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Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations (2009)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14338.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

56 After an introductory overview of contents, this chapter begins with a review of three studies of the current practice of public involvement in three peer industries – aviation, surface trans- portation, and non-transportation environmental concerns. The literature review is followed by a comprehensive look at current practices in communication through five selected airport case studies and one university case study that have similar issues in communicating with the public. Airport managers may review their own approach to communications to the experiences of other airports reported in the case study synopses for airports of similar size or situations. Managers may also review how other airports and other industries have handled difficult public involvement situations and consider the applicability of the lessons those situations have taught. Content and Case Overview The literature reviews and case studies are meant to illustrate a range of public communica- tion approaches in use by peer industries, what airports themselves have learned about public communication, and what lessons other industries have learned that are applicable to airports. This chapter presents: • A literature review of communications practices in the aviation, surface transportation, and environmental industries. • Case studies of five airports, representing various service missions typical within the United States. • A case study of a university that experienced communication problems similar to those faced by many airports. The overwhelming message from both the literature review and from the individual case studies is that two-way communication with neighboring communities is necessary to facilitate practical development and is a “best practice” across public service industries. Airport and Peer Industry Literature Review In addition to the many documents provided by airports, three general summaries of commu- nications practices within the aviation, surface transportation and environmental management industries were reviewed for this analysis. The three documents selected for a literature review provide insight into the common issues and difficulties faced by three separate industries in their efforts to deal with community con- cerns and to grow effective community relationships through public engagement techniques. C H A P T E R 5 Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 57 Each review provides an introduction to the paper, followed by a summary of its findings and conclusions relevant to the airport industry. The studies are: • Airport Industry – Best Practices in the Airport Industry: An Assessment of Airport Commu- nity Involvement Efforts (12) Finding Relevant to Aircraft Noise Communications: Airports as a whole are busy, confined by regulations and focused on airport operations. They view dealing with the community affected by noise as a necessary nuisance, but not important enough to require development of an ongo- ing relationship. This literature review is located in front of the case studies as a summary of the overall state of community involvement in airports. • Surface Transportation Industry - Best Practices in the Transportation Industry: Trans- portation Research Board White Paper (13) Finding Relevant to Aircraft Noise Communications: The emerging model in the surface trans- portation industry “assumes that public input into the assessment of transportation needs and solutions is a key factor in most transportation decision making.” • Environmental Industry - Best Practices in the Environmental Industry: Stakeholder Involvement & Public Participation at the U.S. EPA (15) Finding Relevant to Aircraft Noise Communications: The environmental management and regulation industry, as exemplified by the EPA, faces similarly adversarial issues with the community as airports. EPA has wide responsibilities for air quality, water quality and waste disposal regulations and projects, but does not have jurisdiction over aircraft or air- port noise. This evaluation concluded that best practices require giving citizens, industry, environmental groups, and academics much greater roles in environmental decision mak- ing. It states a belief in building trust with the community to ensure an effective working relationship. Airport Case Studies Over the last two decades, each of the case study airports has faced controversy over proposed or planned changes that would potentially create adverse noise impacts on noise-sensitive land uses around the airport. In each case, these issues are similar to those faced by all airports as they develop to better serve their communities. Staff at, and community representatives near, each airport were asked to reflect upon the communications program put in place by each airport to provide information to, receive comments from, and engage in discussion with each other about aircraft noise issues present at the facility. The five airports selected for individualized case study represented a broad spectrum of avia- tion missions as managed by the probable airport manager users of this Guidebook and Toolkit. Each airport case study begins with a brief introduction and history of the airport and its noise program as a framework for the interview results. The descriptive material is drawn from the air- port’s written and website materials or from the author’s knowledge of the industry. The next sections discuss who was interviewed and what the key issues were and continue to appear to be, followed by conclusions. For those who want more detail on the noise abatement program, the airport’s website is indicated. The selected missions and case study airports are: • Large/Medium-Hub Airport With Passenger Service - San Francisco International Airport (SFO) (122) Relevance to Aircraft Noise Communications: After several aircraft noise related lawsuits in the 1970s, this large air carrier airport’s management has made building a long-term relationship with the surrounding communities a priority. It has been rewarded with relative peace and three decades of meaningful participation by key stakeholders. The air- port has a strong history of “doing something about noise”, which is very important to its neighbors.

58 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations • Small/Non-Hub Airport With Passenger Service – Long Beach Airport (LGB) (123) Relevance to Aircraft Noise Communications: After a series of lawsuits this small air carrier air- port has reached a settlement agreement that includes a noise budget. As long as the airport and its users stay within the noise budget they can increase services. The proposed introduction of the airport as a Los Angeles area hub for a low-fare carrier led to community concern and con- troversy arising from the rapid increase of passenger service. The airport and airlines were encouraged to develop creative ways to reduce noise and help the community to stay involved to keep the basic agreement in place. The Settlement Agreement encourages the airport to pro- vide adequate funding for the noise program and maintain a strong coordinated strategy for working with both the community and with airport users. • Cargo Hub Airport – Louisville International Airport/Standiford Field (SDF) (108) Relevance to Aircraft Noise Communications: This air carrier airport is the home base for United Parcel Service’s overnight package delivery service. The airport has an award-winning program for engaging the public after years of conflict with surrounding communities over nighttime flights and airport redevelopment issues. There are three primary factors that led to success in changing crisis to resolution: 1) a large scale working group process that involved the commu- nity, users, and the airport in developing a solution; 2) willingness of the major user to invest time and resources in solutions and to be open to ideas; and 3) creative involvement of an elected official who helped develop and implement creative solutions including relocation of a whole community. • Large General Aviation/Reliever Airport - Van Nuys Airport (VNY) (124) Relevance to Aircraft Noise Communications: The public involvement and communications pro- grams of this large general aviation reliever airport are still evolving in relation to some diffi- cult-to-resolve noise issues under consideration as part of a 14 CFR Part 161 airport access study. Solutions acceptable to the community are not acceptable to many airport users and have not yet been approved by FAA. The airport noise office is moving more toward a profession- ally facilitated roundtable approach and their public relations office is working hard to become a presence in the community. They have found no easy and fast solutions to solving noise issues. • Smaller General Aviation Airport - Ohio State University Airport (OSU) (125) Relevance to Aircraft Noise Communications: After years of service as being a training facility for aeronautical education students with an active smaller aircraft component, the airport has gradually grown to serve a greater portion of the aviation needs of Columbus, Ohio. The com- pletion of an airport master plan calling for runway development and the attempted commu- nication of information about that runway led to heightened controversy, particularly from an area well beyond the contours of significant noise exposure. That community, however, considers itself to be substantially affected by aircraft noise from the developing airport. Under threatened litigation and the public relations crisis, the airport and university have involved a broader array of stakeholders in its noise abatement planning process by including the oppo- sition in an open, interactive process. University Case Study The final case study is a review of how a university overcame significant obstacles to its contin- ued development that were created by its own internal processes of communications programs and public involvement. • Education Industry - Crisis in the College/University Relationship with the Community: A Case Study (14) Relevance to Noise Communications: A conflict with university neighbors reached a head shortly after the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) decided to expand into a residential

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 59 neighborhood without involving the neighborhood residents in the planning process. UMKC administrators learned that they must plan ahead and develop a good interactive relationship with the community before there is a crisis. They discovered that a public relations crisis can develop very quickly and be made much worse if management does not make intelligent pro- active decisions. Literature Review of Peer Industries Best Practices in the Airport Industry: An Assessment of Airport Community Involvement Efforts In a paper written in 2005 by Melissa Burn, PhD candidate at the Institute for Conflict Analy- sis and Resolution at George Mason University (12), the author reports that most airports have strained relationships with their adjacent communities. Further, that the “reasons for the tension include adverse impacts due to noise and other effects of airport operations, lack of under- standing each side’s concerns and interests, and insufficient public participation in airport decision-making.” (12, p. 1) The paper goes on to assess the culture that produces that reaction, analyzes the results of a survey of airport operators, consultants, and neighbors, and gives implications, conclusions and recommendations. Study Findings Because most airports are busy public facilities charged with responding to many different clients—airlines, general aviation users, passengers, elected officials, governmental regulators— on a frequent basis, the effects of aircraft noise on the populations surrounding the airport are typically low on the airport managers radar screen. Burn reported that: • Most airports “want to increase traffic so that revenues increase, bringing expanded staff levels, greater access to federal grants for infrastructure improvements, and a higher status within their particular city, state or regional bureaucracy.” (12, p. 3) • “Airports are like utilities, highly regulated and largely reactionary rather than proactive.” (12, p. 2) • Because the amount of population that is affected by aircraft noise is relatively small in com- parison to the total population served, airports see making noise more “as a necessary, though regrettable, part of doing business.” (12, p. 3) • Because airport staff members are usually “busy people with multiple competing demands on their time and attention, public dialogue is rarely a high priority.” (12, p. 3) • Public complaint about noise “becomes one of many things demanding the attention of the Airport operator.” (12, p. 2) Given the different responsibilities airport management must face in operating their facili- ties, Burn found an inconsistency in the way airports became engaged with the public when they were faced with aviation crises. Their attitude has been to place public engagement on the back burner and not establish on-going relationships to help diffuse crises as they arise. The typical approaches airports use for public involvement are summarized here. • “Airports tend to conduct public outreach as though the only purpose were to educate the public about reality from the airport’s perspective, in an effort to persuade people to let the airport get on with its business.” (12, p. 3) Airport vs. Community Communication Goals Airports and communi- ties often have radi- cally different goals for public involvement. Most airports seek to convey information about decisions that already have been made, while the public seeks to have early input to the making of those decisions.

