ConnDOT: Waterbury-Oxford Airport Master Plan Update & FAR Part 150 Noise Study

 
 

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

NEWS RELEASE

2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546 NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT 06131-7546

FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt
 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
Fax: (860) 594-3066
HOME-PAGE:www.ct.gov/dot
 

 Waterbury-Oxford Airport

Master Plan Update & FAR Part 150 Noise Study

Newington, Conn. – The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) is preparing an Airport Master Plan Update (AMPU) and FAR Part 150 Noise Study for the Waterbury-Oxford Airport (OXC).  The following draft documents have been prepared for OXC and are available for public review:

  • AMPU Executive Summary

                Summary of the draft Master Plan Update Report

  • Draft AMPU & Executive Summary   

               Complete draft of the Master Plan Update Report

  • Noise Study Working Paper No. 1   

               Inventory and Affected Environment and Baseline Noise Analysis

  • Noise Study Working Paper No. 2   

               Noise Abatement and Land Use Alternatives

 

To view study documents and related information, please visit www.oxcstudies.com.  Study documents are also available at the town libraries and town clerks offices of Middlebury, Oxford, and Southbury.

 A Public Informational Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at the Southbury Crowne Plaza (formerly the Hilton Southbury).  The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation at 7:00 p.m., followed by an interactive comment and discussion session until 9:00 p.m.  These studies are funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and ConnDOT. 

 OXC AMPU Study

 The purpose of the OXC AMPU Study is to provide planning guidelines for the future development of the Airport.  The development needs identified in this plan are intended to satisfy present and future aviation demand, with a primary focus on improving safety and efficiency and promoting economic development, while being compatible with the environment, community development, and other transportation systems.

 The products of the Draft AMPU consist of a planning report and an Airport Layout Plan (ALP) drawing set. The report is a technical document that includes narrative and graphic illustrations used in the development of the ALP.  The ALP is comprised of several drawings that illustrate a variety of items, including the existing and proposed airport layout, airspace obstructions, and a land use plan.  A brief summary of the AMPU is provided below.

 For a general aviation airport, such as OXC, future needs are determined by existing activity levels and forecasts of based aircraft and operations.  As summarized in the table below, the activity forecasts show increased based aircraft and operations at OXC through 2023.

 

OXC FORECASTS

 

2003

2008

2013

2018

2023

Based Aircraft

236

268

274

280

287

Operations

66,000

72,700

77,100

81,700

86,600

 Several development alternatives were evaluated to accommodate the forecast growth and operational needs at OXC.  The recommended plan contains over $60 million worth of potential capital improvements at OXC throughout the 20-year planning period, including the following:

 

·         Parallel Taxiway “B” extension

·         Apron expansion

·         Additional exit taxiways

·         Approach lighting system

·         Airport service road

·         Burial/lowering of electrical lines

·         Hangar development

·         Ongoing maintenance & rehabilitation

 

These modifications are considered necessary to improve the safety, efficiency, and continued operation of OXC. The layout of the recommendations represents the most feasible plan from an operational, economic, and environmental standpoint.  Detailed graphics illustrating the recommendations will be available at the November 29, 2006 public meeting.

 OXC Noise Study

 This project involves the preparation of the first Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150 Noise Study and Land Use Compatibility Plan for OXC.  Previous airport planning and environmental studies have determined that OXC generates off-airport noise that exceeds federal significance levels in noise sensitive areas (i.e., residential areas). To evaluate and address noise exposure and impacts, ConnDOT, owner and operator of the facility, committed to the FAA and the local community that further noise analysis and land use planning would be conducted for OXC.

 The overall goal of the OXC Noise Study is to address aircraft noise impacts in surrounding communities through noise abatement, noise mitigation, and compatible land use recommendations.  In a Part 150 Noise Study, the noise metric used to determine compatible and non-compatible land uses is the Day-Night Average Noise Level (DNL).  The FAA uses a DNL of 65 decibels (dB) or above to determine if non-compatible land use activities exist in the vicinity of an airport.  Examples of non-compatible land uses may include homes, schools, and hospitals.  The number of homes within OXC’s baseline (i.e., unmitigated) 2003 and 2008 DNL noise contours are summarized in the table below.

 

HOMES WITHIN BASELINE DNL NOISE CONTOURS

DNL Contour

2003

2008

Change

65 (& Greater)

64

58

(6)

70 (& Greater)

20

5

(15)

 

As shown, OXC-generated noise exposure is expected to decrease by 2008, primarily because older/noisier jets are gradually being phased out of operation. 

 Working Paper No. 2 contains the Noise Abatement Alternatives and Land Use Alternatives for OXC, including the “Candidate Alternatives” for potential inclusion in the Noise Compatibility Plan (NCP).  The NCP will outline the recommended measures of the Noise Study.  The “Candidate Alternatives” may be revised based on comments from the public.

 As mentioned, the Noise Abatement Alternatives and Land Use Alternatives are provided in Working Paper No. 2.  The following alternatives have been identified as potential “Candidates” for inclusion in the NCP:

Candidate Noise Abatement Alternatives:

 2A – Area navigation procedures (RNAV) using Global Positioning System (GPS).  RNAV involves flying predefined departure paths (GPS-guided), which are designed to reduce flyovers of residential areas.

2B – Implement the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) close-in departure procedures.  This involves performing specific departure procedures (e.g., thrust & flap settings) to reduce noise exposure in areas near the airport.

3B – Establish Runway 18 (departures to the south) as the preferential nighttime runway (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.), to reduce nighttime departures over the Triangle Hills neighborhood.

Candidate Preventative Land Use Alternatives:

 1C – Retain existing commercial and industrial zoning districts within the vicinity of OXC. 

4 – Acquire undeveloped residentially-zoned property within the 60 and 65 DNL contours.

5 – Require fair disclosure for residential purchases and transfers within OXC’s DNL contours. 

6 – Require avigation easements for the approval of new residential development within OXC’s DNL contours.

7 – Implement subdivision regulations within OXC’s DNL contours, potentially requiring fair disclosure, avigation easements, and building code/noise level reduction (NLR) requirements.

8 – Implement Noise Overlay Zoning to illustrate the requirements of the alternatives above, with varying requirements based on level of noise exposure. 

 Candidate Corrective Land Use Alternatives:

1 – Voluntary acquisition of homes within the vicinity of the Triangle Hills neighborhood (up to 71 homes).  Fair Market Value (FMV) would be provided to homeowners, plus relocation assistance.

3 – Voluntary sound insulation of homes within the 60 and 65 DNL contours (acquire all homes within the 70 DNL contour). 

The public is encouraged to attend the November 29, 2006 Information Meeting to offer their opinions regarding the “Candidate Alternatives” for potential inclusion in the NCP, as well as the AMPU recommendations.

Recommendations of both studies were established with the guidance of the Study Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives of local municipalities, state and federal agencies, and key stakeholders.  The final recommendations will also reflect public input.  Additional public forums will be held as the studies progress.

Questions concerning this meeting or the studies can be referred to Mr. David Head, Project Manager for ConnDOT, at (860) 594-2149.