring system

Love Field plans for noise monitoring system

DALLAS - Officials with Love Field are asking Dallas City Council members to approve more than a half million dollars for the purchase of new cutting-edge noise monitors that will allow administrators to more efficiently manage how loud the airport gets.

Noise at Love Field has become an issue with surrounding neighborhoods and businesses since the Wright Amendment was repealed in 2014.

The amendment prevented most non-stop flights from Love Field to other airports within Texas and nearby states. After it was repealed, air traffic increased.

Many neighborhoods complained about noisy flights and maintenance going on during the night.

In 2015, noise complaints sat at 1,039, and then grew to 1,504 in 2016. As of Friday, only 725 noise complaints had been filed for 2017.

Since 1993, officials at Love Field have monitored noise via 13 microphones surrounding the airport.

Many of them sit discreetly atop poles in nearby neighborhoods. 

Terry Mitchell, assistant director of Aviation-Operations, was around when the microphones went up and said an upgrade is needed.

“We’re in a situation right now, where we don’t even have spare parts for the existing noise monitors,” Mitchell said.

According to Mitchell, four new state-of-the-art solar-powered noise monitoring systems can collect data more efficiently and accurately than the 13 around the airport.  

Similar noise monitors are already being utilized at Dallas Executive Airport.

He and the department have asked council members to approve $502,696, so they can be purchased and installed on the airport’s two runways.

Right now, the airport has a voluntary Noise Control Program that recommends all turbojet aircraft to land and depart using the runway adjacent to Denton Dr. between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mitchell told WFAA that a lot of noise complaints are filed because pilots are directed to use the runway adjacent to Lemmon Ave. at night, which is closer to homes.

However, he says that’s unavoidable sometimes due to weather and when the FAA needs to take certain efficiency measures.  

He also says that pilots can also take a departure route that flies over fewer homes called the “Trinity Departure.”

Currently, Mitchell said that the 13 noise monitors at Love Field can have trouble identifying flight tracks and assigning noise levels to certain aircraft.  

Mitchell said that the new monitors can identify flight tracks, which will help in the investigation process related to noise complaints filed by the public.

If approved by council members, a new interactive portal with all the noise data collected will be added to Love Field’s website.

Council members are expected to approve the purchase on Jan. 10.

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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