60 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations • “There is often little attempt to create an ongoing, cooperative relationship that might require the airport to share decision making with the surrounding citizens.” (12, p. 3) • Because community members are “often poorly informed about how airports operate and what options are available,” and have unrealistic expectations for change, “they are easily dismissed by busy airport managers.” (12, p. 3) • “Most of the time, airport efforts at community outreach are sporadic and tied to a specific project. . . .” (12, p. 4) • “The most common tools include press releases and websites to disseminate news of study progress, public informational workshops, public hearings, and multiparty advisory commit- tees. Only a few airports use the dialogue mechanisms, such as advisory committees that include citizen representatives, and rarely continue them beyond the life of the specific study for which they were convened.” (12, p. 4) • “The general consensus among airports and the FAA is that these outreach programs need to be much more effective.” (12, p. 4) Study Survey. The paper reports the results of a 2004 survey of airport operators, consul- tants, and neighbors to investigate conflicts over airport noise. The respondents were self-selected from a data base of aviation industry e-mail addresses, which included airport staff members, consultants, and interested individuals, as well as websites for citizen groups concerned with air- port noise and other issues. Some relevant findings of the survey include: • Most airport public outreach programs are instituted as part of a clearly defined study or project. • Two-thirds of the programs included public open house workshops. • “The open house is typical of many airport outreach efforts in that it is designed to dissemi- nate information widely and truthfully, but lacks effective mechanisms for engaging the com- munity in a two-way dialogue.” (12, p. 5) • “Other examples of this one-way information flow include websites to post study progress reports, newspaper announcements and media broadcasts.” (12, p. 5) • If the relationship between the airport and its neighbors is good when a study/process begins, chances for success are higher. • Where a prior relationship was reported to be good almost half of the respondents reported further improvement of the relationship during the study. • Almost half of airport and consultant respondents thought the community had been given a meaningful role in decision making, where less than 10 percent of community members reported they had been given a meaningful role. This is an example of major disparities of per- ception found between the two groups. Factors in Airport/Community Conflict. Burn identifies the following characteristics con- tributing to airport/community conflict: • “. . . airports and communities typically speak past one another about basic values, norms for what is acceptable in the public space, and what role local agencies and communities should have in airport decision making.” (12, p. 6) • “Airports must respond to other voices such as the FAA, the airlines and the traveling public; they often pay little attention to their immediate neighbors. As a result, they fail to engage their communities in dialogue about airport plans until after the plans have been adopted.” (12, p. 6) • “. . . communities become polarized over airport noise and the consequences of this polar- ization.” (12, p. 6) • “. . . once conflict patterns such as mistrust, ingroup-outgroup identification, reduced empa- thy for the interests of the other party, a sense of aggrieved rights, zero-sum thinking, and other effects take hold, continued conflict is practically inevitable.” (12, p. 6)

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 61 • The public holds the airport operator responsible for aircraft noise, regardless of the source, but the local airport operator may have only limited ability to affect traffic density and aircraft location, which most impact noise patterns. • Those who most benefit from the airport, the greater public, may not be part of negotiations on noise issues. • “The one aspect of the structure that community members do understand and find frustrat- ing is their limited ability to have an impact on airport policy. Without regular input to the decision-making process, airport neighbors find that the only way to have a voice is by escalat- ing the dispute until it rises to the attention of the city, county, state or independent authority that governs the airport, the FAA, or elected representatives in Congress.” (12, p. 7) Study Conclusions To enhance the airport’s ability to more efficiently address development or environmental mit- igation efforts “. . . there is a need for both a greater commitment to genuine public participation (rather than just meeting the technical requirements of the funding grant) and a more refined use of the outreach tools available.” (12, p. 12) An “airport-community relations committee should include all stakeholders such as regulatory agencies, local governments, regional publics and political representatives, some of whom do not currently participate in airport public participation efforts.” (12, p. 12) The study recommends that standing committees on airport-community relations be estab- lished to build permanent relationships between the airport and its neighboring communities and aviation users. Further, permanent ongoing outreach should be punctuated by increased activity during a growth project or noise study effort. Relevant Findings The paper builds a convincing case, which is supported by the results of the surveys and inter- views conducted to develop information for this study that a culture exists among airports that resists meaningful public involvement. The paper provides insight into the reasons for the way airports deal with the community. Its survey, though approached in a different way than the sur- vey for this research, resulted in remarkably similar findings and insights. The finding that a good on-going relationship is beneficial when shorter term studies or conflicts arise is a powerful justification for improving relationships before a crisis occurs. Best Practices in the Transportation Industry: Transportation Research Board White Paper The non-aviation portion of the transportation industry has begun to understand the impor- tance of two-way communication in transportation planning. The “State of the Practice: White Paper on Public Involvement” (13), written by members of the TRB Committee on Public Involve- ment, says this about the state of practice in surface transportation: In the past decade, a radical transformation has occurred in the way transportation decisions are made. A new decision model has emerged and continues to be refined. The model assumes that public input into the assessment of transportation needs and solutions is a key factor in most transportation decision making. (13, p. 1) The need for public input into aviation studies and problem solving is also a key conclusion of this project team based on interviews and research for this Community Response to Airport Noise Study.

62 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Study Findings Factors contributing to the changing approach to public involvement in surface transportation include: • Federal Mandates: the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 23rd Century (TEA-21) mandated emphasis on early, proactive, and sustained citizen input into transportation decision making and special outreach for traditionally underserved populations. • A 30 year trend of empowerment of groups and individuals toward having a voice in policy decisions that affect them and their communities. • Codification of the lessons learned in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of rapid social change and complexity of modern life, “lessons that many transportation agencies learned after the fact from project delays, lawsuits, and public outcry about transportation decisions made without citizen input”. (13, p. 1) The White Paper states that there is “general agreement that a well-conceived and well- implemented public involvement program can bring major benefits to the transportation policy process and lead to better decision outcomes.” Some of the beneficial outcomes suggested are: • Public ownership of policies/sustainable and supportable decisions; • Decisions that reflect community values; • Efficient implementation of transportation decisions; and • Enhanced agency credibility; The White Paper reports further that, The process of public involvement often transforms agency culture by forcing agency decision makers to interact with their constituents. As a result, transportation stakeholders develop a better understand- ing of agency operations, and agency officials have a better understanding of public thinking. This mutual education improves the agency’s relationship with the public. (13, p. 2) The following sections report the Committee’s considerations regarding the best practices for public communications within the surface transportation industry. What is Good Practice? Key objectives of good public involvement practice revolve around outcomes and include: • To build consensus on the path to decision. “In exchange for participation in a fair and open process, citizens often are willing to support the outcome of the process even if their preferred alternative is not selected.” • To inform citizens about transportation issues, projections, the planning process, and budg- etary and engineering constraints • To incorporate citizen input into the decision process. “The decision-making process must be open and clear and must reflect citizen input.” (13, p. 3) The White Paper identifies guiding principles for a successful public involvement program as follows: • Distinguish public involvement from public relations and public information. • “A public information campaign is a form of one-way communication between the agency and the public, generally striving to inform the public about ongoing issues or developments. • Public relations programs usually involve the dissemination of information, but their empha- sis is on the promotion of a particular policy or solution—selling a fait accompli.” (13, p. 3)

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 63 • A good public involvement program essentially incorporates dynamic two-way communica- tion, which promotes public feedback, and uses that feedback to transform the decision process and outcome. • Be inclusive, involving decision makers and all interested stakeholders, and also as many groups and individuals in the community as is practicable. • Put a heavy emphasis on partnering—achieving mutual understanding of the problem and formal or informal agreements to work together to find and implement a solution. • Make communication with participants respectful. Perfect the art of listening to constituents. Always give all opinions serious consideration, and respond promptly and respectfully to input. • Begin early and be proactive and ongoing with public involvement activities throughout the plan or project development. • Make the decision process defined, structured, transparent, and clearly delineated at the start of each project. Structure decision processes so that outcomes reflect public input. • Provide appropriate leadership to public outreach efforts. • “An agency spokesperson or ‘champion’ must be available to articulate agency policy, perspec- tives, and operating procedures throughout the process.” (13, p. 4) Every public involvement effort should begin with an assessment that answers the following questions, which can be used to formulate a strategic public involvement plan. Strategic questions to be addressed: • What are the objectives of the plan or project? • Who is the likely audience? • What will be the level of impact on the community? • Are there any special barriers to communication? Challenges to Practitioners: Areas for Development Every organization that seeks to modify its on-going processes will be faced with challenges to that effort. The following paragraphs discuss the Committee’s thoughts about the most visible of these challenges. Removing Institutional Barriers “For many organizations this will involve a dramatic culture change as agency employees from the top down adopt a new policy development and implementation paradigm.” (13, p. 5) The White Paper says that public involvement must be given more than lip service. Agencies must make a serious commitment to include the public when making decisions and change their organizations and practices to reflect that commitment. At a minimum, this means developing con- sistent policies that validate the legitimacy of public involvement, dedicating budget and staff to public involvement. They also must commit to partnering with the public and other agencies to improve deci- sion making. (13, p. 5) Ensuring a Broad-Based Audience and Improving Communication Tools As more and more government organizations require public involvement, the public’s ability to respond may become overloaded. Organizations must find improved techniques to reach the public while respecting their time constraints, helping them to correctly evaluate which issues are most critical to them. Organizations must find techniques to attract and communicate with a broader audience. Techniques to consider include electronic tools, mass communication tech- niques, public opinion surveys, and baseline research.

