Spring 2001 – Airplane noise abatement: East flow test underway during night hours

An issue that requires heroic patience on the part of homeowners is the matter of airplane noise abatement. BHA continues to represent the neighborhood’s concerns on the county-wide Noise Abatement Task Force, as well as meet with airport officials and specialists about what can and is being done for relief.

As Brickell residents know all too well, east flow departures from Miami International Airport are the biggest noise problem for the neighborhood.

Currently a test, for which the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval was needed, is underway from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in which east flow traffic is channeled over commercial areas and water rather than residential areas. The six-month test started in December and preliminary results should be known by the end of May 2001. (Have you been awakened less by airplanes at night?)

At the BHA’s February Board meeting two Miami Airport officials, Bruce Drum, Assistant Aviation Director/Airside Operations, and Jeffrey Bunting, Noise Abatement Officer, met with the BHA to explain the complexities of noise abatement and potential relief measures.

For the most part, “hush-kitting,” the process of quieting an older model plane, has not been very effective for reducing noise in the Stage II aircraft. Replacement with Stage III aircraft is the preferred way to lower the din. American Airlines, Miami’s largest carrier, is committed to replacing its entire fleet by 2003; other airlines have said by 2004.

Many have suggested Miami look to the experience of other large cities that have undergone similar difficulties with a fast-growing population and an equally fast-growing airport in the center of it all. BHA Directors are meeting in March with Klaskin, Kushner & Company, an aviation consulting firm that has investigated noise mitigation throughout the country.

In the meantime, airport officials say to keep those complaint calls coming. Overall, the airport receives some 800 to 900 complaints a month. Officials evaluate these calls and watch for trends in who is causing the noise, when and where.

The number for complaints is still (305) 876-plane and Mr. Bunting’s email address is: jbunting@miami-airport.com. Or you can send a complaint directly by clicking here.

From BHA News, Spring 2001, Vol. XI, No. 1