Noise and air traffic control officials from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will be speaking and taking questions at the Foggy Bottom Association’s May meeting. The meeting is Tuesday, May 22 at St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Church 2436 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. at 25th (entrance on 25th). A half hour social begins at 7 p.m., with the meeting starting at 7:30 p.m.
Speaking at the meeting will be Russ Adams, who as a support specialist at the airport’s air traffic control tower has been involved with aircraft noise mitigation for many years, and Mike Jeck, assistant manager of the Noise Office run by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
FBN: What hours is National Airport allowed to operate?
Jeck: Twenty four hours per day.
FBN: What kinds of planes/ engines are allowed during what hours?
Jeck: Most airline aircraft are able to use National Airport. Due to the length and design of our runways, wide body and other very large aircraft are unable to use National Airport. National Airport is open for use 24 hours a day.
FBN: What situations allow National Airport to operate for longer hours (for example, can planes land after the ending time, and under what circumstances)? (In a few infrequent situations, Foggy Bottom residents have noted planes landing very late at night–well after 12 p.m.)
Jeck: As noted on our website, mwaa.com/ reagan/1271.htm, if an aircraft engine meets the nighttime noise standard (which applies from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.) that aircraft may operate at any time at the Airport. The airline schedules and the marketplace, however, have not created a demand for late night flights so there are few of them.
FBN: Foggy Bottom residents are under the impression that only planes with quieter engines can operate during certain hours. Is this correct? If so, how does MWAA monitor the airlines’ compliance with these rules?
Jeck: Aircraft are not prohibited from using the airport overnight, but if they operate in violation of the nighttime noise rule they are subject to a fine. National Airport has a nighttime noise rule in effect from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. As explained on our website:
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is one of the most stringently noisecontrolled airports in the United States. National’s nighttime noise rules are among the most restrictive in the country. Under the Authority’s regulations, aircraft may be only operated after 9:59 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. if the noise level for the aircraft type and model meets National Airport’s strict noise standards which are designed to minimize sleep interference. If the noise limitation is violated, the aircraft operator is subject to a civil penalty up to $5,000 per violation.
Over the years, advancements in technology and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations have led to quieter engines on airline jet aircraft.
FBN : Does MWAA anticipate any changes to these rules, especially as newer, quieter engines are more common on planes?
FBN: How and where does MWAA monitor noise levels? Are there monitors in the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods? Where? How frequently are readings taken?
Jeck: MWAA has installed 36 noise monitors around the region. The closest noise monitors to Foggy Bottom are in Georgetown, Rosslyn, and the Palisades. The noise monitors collect data every second.
FBN: If a resident thinks planes are landing/taking off outside of the prescribed hours or planes with noisier engines are operating, who should they contact?
Jeck: Me, Mike Jeck, at 703.417.1204 or email@example.com
FBN: What does MWAA do to follow up on citizen complaints?
Jeck: We investigate the complaint and respond to the citizen with our findings. ~