64 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Dealing with Complexity Public involvement practitioners “must develop ways to capture and maintain public attention and convey complex information, as well as receive complex feedback.” (13, p. 5) The Internet and new multimedia programs should be considered. Dealing Effectively with Issues of Timing Practitioners need to develop innovative ways to sustain public interest in transportation infor- mation over what can be long planning processes and must also seek to streamline the planning and decision processes. Developing Standards and Assessment Tools Practitioners need to develop commonly accepted methods for evaluation of public involve- ment programs. The general justification that public involvement prevents delays, lawsuits, and costly reassessments of policies needs to be supplemented with quantified performance mea- sures. These public involvement performance measures should relate to “how well the expec- tations of participants were met, costs in relation to benefits, and effects on decision making.” (13, p. 6) Developing Professional Standards and Training Programs “The goal should be to ensure adherence to a consistent set of best practices.” (13, p. 6) Vision for the Next Decade The lessons learned in the past 20 years should be applied to the future: • Public involvement programs should become a routine part of the development of all trans- portation policy. • There should be a common set of expectations about what constitutes good practice. • Agencies should routinely set aside budgets for conducting public involvement programs within accepted parameters. • Citizens should accept their responsibilities—to put in the time and energy to understand the needs of and solutions to transportation projects that affect them and their communities, and to accept the results of a fair and open process. Conclusions Almost all of the recommended best practices of this white paper for the surface transportation industry appear to be directly applicable to the air transportation industry. Federal Mandates Although society and other major industries and institutions are proceeding toward greater public participation, the federal mandate for public involvement in air transportation planning is not nearly as strong as for surface transportation. With other less complex and more attrac- tive uses of aviation resources, such as marketing and public relations, which are perceived as being more directly tied to an airport’s economic success, it is difficult to get airports to do more in the area of public involvement than is mandated. Culture Change Required A comprehensive, interactive approach to public involvement requires a cultural change from the top down. This is especially true of airports when the mandate is not coming from federal regulators.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 65 Provide Appropriate Leadership An airport’s senior leadership must be highly visible in the process, not only to lead the culture change toward two-way involvement, but also to best represent the airport’s issues and needs to the community. Need for Assessment Tools Airports spend substantial sums of money for public information, public relations, noise staff, and programs. As they feel the pressure from the community and from industry trends to do more, they badly need a mechanism to determine what public involvement and public informa- tion approaches have a real impact and are most cost effective. Incorporate Dynamic Two-way Communication Effective engagement with the public leads to understanding, stronger relationships, and greater compatibility between the transportation source and the community. This is a major lesson not only for surface transportation, but also for air transportation. Best Practices in the Environmental Industry: Stakeholder Involvement & Public Participation by the U.S. EPA (15 ) The EPA represents another large governmental agency that has learned a difficult lesson about public involvement. Though the range of environmental issues the EPA addresses is much broader than just noise, the level of public concern and the intensity of disagreements can be similar to that experienced by airports. The EPA began operation in 1970 and increased its efforts into this century to involve the public “by giving citizens, industry, environmental groups, and academics a much greater opportunity to play key roles in environmental decision making.” (15, p. iii) The report is based on a review of EPA efforts to review stakeholder involvement and pub- lic participation approaches and identify lessons learned. The paper also has recommendations for future EPA projects, but it is the lessons learned that are most directly applicable to airports and will be the focus of this review. Study Findings Because the best practices paper had many succinct summary statements, this review quotes a series of lessons learned directly from the report. Lessons Learned: Establishing Trust Is Integral Trust between EPA and the public is a crucial component of any stakeholder involvement or public participation initiative in order to ensure an effective working relationship. (15, p. 4) Lessons Learned: Credible Data and Technical Assistance Can Be Critical Credible sources of information can serve a very important role in solving conflicts with stakeholders and the public. Without a concerted effort to ensure reliable, trustworthy data, the stakeholder process may prove frustrating for all participants involved. (15, p. 5) Lessons Learned: Recognize the Links between Environmental, Economic, and Social Concerns By working harder to integrate social, economic, and even cultural concerns of the community, EPA can enhance trust between industry stakeholders and the community. . . . (15, p. 6)

66 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Lessons Learned: Successful Stakeholder Involvement and Public Participation Activities Require That Agency Staff Receive Training or Expert Assistance A variety of skills and techniques in addition to adequate background knowledge are a must if the ini- tiative is to be successful. (15, p. 6) Other areas in which staff involved in public participation and stakeholder involvement activities could benefit from training include: listening and communication, partnering, process management, negotia- tion, consensus-building, vision-building, cross-cutting analysis, and multi-media approaches to envi- ronmental protection. (15, p. 6) Lessons Learned: Several Factors May Limit Participation Factors limiting the willingness or ability of citizens to participate in public involvement activities include: • “Inadequate explanations of background and technical material • Difficulty participating in technical discussions • Inadequate minutes from meetings • Overwhelming amounts of reading • Perceived inability to influence issues • Lack of time to participate” (15, p. 7) Lessons Learned: Improving Stakeholder Negotiations • “Clarify the type of process to be used, what the goals will be, and what the process can and can’t accomplish • Educate stakeholders on both the process and technical issues • Use a trained facilitator throughout the negotiation – don’t wait until troubles emerge • Plan agency involvement carefully – high-level participation is critical • Include a full diversity of stakeholders” (15, p. 8) Lessons Learned: Building Better Partnerships • “Establish clear visions, goals, and action items • Encourage a vision that everyone can accept • Develop a shared context of meaning for stakeholders in partnerships with ambiguous goals • Closely involve local stakeholders • Ensure that partnership goals, activities, and results will be effectively used” (15, p. 9) Lessons Learned: Community Outreach • “Know your audience • Hold meetings at times convenient for community members • Work hard to engage those community members not immediately receptive to your message • Use websites to complement, rather than replace” (15, p. 9) Lessons Learned: Effectively Involving the Public in Agency Decisions • “Get the public involved early • Ensure that public meetings and hearings allow public’s concerns to be adequately addressed • Clearly explain how public input will be used • Give public adequate explanations if their input is rejected • Re-double efforts to involve the public in Agency decision making if public participation is low” (15, p. 10)

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 67 Lessons Learned: Build Capacity of Citizens to Participate More Effectively in Decision-Making • “Enables communities lacking organization and leadership to turn concerns into action • Helps citizens better process information and provide input into Agency decisions • Empowers communities to leverage additional resources • Allows communities to capitalize on their existing civic assets” (15, p. 11) The EPA Best Practices paper notes that one area that the agency had only a limited ability to measure was how well it had succeeded in involving the public. The paper suggests some useful questions to consider in measuring the effectiveness of stakeholder and public involvement. Questions to Consider in Reviewing Outreach Effectiveness • “What were stakeholder/public perceptions regarding their ability to participate in the process? To what degree were those expectations met? What was the level of effort required by stakeholders/the public to participate? Were the goals and steps of the process clearly explained? To what extent did the effort meet those goals? Was the process fair? • Was the process competent? (e.g., was the process well-structured? was there proper leader- ship in place to guide the process?) • What major factors contributed to the success or shortcomings of the stakeholder involve- ment/public participation effort? How could the stakeholder involvement/public participa- tion effort have been designed differently to work more effectively? • What resources (staff, time, extramural $) were spent to engage in a stakeholder involvement or public participation effort? What were the FTE (full-time employee) or dollar amounts required to perform the public participation or stakeholder involvement effort? To what extent can the level of resources be associated with positive results of the stakeholder involvement/public participation effort?” (15, p. 22) • Performance measures suggested to evaluate the effectiveness of outreach programs included “How many stakeholders/citizens participated in the effort; were all significant stakeholder groups represented; and did the effort result in a product or agreement that furthered progress towards achieving positive environmental outcomes?” (15, p. 22) Conclusions The themes of the EPA’s “Lessons Learned” are very familiar. They have been repeated over and over again in airport interviews, airport studies, surface transportation best practices, and in educational industry case studies. The themes of “trust” and “providing credible data” arose frequently in airport interviews. “Partnership building” was particularly emphasized by non-airport interest groups. The findings regarding the need for evaluation tools have been noted in other case studies, but this report is particularly helpful in suggesting questions to be considered. Case Studies Large/Medium-Hub Airport with Passenger Service—San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Aircraft Noise Abatement Office. (http://www.flyquietsfo.com/) Accessed 7/22/2008. (122) San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was selected as a representative case study airport because it is a large commercial airport in a densely developed area with a long history of fre- quent interaction with surrounding communities about aircraft noise and other airport issues.

