Residents fund work by airport consultant to design new noise mitigation departures from SDIA

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Our principal airport noise concerns in Mission Beach are the concentration of departures on the PADRZ SID over Capistrano Place and the potential to eliminate the nighttime noise abatement 290 degree departure and move these aircraft to PADRZ. This would dramatically increase noise over Mission Beach, specifically South Mission Beach.

The SDIA Terminal 1 expansion DEIR was reviewed by several of us in La Jolla, Mission Beach, and Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach, and found to be flawed. In addition, the consultant projected a very large increase in operations, particularly at night, between now and 2026. While the coronavirus has moved the schedule to the right, it will still happen in the near future. The Airport Authority consultant stated multiple times in the DEIR report that nothing could be done about the noise increase. As a result, Quiet Skies San Diego filed a legal CEQA challenge. Funds were collected through a Go Fund Me that was a down payment on the legal fees as well as funds to bring on a consultant, ABC X2.

The consultant was funded to help identify a solution that would reduce the noise concentrations by dispersing departures on three tracks. The report cover page is copied below.

The second picture below shows the proposed solution with ZZOOO at 275 degrees remaining unchanged, a CWARD/PADRZ at 285 degrees, and an ECHO/MMOTO at 295 degrees. Of course the degree of benefit to Mission Beach depends on the actual tracks that the pilots fly compared to the theoretical tracks shown in the picture as well as the number of departures on each of the three tracks day and night.

But, this seems to be a step in the right direction.

Previously, we have proposed working with the airlines to reduce noise by encouraging increased use of quieter Stage 4 and 5 aircraft, compared to Stage 3. The Airport Authority has pushed back claiming that most of the operations now into Lindbergh are already Stage 4 and 5, or that there is little difference between the latest generation Stage 3, 4, and 5.

I used a FAA program Area Equivalent Method (AEM) to estimate the relative contribution of different aircraft types to the 65 dB CNEL. The bar chart below shows the 65 CNEL area calculated for 1 operation during daytime for each of the aircraft types shown. The 16 types on the left are Stage 3 and the 5 on the right are Stage 4. The ones with nighttime departures are shown in orange along with the number of nighttime operations.

As you can see, there are some Stage aircraft that are less noisy than Stage 4, but generally the Stage 4 are quieter. I believe that it is obvious that changing out Stage 3 with equivalent Stage 4 aircraft (GTOW) would result in a sizable noise decrease. As a result, I have suggested that this option be explored.

In addition, I recommended that the AEM be used rather than the Part 36 equation for the Fleet Quiet Score analysis. This would give a much better idea of the noise generated by each airline each quarter in absolute terms.

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