68 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations For 30 years SFO has been developing and refining communications programs to address noise concerns of densely developed nearby neighborhoods. During the initial interviews to follow-up on the airport noise manager survey conducted for this study, other airports referred to SFO as a model for airport communications on noise issues. Using the SFO experience as a case study allows other large and medium sized airports to consider aircraft noise communication tech- niques that have been tested over decades. For both small and large airports, the lessons SFO management has learned reflect that successful communications are more about attitude and approach than about cost. The airport dates from the late 1930s and is located on the west side of San Francisco Bay, south of the city. Not physically within the city limits of San Francisco, the 2,300 acre airport is in San Mateo County, with 20 incorporated cities nearby. The surrounding area is intensely developed to the west, northwest and south, with the San Francisco Bay on the remaining bound- aries. San Francisco International claims to be the world’s seventh busiest airport. According to a Fact Sheet distributed by SFO, in 2007 the airport was served by 55 airlines, of which almost three-fourths were scheduled domestic or international passenger air carriers. Cargo-only carri- ers represented over 18% of the airlines and the remaining airlines were commuter or seasonal/ charter Air Carriers. The Airport is owned by the City and County of San Francisco and governed by a five-person Airport Commission appointed by the Mayor of San Francisco. The Commission sets policy for the airport and selects the Airport Director. Brief History of Noise Abatement SFO started developing its community response to noise issues in the 1970s. From its once isolated location in the 1940s, the airport, along with the region and its surrounding population, has grown substantially. Although neighboring communities understand the economic benefit of the airport, they also have ardently sought programs to reduce noise. Programs that SFO has been developing and refining to minimize the impact of aircraft operations on surrounding neighborhoods include: • Adoption of the first set of noise abatement regulations in 1978. • Substantial reduction of the impact of noise on residential areas through use of over-water flight tracks, the introduction of quieter aircraft, special regulations for night operations, and an extensive residential soundproofing program. • Preparation of a Part 150 Study comprehensive noise abatement and land use compatibility plan (It was the first airport in the country with an approved Noise Compatibility Program). • Creation of its own airport regulation phasing out older, noisier aircraft by 2000, enacted prior to any federal regulations on the subject. • Retention of industrial areas, which are less sensitive to noise, under flight paths. • Installation of the first passive radar aircraft identification system in 1987, since upgraded, allowing the airport to correlate noise events and complaints to individual flight operations and aircraft types. Approaches SFO has used to develop and maintain a collaborative relationship with elected officials and the general public include: • Developing, participating in, and supporting with staff and financial resources the Airport/ Community Roundtable, one of the oldest established airport/community forums in the nation, whose meetings serve as public forums on noise reduction. • Putting the passive radar aircraft identification system on-line as the “Live Radar Flight Tracks”, allowing the public to view planes in the area and their altitudes.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 69 Interview Results Interviews for this case study were focused on including the primary staff persons responsible for management and communication of the noise abatement program, as well as representation of a formal community group. SFO completed the on-line survey in the summer of 2007, and was selected for the original fall, 2007 follow-up interviews. The following individuals were inter- viewed at that time or during the spring of 2008 to prepare the case study: • Aircraft Noise Abatement Manager, San Francisco International Airport; • Chair, Foster City Noise Abatement Committee; and • Roundtable Coordinator, San Francisco International Airport. Key Issues. The relationship between the SFO noise abatement staff, airport-based stake- holders and surrounding communities has been in place for many years. Most of the painful confrontations many other airports are now facing have already been dealt with by SFO and its public engagement program. The techniques used by SFO to communicate with the public offer useful tools to any other airport that is confronted with serious public concerns over airport noise/ land use compatibility. Findings. The interviews started with a basic set of questions but were open-ended so as to allow for exploration of the particular situation at SFO. The following observations were drawn from the interviews to highlight the primary ideas about communications techniques from this airport. The lessons are presented below as techniques that worked and techniques to avoid. Communication Techniques That Worked for SFO • A highly interactive communications approach based on the roundtable model, when com- bined with a heavy emphasis on actually reducing noise, has been very effective. Communication Techniques SFO Chose to Avoid in the future • Controlling the flow and content of information makes people suspect something is being hidden. • Allocating major resources to techniques (attending fairs, Airport Day, etc.) that do not have a direct impact on people’s feeling about noise, without a good supplemental reason, are not effective. They are part of being a good neighbor and help promote good will, but will not make people complain less about noise; neither do they respond to community desires that some- thing positive is being done to reduce noise effects. • Adopting another airport’s techniques without tailoring them to the local situation is not helpful. Questions to ask in structuring a roundtable or forum are: To whom is the group responsible? Who do they advise? How should the Roundtable or Forum reflect the member- ship and airport geographic locations? How does the airport’s governance structure relate to the program? Summary SFO was selected as a case study because it is a large commercial airport with a long history of frequent interaction with surrounding communities. Within the aviation industry, its programs have become highly visible representations of an active public involvement program that seeks to address community concerns while maintaining the integrity of aviation needs. Over the 30 years following the initiation of its aircraft noise communications program, it has moved largely from a relationship of controversy and contention with its neighbors to one of coopera- tion and compromise. Other airports have named it as a model for airport communications on noise issues. Further information and reference materials for SFO can be found among the best practice tools referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport’s noise management website at www.flyquietsfo.com.

70 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Small/Non-Hub Airport with Passenger Service—Long Beach Airport (LGB) http://www.longbeach.gov/airport/noiseabatement/default.asp Accessed 7/22/2008. (123) Long Beach Airport (LGB) in southern California was selected as a case study because it is a small-hub commercial passenger airport with a large general aviation component that expe- rienced a sudden upsurge of passenger flights by scheduled air carriers. Because the airport is completely surrounded by dense development, the community reacted strongly to the intro- duction of new flights and the airport has developed a communications program for the pub- lic and a negotiation process with the airline to respond to the concerns. As a case study it illustrates a combination of solutions for addressing the public, the airlines, and the airline user group. Long Beach Airport was built in 1923 and expanded in the late 1920s when the city built hangars and administrative facilities for the Army and Navy. It was enlarged to 500 acres in 1941. It is now completely surrounded by dense development of largely industrial and golf course uses, but dense residential development lies within 1,500 feet of the runway in some directions. The airport serves nearly 3 million commercial airline passengers annually, with flights to destinations throughout the United States. It also is among the top five busiest general aviation airports in the world, with approximately 371,000 annual general aviation operations in 2007, including Life Flight organ donor and critical care patient delivery flights, law enforcement, and search/rescue flights. It also is a center for air cargo carriers DHL, Federal Express, and UPS, which transport more than 49,000 tons of goods each year. It is one of the few airports that continues to be an important aircraft manufacturing and flight- training center, hosting the Boeing Company, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and Flight Safety as tenants. Brief History of Noise Abatement The City of Long Beach began efforts to manage aircraft-related noise through adoption of a noise ordinance more than 20 years ago. These efforts to control airport noise were challenged in the courts for over 12 years by the airlines and other user groups. Ultimately, an Airline Settle- ment Agreement struck a balance between air commerce needs and community noise exposure concerns. The resulting Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance (LBMC 16.43) was passed in 1995, making Long Beach one of the strictest noise-controlled airports in the United States. In the meantime, Congress had passed the Airport Noise and Capacity Act in 1990 giving authority over airport access and noise control actions to the federal government and FAA. However, the City was able to work with the FAA to get the ordinance “grandfathered”, and since that time no other city has succeeded in enacting an airport noise related ordinance that controls the number of daily commercial flight operations. According to an earlier version of the airport’s website, the 10 key components of the Long Beach Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance are: (123) Long Beach Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance Provisions 1. The Long Beach Airport is operational 24 hours a day. 2. Commercial carriers are allowed at least 41 flights daily and commuter carriers are allowed at least 25 daily flights. 3. Single Event Noise Equivalent Levels (SENEL) are established for four time periods. The nighttime period from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. is the most sensitive and therefore has the most restrictive allowable noise limit. 4. A Violation Process is established.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 71 5. An Alternative Enforcement Procedure is established including referral to the City Prosecu- tor for action. 6. Five airport user groups were established and assigned an annual noise budget for takeoff and landing noise. The five user groups are air carriers (commercial airlines), commuter car- riers, charter operators, industrial/manufacturing operators and general aviation (which includes all other users). The noise of military operations, public aircraft, law enforcement, and emergency life flights is excluded in calculating CNEL and in assessing compliance with CNEL goal and annual noise budget. 7. As an incentive for airlines to fly quietly, the Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance pro- vides that additional flights only can be added if it is determined by the City that the cumu- lative noise level would remain below the annual noise budget standard with the added flight or flights included. 8. Single event noise tracking, real-time noise, and actual recorded noise are required, so the airport has installed 18 noise monitors and a flight tracking system. 9. Limitations on hours of training and run-ups are established, including early curtailment on weekends and holidays, and all but one runway is closed during late night hours. 10. A pilot education program is established as an on-going program to teach pilots about com- munity noise issues. This program involves working with pilots on preventing and reducing noise impacts in the community. LGB was selected as the southern California hub location for Jet Blue Airlines in 2001. Jet Blue initiated service with many new flights to the east coast. The airport previously had very limited commercial passenger service, only 14 flights daily, which increased to the 41 flight limit with the introduction of service by Jet Blue. The airport, however, had a budget allocation of noise based on a preexisting Airline Settlement Agreement. The “noise budget” allows up to 41 carrier flights per day plus 25 commuter flights, but also provides that additional flights can be added if it is determined by the City that the cumulative noise level would remain below the annual noise budget standard with the added flight or flights included. The growth of Jet Blue resulted in pub- lic concern about noise levels, but also business support for the additional low cost service. LGB has worked to maintain the Settlement Agreement through a combination of public communication and work with the airlines. For the first year they worked to educate. Staff engaged in intense public education outreach about noise issues and the Noise Ordinance that emphasized that an increase in flights was permitted, so long as the cumulative noise levels remained below the annual noise budget. LGB also emphasized the uniqueness and value of the local control over aircraft noise that the Noise Ordinance provided. At the same time they worked with Jet Blue and other commercial airlines, educating them on the requirements of the Ordinance, warning them of violations, and fining them for flights that violated its various requirements, such as the curfew. Jet Blue spent $600,000 in fines that went to the Long Beach Library Foundation and was dispersed into the community for technology in family learning centers. Subsequently, Jet Blue has maintained the same number of flights, but adjusted its schedule to direct late night flights into nearby Los Angeles International Airport. There is also a LGB Aviation Noise Abatement Committee that includes all interested airport tenants, users, and operators who work cooperatively to police themselves on noise issues and develop technical solutions to noise problems. LGB reports that the impact of their noise com- munications program is fewer requests from the community for meetings, a change in public perceptions, less intense complaint calls and a less angry tone of communications from the pub- lic. Staff also believes that external factors outside the control of the airport, such as the state of the economy, may have had an impact on solutions. The airlines in Long Beach may well have been willing to settle with what became the ultimate solution because airlines were facing diffi- cult economic conditions.

72 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Interview Results The case study interviews included the primary people responsible for management and com- munication of the noise abatement program, representatives of formal community groups, as well as others with insight into the special issues at the airport. For the spring 2008 case study interviews, the following persons were contacted: • Public Information Officer, Long Beach Airport • Former Director, Long Beach Airport • Chair, Long Beach Airport Advisory Committee • Representative, Jet Blue Airlines, Long Beach Airport • Founding member of ANAC (Aviation Noise Abatement Committee) Key Issues. In determining what particular lessons were learned from this case study, it is important to understand the issues that complicate the lessons. Long Beach is unusual in its situ- ation as an airport with a grandfathered, locally controlled noise budget. Its situation evolved out of a long history of lawsuits, but the “Noise Budget” appears to have been accepted by the airport, airport users and the community neighbors. All groups have an incentive to work together because all fear loss of local control to federal oversight that would come with change of the current rules. It gives the community the assurance that noise levels will not rise above a baseline level. It allows the signatory users flexibility in operations as long as they do not impact the overall noise levels and gives them incentives to reduce their noise levels with the potential to increase the number of flights. The airport and the City have an incentive to fund the noise management staff at a level that allows for extensive interaction with the community and with the airport users. The downside is that as a “grandfathered” solution, FAA is unlikely to approve another action of the same type. Findings. The interviews were open-ended to allow for exploration of the particular situa- tion at LGB. The observations presented here were drawn from the interviews to report a selec- tion of the primary ideas about communications techniques from this airport. The lessons include techniques that worked and those to avoid. Communication Techniques That Worked for LBG • A comprehensive strategy for dealing with noise that includes education and engagement on the public side and monitoring, notification, negotiation, and enforcement on the user side, with widespread buy-in to the approach. • The working group model is helpful if it includes meaningful roles for the public and airport users and incentives for them to work together, and when there is an ability to implement the results of their efforts. • Invite participation by individuals who are known to be rational leaders of a variety of broad- based community groups, and include representatives of airport user groups. This will more likely lead to widespread acceptance of somewhat controversial solutions and a product that actually can be implemented. • Consider organizing an airport user group. Members can self-police and identify problem operators. They can suggest creative solutions to noise issues because they have expertise, con- tacts, and resources. Peer review is a proactive business-friendly approach that is more suc- cessful than penalties. Communication Techniques LGB Chose to Avoid in the future • Allowing membership of people with no ability to give and take. Summary Long Beach Airport was selected as a case study because it is a commercial passenger airport that experienced a sudden and significant introduction of new passenger flights by large aircraft.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 73 Further, it has one of the few noise budget agreements that are in place in the United States. The con- cern of losing local control over the noise conditions has led the airport, its neighbors, and its users to proactively seek accommodation by working together to meet noise management goals. The air- port has developed a communications program to educate the public about the opportunities and constraints that are in place, as well as a negotiation process with the airlines to address the issues as they arise. Further information and reference materials for LGB can be found among the best prac- tice tools referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport’s noise management website at www.longbeach.gov/airport/noiseabatement/. Cargo Hub Airport—Louisville International Airport/Standiford Field (SDF) Noise Compatibility Program, http://www.flylouisville.com/about/noiseprogram.asp Accessed 7/22/2008. (108) The communications program for noise at Louisville International Airport (SDF) was selected to be a case study because it illustrates unique issues associated with large cargo hub airports. Airports with significant all-cargo carrier activity can generate disproportionately more com- ment and complaint from the public because of the increased number of night flights. SDF illus- trates a unique approach to communications that includes extensive involvement of airport users and the community in developing mutually agreeable solutions, as well as the involvement of elected officials in a unique land use management solution – the relocation of an entire town. The techniques that SDF used are relevant to other airports with a high level of public contro- versy about significant noise effects, and more particularly those airports with a substantial level of cargo service, nighttime operations, or substantial relocation issues. SDF has commercial passenger service (3.8 million passengers per year), general aviation activ- ity, serves as a base for the Kentucky Air National Guard, and as all-cargo operations. The airport and an associated general aviation airport, Bowman Field, together are the largest employment center in the Louisville Metropolitan area generating jobs, and state and local taxes. According to the SDF website, the airport ranks third in North America, and ninth in the world, in the total amount of cargo handled as home of United Parcel Service’s (UPS) international air- sorting hub. The airport handled 4.5 billion pounds of cargo, freight and mail in 2007. In 1981, UPS began a new overnight package-delivery business with air hub operations at the airport. In 2005, the company moved its heavy airfreight hub to the airport after closing the Day- ton, Ohio, air hub. In May 2006, UPS announced a $1 billion expansion that would increase sort- ing capacity over the next five years and create more than 5,000 additional jobs in addition to the over 1,000 jobs already in existence. The airport is owned and operated by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA), an independent public agency. As such, the Authority is responsible for the day-to-day operation of, as well as the long-term planning for, the airport. The Authority is self-funded and derives oper- ating revenue from a variety of user fees. It does not receive local or state funding for the routine operations of the airport. An 11-member board of directors governs the Authority and sets pol- icy, approves the budget and hires its executive director, who serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. The board is comprised of the Mayor of Louisville, seven mayoral appointees, and three gubernatorial appointees, one of whom is a member of the Airport Neighbors Alliance Executive Committee. SDF is situated on 1200 acres, 10 minutes south of downtown Louisville. Although most of the surrounding land is industrially used, the airport is in the middle of the city and there are close-in residential uses to the east, west and north. The Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center is

74 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations just to the north and the University of Louisville is northwest of the airport along the extended centerlines of the primary parallel runways. Industrial uses and a landfill are located immedi- ately to the south, beyond which is an area that has undergone the substantial change to be described in the following section. Brief History of Noise Abatement The airport was built for the military in 1941 and was turned over for passenger service as Stan- diford Field in the late 1940s. There was steady growth of the airport and related facilities through the 1970s. The opening of UPS hub service in 1981, along with continuing passenger service growth, put pressure on the airport to improve and expand its facilities. In 1988 the Louisville Air- port Improvement Plan called for the building of a new airport on top of the old, while keeping the old open to operations. That program, coupled with a large urban renewal project adjacent to the airport, generated a significant public reaction. The first phase of the FAA-approved program for airport expansion began in 1991 with the voluntary relocation of more than 1,500 homes and 150 businesses. In 1993, the focus switched from an airport expansion-related relocation to a noise-related relocation under the airport’s first Part 150 Program. Under that program, people living within the airport’s 65 Ldn (day-night average sound level) contour were eligible for relocation. Over the next four years the FAA approved the expansion of voluntary relocation to include a total of over 2,000 homes. With the extensive voluntary relocation, there began to be a shortage of homes in the right price categories available as relocation destinations. To address those issues, one of the cities tar- geted for relocation, the City of Minor Lane Heights, located to the south of the airport along the extended centerlines of the parallel runways, developed legislation to allow it to move away from the airport to a new location about four miles southwest of SDF. The airport helped iden- tify appropriate property and the Kentucky General Assembly approved the move. The program was funded in 1997 and 1998 with an FAA Innovative Financing Grant for $10 million, matched with $10 million by the Airport Authority. With those funds, the Authority purchased and devel- oped the infrastructure on a 287-acre site, which became known as Heritage Creek. Under the Heritage Creek Program, the Airport Authority reimburses families from Minor Lane Heights who sought to build new homes in Heritage Creek. In 1999 the City of Minor Lane Heights offi- cially annexed the Heritage Creek area for its new city. About 25 homes remain in the previous Minor Lane Heights location near the airport, occupied by owners who have chosen not to relo- cate. The offer to relocate remains in effect. In 1998 and 1999 SDF prepared an update of the Part 150 Study using a Noise Compatibility Study outreach program that involved over 1,000 people. The purpose of the program was to create a plan with the least amount of aircraft noise over the fewest number of families. In May 2004, the FAA approved many of the recommendations in SDF’s proposed Noise Compatibility (Part 150) Program Update. The National Organization to Insure a Sound-controlled Environment (NOISE) named the Louisville Regional Airport Authority its 2005 Mary E. Griffin Airport Operator of the Year. NOISE is the United States’ oldest nationwide community based association committed to reducing the impact of aviation noise on local communities. The resolution said, “NOISE seeks to honor airport operators which engage local communities and consider their concerns about noise impacts as a strategy for a healthy long-term relationship with the community.” The award resolution detailed the following among the reasons for the award: (108) • “Through its broad-ranging Noise Compatibility Study Group, and successor Community Noise Forum, the Authority has provided means to compile a Noise Compatibility Program of unprecedented scope and prospective impact;” and

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 75 • “The Authority has developed and administered an extensive program of voluntary residen- tial relocation, including reestablishment of an entire small city in a new development outside the noise-impacted area;” and • “By organizing its staff to provide responsive support to community concerns and develop further measures to enhance noise reduction measures, the Authority has striven to become a good neighbor.” Interview Results The case study interviews were focused on including persons responsible for management and communication of the noise abatement program, representation of formal community groups, as well as others with insight into the special issues at this airport. Although SDF com- pleted the on-line survey in the summer of 2007, they were not selected for the original fall, 2007 follow-up interviews. For the spring, 2008 case study interviews, the following individuals were interviewed: • Noise and Environmental Programs Officer, Louisville Regional Airport Authority; • Chair, Louisville Community Noise Forum; • Board Member, Louisville Regional Airport Authority; • Mayor, Heritage Creek (Minor Lane Heights); • UPS Airport Properties representative, Louisville and Minneapolis. Key Issues. In determining what particular lessons may be derived from this case study, it is important to understand the issues that complicate the lessons. Growth pressures on the air- port caused, in large part, by location of a UPS hub in the early 1980s and subsequent expansion resulted in the decision to rebuild and reorient the airport on its existing site and to expand the facility. The resulting residential relocation was initially for airport expansion and later for noise abatement. Because the airport was surrounded by the city and its major tenant UPS operated a nighttime operation unacceptable to the public, large numbers of people were directly affected by the rebuilding and expansion. Those community representatives interviewed perceived that they had little warning and no involvement until the plan was announced in the media and its likely impact on them disclosed. Some believe that the airport did not willingly work with the community early on, but changed its approach in response to community pressure. From the resulting public uproar and mistrust on all sides, an approach of listening, talking, cooperating, and trust gradually evolved. There were three primary factors that led to success in changing crisis to resolution. First, a large scale working group process that involved the community, users, and the airport developed a solu- tion. Second was the willingness of the major user, UPS, to invest time and resources in solutions and to be open to ideas. Finally, the creative involvement of an elected official who helped develop and implement creative solutions was critical. Representatives of the airport, UPS, and the community all agree that they now have a good relationship that is characterized by trust. The process was neither easy nor perfect, but it provides lessons for others. One example of how communications have improved was when, after a series of meetings, a member of the public jumped in to correct the facts and misperceptions about noise made by another member of the public, before the airport users and airport management had a chance to respond. Findings. The interviews were open-ended to allow for exploration of the unique situation in Louisville. The observations that follow in the matrix were drawn from the interviews to include a selection of the primary ideas about communications techniques that successfully worked at the airport as well as those that the airport found it should avoid.

76 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Summary SDF was selected to be a case study because it illustrates issues associated with large cargo hub airports, has instituted a unique relocation program and has overcome a confrontational envi- ronment through improved communication. SDF illustrates a unique approach to communica- tions that includes extensive involvement of airport users and the community in developing mutually agreeable solutions, as well as the involvement of elected officials in relocating an entire town. The techniques that SDF used are relevant to other airports with a high level of public interest in significant noise effects, particularly those with a substantial level of cargo service or substantial relocation issues. Further information and reference materials for SDF can be found among the best practice tools referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport’s noise management website at www.flylouisville.com/about/ noiseprogram.asp Communication Techniques That Worked for SDF • A very strong working group with very active community and user participation. Setting up ground rules on how they would make decisions helped them succeed. Giving responsibility to all the group members was also a key to success. The SDF Noise Compatibility Study group “gave ownership” to the community for the solutions. The community representatives took responsibility to become partners in the study, teach themselves and learn about aviation and noise issues, and chair committees on a rotating basis. • The participation of the primary airport user, UPS, was a model for the investment of time, leadership, and resources for testing ideas. Being willing to invest time (the process can take years), key personnel (personable spokesperson and negotiators, chief pilots and other experts), and resources (offering to do testing on new techniques) is important. Willingness of the user to consider most ideas as long as they are safe, maintain the ability to fly and are economically viable will be the framework for a workable process. • The leadership of elected officials was essential to the unique solution of relocating an entire community. Leadership of elected officials can be comprehensive, creative, and capable of bringing along an entire community, saving airports much time. • Willingness of both the airport and the community to engage in effective, sincere communica- tions was a key to success. From the community point of view, the change in approach of air- port and consultant spokespersons from one-way communication that was perceived as arrogant and confrontational, to those who were willing to actually work with the community and users was a key to success. From the airport’s point of view, the willingness of the commu- nity to also be open and negotiate in good faith was important. Communication Techniques SDF Chose to Avoid in the Future • Noninteractive meetings where people are only told about the plan and its results are the least helpful communication technique. • Avoid using a process in a Part 150 Study that is entirely consultant driven and does not have meaningful community input throughout. Large General Aviation/Reliever Airport—Van Nuys Airport (VNY) Noise Management at http://www.lawa.org/vny/noiseMain.cfm Accessed 7/22/2008 (124) Van Nuys Airport (VNY) was selected for study as representative of large general aviation air- ports. It has a long history of controversy over aircraft noise in its community. Its Part 150 Study, begun more than ten years ago, is not yet approved, and also has a Part 161 Study in progress. The public strongly advocates restrictions on operations, but general aviation users and the busi- ness community are greatly concerned about the implications of such restrictions on their use

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 77 of the airport. VNY’s evolving communication approach can provide ideas for other general avi- ation airports with similar situations. Located in the San Fernando Valley north of downtown Los Angeles, VNY is the general avi- ation airport in the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) transportation system that also includes Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD). To administer its noise management program and com- munity response efforts, VNY pools resources with the other airports, including a technical staff that oversees LAWA’s noise management branch office supported by public and community relations, airfield operations, and administrative staff at VNY. VNY is one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, averaging approximately 400,000 takeoffs and landings annually. More than 100 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including five major fixed-base operators and many aviation service companies. The airport opened in 1928 on 80 acres as the privately owned L. A. Metropolitan Airport. It has subsequently become surrounded by intensely developed land. Immediately to the south for a distance of approximately 2 miles, the area is largely golf courses and parks, while to the west, north, and east the uses are mixed industrial, commercial, and residential development. Seven miles directly to the east is Bob Hope Airport (BUR), a significant air carrier facility, with a primary instrument approach directly over the top of VNY at 2,200 feet above the ground. Southerly departures from BUR (used frequently) turn to the right to fly over or to the east of VNY. The LAWA, known in the City Charter as the Airports Department, is a proprietary depart- ment of the City of Los Angeles, controlling its own funds. The airport system operates under the direction of a policy-making Board of Airport Commissioners appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles and approved by City Council. Brief History of Noise Abatement In August 2001, LAWA completed a Part 150 “Airport Noise Compatibility Planning Study” for VNY to review the airport’s noise abatement program’s status, comprehensiveness, and effec- tiveness. LAWA submitted a revised version that addressed FAA comments in January 2003. The FAA had not completed its review by the summer of 2008. A 14 CFR Part 161 airport access study was undertaken as one of the mitigation measures of the Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program. Seven of the noise control measures proposed in the Part 150 Study require LAWA to conduct a Part 161 evaluation and receive FAA approval prior to implementation. To these, two additional measures were added by the 2006 VNY Master Plan. The nine proposed measures evaluated in the Part 161 Study are: • Incentives/Disincentives in Rental Rates: Establish a set of incentives and disincentives through differential rental rates to encourage the greater use of quieter aircraft and less use of noisier aircraft at VNY. • Incentives/Disincentives in Landing Fees: Establish a system of differential landing fees for aircraft using VNY with higher landing fees for noisier aircraft and lower landing fees for quieter aircraft. • Establish Fines for Violations of VNY Noise Abatement Policies: This would make the vol- untary “Quiet Jet Departure” program mandatory and establish penalties. • Establish Maximum Daytime Noise Limits: Establish a maximum daytime noise limit for all aircraft operating at VNY of 77 dBA. • Establish a Limit on Stage 3 Jets: Establish a cap on the number of Stage 3 jets that may be based at VNY. • Expansion of the VNY Curfew: Amend the existing curfew ordinance to expand the hours of the current curfew to include all nonemergency jets and nonemergency helicopters as aircraft that would come under the provisions of the curfew during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

78 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations • Establish a Cap or Phase-Out of Helicopters: Establish a cap on the number of or a phase- out of helicopters from VNY. • Phase out Stage 2 aircraft in shortest possible time. • Extend the curfew to 9 a.m. on weekends and holidays. In addition to the required cost-benefit analysis required by Part 161, two special considera- tions are included in this evaluation: (1) separate evaluation of the effect of the 77 dBA maximum daytime noise limit for Stage 2 and 3 jets and (2) identification of the effects of proposed restric- tions on historic airplanes. The Part 161 Study is to address these nine elements in a “severable” fashion, to permit the FAA to review each proposed measure separately and so that any required FAA approval or disapproval will not affect the FAA’s considerations of other measures. The pro- posed restrictions would be established through new or amended City Ordinances, regulations, lease conditions, or use agreements, with sanctions for noncompliance. The Los Angeles Airport Commissioners, who oversee Van Nuys Airport, are simultaneously pursuing a ban of Stage 2 aircraft, although the legality of such a local ban and the potential eco- nomic impact of a ban on the businesses at VNY are still being debated at the time of this writing. According to interviewees, the public is most concerned about eliminating Stage 2 aircraft, deal- ing with helicopters, and extending the curfew. Neighbors are supportive of the proposed noise control measures. Users and the economic development interests, however, are concerned about the operational and economic impacts of the measures. Without FAA approval or City action it will be difficult to achieve change on major noise mea- sures. VNY has taken a more conservative approach to involvement in the studies than some other airports and still has a noise advisory group as opposed to noise roundtable. There also does not appear to be a strong user involvement as in some other airports. Currently, because noise abate- ment and public relations staff have good reputations for reaching out to the public and support- ive leadership on the advisory committee, conflict with the community appears to be modest. Interview Results The Case Study interviews were focused on including the primary people responsible for man- agement and communication of the noise abatement program and representation of commu- nity interest groups, as well as others with insight into the noise issues at VNY. Case study interviews built on interviews in the fall of 2007 conducted as follow-ups to the airport noise offi- cer survey. Those interviews included LAWA’s Environmental Affairs Officer and the chair of the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Committee. In new interviews conducted for the case study review, the LAWA Environmental Affairs Officer was re-interviewed. In addition, the following were interviewed: • Staff for Part 161 Study, LAWA; • Noise Abatement Officer Van Nuys; • Director of Public and Community Relations for Van Nuys; and • Long time resident and involved citizen in the Van Nuys Airport area. Key Issues. VNY is a major economic engine for a densely populated area. It is also one of several airports in a fairly small geographic area. There are strong constituencies on all sides of any question relating to noise and no solution is clearly best for all. Judging from the press and interviews, there does not appear to be a large organized anti- airport group, but even media attention on a new terminal or proposals from other airports such as Burbank to shift night flights to VNY could upset the current equilibrium. Some of the pub- lic is very negative about the airport, but that does not appear to be a large percentage of the total population.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 79 VNY has been unable to make major changes for noise abatement while the Part 150 and Part 161 studies are underway, but not yet approved by the FAA. No one has suggested a conclusion of the FAA’s review is eminent, or that the recommendations of the studies are likely to be approved when completed. Even if approved, implementation through “new or amended City Ordinances, regulations, lease conditions, or use agreements, with sanctions for noncompliance,” could take substantially more time. (124) VNY’s governance structure is as one of the airports under the City of Los Angeles’s Depart- ment of Airports system, whose airport general manager is appointed by the Airport Board sub- ject to confirmation by the Mayor and City Council, and can be removed by the airport’s Board subject to confirmation by the Mayor. Because VNY’s governance structure ties it closely to the Mayor and Council, the public has a direct channel of influence through their elected officials to address their concerns about noise. Others perceive that the noise issues are not balanced fairly with economic development. For VNY, the problems are not yet resolved as they consider new communication approaches, including professional facilitation to work with the current or a reorganized noise forum. Findings. The interviews were open-ended to allow for exploration of the particular situa- tion at VNY. The conclusions that follow were drawn from the interviews to include a selection of the primary ideas about communications techniques the airport has used. The obser- vations reflect techniques that have worked for VNY and techniques that VNY chose to avoid. Communication Techniques That Worked for VNY • Make sure that FAA is part of any noise forum or study group. The Agency is key to getting changes. To keep them involved there must be belief at the highest levels that it is a valuable exercise and has the potential to succeed. • Consider supplementing the efforts of a small noise staff with other key parts of the airport that work with the public. It is essential that they all have a similar public service orientation. Both the Noise staff and the Public and Community Relations staff at VNY saw themselves as being responsible for working with the public on noise issues and took pride in their efforts to be the personal face of the airport to the community. • Pursue voluntary compliance, which requires good communication between the airport and users, as the best short-term hope for noise abatement. Some noise concerns, including Stage 2 aircraft phase-out, helicopter operations, and extension/expansion of curfews (closing hours for flights and arrivals on weekends and holidays), have stakeholders who are proponents or opponents. The measures may not have federal support, and consequently may take a long time to address through voluntary action. Communication Techniques VNY Chose to Avoid in the future • Do not allow noise consultants to do their analysis and present it without early public involve- ment. That approach can conflict with building strong community relationships. Summary VNY was selected for a case study as the representative of large general aviation airports for these analyses. It has Part 150 Study and Part 161 Study in progress or undergoing federal review, but few expect recommendations to be approved without comment and change. The airport’s evolving communication approach can provide ideas for other general aviation airports facing similar public controversy and challenge. Further information and reference materials for VNY can be found among the best practices referenced in Chapter 4 and in the Bibliography (found in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport’s noise management website at www.lawa.org/vny/noise Main.cfm.

80 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Smaller General Aviation Airport—Ohio State University Airport (OSU) Noise Management. http://www.osuairport.org/NoiseManagement. Accessed 10/3/2007 (125) Ohio State University Airport (OSU) was selected for this case study because it is a small gen- eral aviation airport whose functions have changed over time, from primarily a training facility for the University to serving a broader general aviation base. The University was unprepared for public controversy arising from its preparation of an airport master plan and the associated development of a runway. The planned airfield improvements generated negative public reac- tion, particularly from one area of the community. The airport initiated a Part 150 study update and other measures to improve communications with the public regarding airport noise issues. Its experiences are particularly relevant to smaller airports that anticipate changes in their mis- sions, airfield improvements, or an increased volume of flights. The OSU serves an estimated 100,000 operations per year, including corporate activity, stu- dent training, and pleasure flying. The OSU Department of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Gas Turbine Laboratory, several facilities operated by the OSU College of Agriculture, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation, 14 corporate flight departments, and four flying clubs are based at the airport. The airport is the base to 230 aircraft, including single- and multi-engine piston, turboprop, and jet engine aircraft and helicopters. It is a designated general aviation reliever for Port Columbus International Airport. The airport was opened in 1943 as a flight training facility for military and civilian pilots, operated by the OSU School of Aviation. It now operates as a self-supporting entity of the uni- versity through the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation. The Department over- sees all aspects of the airport from airport management, to fixed base operations, to airport maintenance. The 500 acre airport is located 6 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio, in a mostly residential suburban area. Adjacent uses are primarily single family residential with a cluster of apartments and commercial to the southwest and suburban retail to the northwest. Worthington, the com- munity with the most organized concerns about the airport, is approximately two miles to the northeast of the airport. Brief History of Noise Abatement In 2004 OSU prepared a Master Plan and forecast of aviation activity to address airfield and airport development issues. The Master Plan analysis identified the north airfield as the location for corporate hangar development and determined that the northern runway should be extended to accommodate this development. The development would likely have shifted business jet oper- ations to the north runway, resulting in overflights of areas not previously so affected. The air- port initiated an Environmental Assessment. During the preparation of the Environmental Assessment, community opposition became vocal about the proposed development and probable aircraft overflights. In response, the air- port hired a noise/public outreach person and installed a flight monitoring system. The aircraft tracking system became fully operational in the fall of 2006. The airport also initiated an update to the 1990 Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008. Interview Results The interviewees for this case study were selected to include the primary people responsible for management and communication of the noise abatement program and representation of for- mal community advisory and other groups. Although OSU completed the on-line survey in the

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 81 summer of 2007, they were not selected for the original fall 2007 follow-up interviews. For the spring 2008 in-depth case study interviews, the following individuals were interviewed: • Airport Director, Ohio State University Airport. • External Relations Director, Ohio State University Airport. • Chair, OSU Airport Advisory Committee. • President, Northwest Civic Association. Key Issues. In determining the particular lessons that evolved from this case study, it is impor- tant to identify the factors that influence those lessons. First, the airport is rare in that it is privately owned by a university. Interviewees for this case study reported that before the airport completed its new Master Plan in 2004, there were few voiced concerns in the community about the airport. The airport had no assigned noise staff and the airport manager did all of the community outreach. As part of the early outreach, he invited concerned neighbors in areas immediately surrounding the airport to take part in the writing of the Master Plan based on the neighborhood’s position and feasible actions. More than half of the neighbors’ concerns were addressed, and the nearby neigh- borhoods and the airport have continued to work together ever since. When the airport began implementing the Master Plan actions new opposition arose, not from abutting neighborhoods that had participated in the planning process, but from another area approximately two miles away, which would potentially be under the flight path of aircraft using the extended runway. The opposition organized, hired an attorney and approached the City Council of Worthington, Ohio. That City also retained counsel. The airport committed to conduct a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. The airport designed the Part 150 Study committee to include not only other airports in the region and the FAA, but also pilots, councils of government, civic associations, and the opposition group. While the study progresses, the opposition remains organized. The airport estimates that the percentage of the community which is either strongly against or strongly for the airport is prob- ably no more than 10 percent each. One of the primary reasons cited for opposition is the chang- ing role of the airport from solely as a university based flight training airport to an evolving role of broader general aviation services, including operations by business jets. The OSU communications efforts will continue to evolve through the completion and approval of the Part 150 Study. Findings. The interviews allowed the exploration of the particular situation at OSU. The following techniques were drawn from the interviews to include a selection of the primary ideas about communications applicable to this airport. Through experimentations, the Airport iden- tified communications techniques that worked in their situation and techniques that were not successful. Communication Techniques That Worked for OSU • When considering strategies for dealing with the community on controversial issues, identify the widest possible group who might be impacted and how they might be involved or addressed. OSU Airport was confronted with unexpected opposition further from the airport than they expected. • Involve those groups at the very beginning of a planning process to get buy-in before positions have hardened. At that point, really listening, determining what is feasible to do, and recruit- ing the public to help put those parts of the plan together can build long-term relationships. This technique was effective for nearby neighborhoods. • Get professional help with communications even if the airport is small, if there are plans for any change in the configuration of the airport, or if there are any changes in land use within 5 or more miles of the airport under the primary flight paths. OSU Airport found the level of community reaction was very high and the controversy caught them off guard.

82 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations • For small airports, hire community/public relations staff for the noise program. Small airports need community/public relations staff more than they need technical people. The aviation side of noise can be learned, but it is hard to teach an aviation expert community relations. Communication Techniques OSU Chose to Avoid in the future • Don’t use airport staff as facilitators at controversial public meetings. • Don’t react defensively to unreasonable public accusations. Summary OSU was selected as a case study airport because it is representative of many small general avia- tion airports that have seen their missions evolve over time, or hope to grow in the future by grow- ing corporate aviation traffic. The introduction of new very light jets will introduce jet noise into many more airports that have not previously experienced such events. Communities will react to their introduction. The lessons learned at OSU Airport are applicable to any smaller airport that faces such growth challenges – either on the airport or by encroaching land uses. Further infor- mation and reference materials for OSU can be found among the best practices referenced in Chapter 4 and in the bibliography (located in the Toolkit), as well as on the airport’s noise man- agement website at www.osuairport.org/NoiseManagement/. Education Industry—Crisis in the College/University Relationship with the Community: A Case Study (14) Airports often face the same issues as other institutions and can learn from their mistakes. A 2006 paper entitled, “Crisis in the College/University Relationship with the Community: A Case Study” (14) by Kathie A. Leeper and Roy V. Leeper is an illustration of a university experience similar to what airports that develop master plans for expansion also may encounter in dealing with their neighbors. The paper’s abstract summarizes the findings: Crises can arise in relationships between colleges and universities and their surrounding communi- ties, especially when campuses need to grow. If these institutions have focused strictly on sending their mes- sages out rather than establishing two-way communication with important publics, they may suddenly find themselves embroiled in conflict and confronted with a crisis. Colleges and universities must rethink and restructure their communication and public relations functions to include two-way communication and community engagement as a means of avoiding certain crisis situations. (14, p. 129) The need for increased engagement between the airport and its stakeholders and neighbors is also the principal recommendation that this ACRP study has drawn after over 40 interviews with airports and their interest groups. Case Study Summary The case study, as reported in the 2006 paper, describes the dramatic events of June 1998 through May 1999, generally as reported in the Kansas City Star (The Star) newspaper. It began when the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) made unilateral public announce- ments regarding expansion into surrounding neighborhoods based on a master plan of which the public had no knowledge. The public reaction was furious and immediate and quickly became highly organized and highly visible. The case study describes how the situation unfolded, what the role of the media was, how the university changed and the public reacted, and compares it to a similar university master plan for expansion in an adjacent area with a very different process and result. In addition to the Leepers’ paper, the authors of this document were involved in UMKC’s eventual successful approach to reconciliation with the neighbor- hoods and add their perspective to this case study. UMKC is an urban university in Kansas City, Missouri, of 14,000 students primarily surrounded by residential development. Its locational

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 83 situation is not unlike many urban airports. A chronological summary of major events related to the case study follow. The authors of this ACRP document, when employed by the Kansas City, Missouri’s City Planning and Development Department, were involved in the “Afterwards” part of the process. They were requested by the University to help design and implement an effective two-way com- munications plan that would enable dialogue with the public and incorporate the importance of public engagement in decision making. Initially, a kick-off meeting was conducted in which community leaders and the university’s new chancellor had the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues at hand. This meeting was opened to the public as a successful attempt to clear the air after the initial expansion plans were dropped, and began to restore UMKC’s credibility with the community. At the meeting, groups were formed to discuss the best approach for the university to move forward and to establish a framework for dialogue between the parties (Table 5-1). Timing UMKC Administrative Action UMKC Staff Action University Neighbors and Public Reaction First two weeks (June 14-27, 1998) University administration announces action and insists on its right to act autonomously, is inflexible, denies full knowledge of Master plan in the face of proof and shows insensitivity to the impacts of expansion. Neighborhoods are furious and get organized Next six weeks (July 1 – August 12, 1998): Involvement of University systemwide leadership, self- justification but beginnings of call for dialogue Community reacts with skepticism first meeting with mediator Next six weeks (Through October, 1998): Faculty enacts “no confidence” vote for University Chancellor, based in part in their claim of no involvement in decision-making Next 3 months (Through January, 1999): University Chancellor announces retirement, still does not recognize the essential problem with the community and retires. Next 4 months (Through May, 1999): Interim Chancellor communicates, expansion plan is withdrawn Afterwards New Chancellor brings in the City of Kansas City planning staff to help craft a successful new approach to Neighborhoods work within the process to achieve mutually acceptable goals and development planning and working with neighborhoods Table 5-1. Dialogue framework.

84 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations With the feedback and ideas gathered from the kick-off meeting, the authors helped neigh- borhood and University leaders form a group of stakeholders that met monthly, which led to the development of UMKC’s “Partners Project For Planning – Master Plan”. This land use and cam- pus planning document was written to document the new and improved collaborative planning process between the University and its surrounding community. UMKC also added an Office of Community and Public Affairs in 2003, with the goal of focus- ing on communication between the University and surrounding neighborhoods. The Office launched a website recognizing the importance of two-way communication with the public and building engaged relationships with key stakeholders. The Leepers’ paper reviewed a contrasting illustration of how collaborative planning can reduce conflict by recounting nearby Rockhurst University’s successful master planning and expansion process. The boundaries of Rockhurst University are within one to three blocks of UMKC in a number of locations. In late 1999, Rockhurst announced the successful conclusion of a year-long series of negotiations that resulted in agreement with the neighbors to expand, and would include purchase and demolition of 25 houses – a project effort comparable to that desired by UMKC, but without the crisis in public relations and delays in progress. Key Issues. Several factors contributed to the size of and speed that the UMKC crisis arose and the difficulty encountered in resolving it. They include: • The University Administration’s assumption of absolute autonomy. It assumed because it had a legal right to pursue its master plan, that it could proceed in secrecy without consideration for impacts on surrounding areas. • The University’s failure to really listen to the community and insensitivity in speaking to the public. • The University’s failure to be transparent about the Master Plan even as information was trick- ling out to the public. When the press and the public asked for information, it was denied. • The failure of University leadership to be willing spokespersons who would meet with the pub- lic. This gave the impression to the public that the leadership was afraid to take responsibility for University decisions. Eventually, it was a higher level of University system governance that moved to soften the University stance. • The University’s seeming inability to develop a coordinated communications strategy for working with the media and the neighborhoods when it was clear that there was a crisis. • The University’s failure to understand how fast a community can be organized. As the Leep- ers’ paper said, “Failure to recognize the power of activist publics and the speed at which they can organize and develop may have led to UMKC’s initial dismissal of the neighborhood as a public to be consulted.” (6, p. 134) • The University’s assumption that because they provided services to the public, were open to the public, and provided an economic benefit to the area, the public will perceive them to be community oriented. The Leepers say that the UMKC example demonstrates that is no longer sufficient. Findings. The “Conclusions” in this case study identify those techniques that worked for UMKC and those that failed as they attempted to move their development program through a public involvement crisis of their own making. These are specifically lessons that can be applied to any public service organization, including airports, that have impacts upon surrounding areas in any way. Communication Techniques That Worked for UMKC • Establish an ongoing relationship. The Leepers write “. . . the importance of establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with the community surrounding a college or university is clear.”(14, p. 140) This also applies to airports.

Case Studies in Airport/Stakeholder Communication 85 • Maintain two-way communication. The Leepers quote K. Fearn-Banks in a 2002 book Crisis Communications (p. 3) as saying, “Companies with ongoing two-way communications often avoid crises or endure crises of shorter duration or of lesser magnitude”. (14, p. 140) • Build a relationship of trust based on an open and honest sharing of information. The Leep- ers quote D. Hale in a 2002 article entitled Public Relations in Higher Education: A retrospec- tive and forecast (pp. 5-6), “The success of our institutions is rooted in the relationships we build with our key publics. And those relationships are built on trust, on developing a mutu- ally beneficial relationship based on an honest and open sharing of information”. (14, p. 140) As demonstrated by UMKC, trust can be lost very quickly (2 weeks) and take a very long time to regain (2 years). • Monitor, communicate, and make decisions with key public. As the Leepers say, “The reali- ties are that unless organizations concern themselves with monitoring, communicating, and making decisions with key publics in the community, problems may result.” (14, p. 140) • Do not ignore or try to hide from the media. When there are major changes in operations or land use planned, do not just let the media discover it but develop a good proactive approach that considers the potential reaction of the community. • Assure that the perceived leadership of an organization, the one who has authority, takes a lead in meeting with the public on major issues. • Make sure that the public has a forum to speak and respond that is perceived as reasonable in terms of timing, access and location. Communication Techniques That UMKC Chose to Avoid in the Future • One-way communications do not work. According to the Leepers, “From a public relations perspective, an organization may no longer be able to function effectively when communica- tion is basically one way and a community relationship is not fostered.” (14, p. 131) • Do not let the public first find out about the institution’s major plans in the media or by a letter telling them what has already been decided. • Assign sensitive and public service oriented spokespersons. Conclusions The literature reviews and case studies illustrate a range of public communication approaches and what lessons airports and other industries have learned that are applicable to airport situa- tions. The overwhelming message from both the literature review and from the case studies is that two-way communication with neighboring communities is essential and has become a “best practice” across public service industries. The findings are: • Airport staffs as a whole are busy, confined by regulations, and focused on airport operations. They view dealing with the community affected by noise as a necessary nuisance, but often not important enough to warrant development of an ongoing relationship. • Other industries recognize that the insertion of public input into the early assessment of trans- portation or environmental needs and solutions is a key factor in decision making. • Other industries concluded that best practices require giving citizens, industry, environmen- tal groups, and academics much greater roles in environmental decision-making. Building trust with the community is fundamental to ensuring an effective working relationship. • Three primary factors that lead to airport success in changing crisis to resolution are: 1) use of a comprehensive working group process that involves the community, users, and the air- port in developing a solution; 2) willingness of the major users to invest time and resources in solutions and to be open to ideas; and 3) creative involvement of senior airport management and local elected officials who take ownership of the development and implementation of cre- ative solutions.

86 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations • Planning ahead and developing a good interactive relationship with the community before there is a crisis is critical. A public relations crisis can develop very quickly and be made much worse if management does not take an intelligent lead. These crises can be alleviated if there is a pre- existing atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation between the airport and its neighbors. • There are not always easy and fast solutions to solving noise issues. The themes among the literature reviews and case studies all are common and the lessons learned are similar. The following is a consolidated list of themes and lessons from the literature reviews and airport case studies. • Airport Culture: The comprehensive, interactive approach to public involvement requires a cultural change from the top down, especially as the aviation industry has no strong regulatory mandates to require interactive engagement. • Improve Relationships Before Crisis: Build a relationship before there is a crisis. Make com- munication mean constructive involvement and building trust. Approach people well in advance of change – do not present a plan or process as a completed effort. • Listening: Being a good listener is an essential part of two-way communications. Listen care- fully and understand what the community’s perceptions, suspicions, and emotional responses are and address them forthrightly. • Roundtables and Working Groups: A roundtable or working group gives public and com- munity representatives a place to express their issues and work out problems. Carefully select airport spokespersons and key negotiators for their ability to deal calmly with sensitive issues. Include representatives of any organized opposition. Give ownership of the process and responsibility for its results to all the group members. • Data: Provide the community with good, understandable, timely, and relevant data related to noise issues. Use data to build trust and reconcile expectations: be open and direct. Use credi- ble information. • Developing a program: Design a program that fits the airport’s situation. There is no simple public involvement process that meets the needs of every airport. One size does not fit all sit- uations. Design effective community meetings and make sure that the public has a forum to speak and respond that is perceived as reasonable in terms of timing, access and location. • Evaluation Techniques: Determine what impacts a person’s feeling about noise and what the best method of communication is to address the specific concerns about their issues.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 15: Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations explores ways to improve communications with the public about issues related to aircraft noise exposure. The report examines practices that characterize an effective communications program and provides basic information about noise and its abatement to assist in responding to public inquiries.

ACRP Report 15 also identifies tools designed to help initiate a new or upgrade an existing program of communication with public and private stakeholders about noise issues. An accompanying CD-ROM with the printed version of the report contains a toolkit with examples of material that has been successfully used to communicate information about noise, as well as numerous guidance documents about noise and communications. The CD-ROM is also available for download as an ISO image online.

Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image

(Warning: This is a large and may take some time to download using a high-speed connection. Any software included is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB”) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.)

An ACRP Impacts on Practice related to ACRP Report 15 is available online.

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