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26 Deciding on whether to invest resources in a NOMS or in other methods to address airport noise issues is challenging. Numerous questions and factors are related to airport objectives within the context of handling airport noise. This chapter describes frameworks, checklists, and diagrams that can assist airport management in assessing the state of noise issue handling at the airport and develop strategies to meet its objectives. The tools described in this section can be used as guides to airport noise-related strategic decision-making. Those planning to use these tools should customize and expand their content to fully suit the airportâs specific situation. The following subsections include â¢ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis; â¢ Need, Purpose, and Requirements Checklist; â¢ Decision-Making Process; and â¢ Funding Options. 6.1 SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis is a framework for making planned, informed, and strategic decisions, based on a specific context and objectives, which may be applied during the preliminary stages of a decision-making process. The origin of SWOT analysis remains obscure; however, research shows that Albert Humphrey developed SWOT analysis while working at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, during the 1960s and 1970s (Sarsby 2016). There are hundreds of resources and guides on how to conduct a SWOT analysis. This Primer simply describes the general components of a SWOT analysis and how they could be applied to a NOMS procurement decision. This description is based on responses to the Airport Questionnaire for this research project and research team experience. An actual SWOT analysis would involve a team composed of airport staff and management and would preferably be led by a project manager. For airport noise management and the process of deciding whether to procure a NOMS or pursue other means to address airport noise issues, a SWOT analysis would provide a framework for understanding the airportâs noise environment, factors associated with existing noise issues, airport resources used to address noise, and the need for information on aircraft noise and operations. Note that within an airport organization, the objectives of different parts of the organization may conflict. For example, airport planning, business development, and marketing objectives generally involve increasing the number of aircraft operations. In contrast, noise management objectives involve decreasing aircraft noise, which could be accomplished by reducing the number of aircraft operations. The first step of a SWOT analysis is to develop a clear purpose statement that will help identify the factors to consider later in the decision-making process. Airport staff may develop multiple C H A P T E R 6 NOMS Strategic Decision Framework
NOMS Strategic Decision Framework 27Â Â purpose statements related to airport noise that might include developing noise abatement procedures, improving relationships with external stakeholders, or providing staff training. An example of a simple purpose statement is âTo review the airportâs noise environment and consider the procurement of a NOMS.â The second step is to gather information about the input factors that should be considered in the SWOT analysis. TableÂ 6-1 shows the quadrants, rows, and columns that include the input factors to collect and analyze. A description of the types of factors follows: â¢ Internal FactorsâFactors over which airport noise management has control. â¢ External FactorsâFactors over which airport noise management has little or no control. â¢ Positive Impact FactorsâFactors that help airport noise management meet its objectives. â¢ Negative Impact FactorsâFactors that delay or prevent airport noise management from meeting its objectives. Internal factors that have either a positive or a negative impact are further described in the following: â¢ Strengths are internal factors that have a positive impact relative to airport noise management objectives. Strengths support an opportunity or neutralize a threat. Strengths may include â Staff with skills in technology and public relations; â A good relationship and strong lines of communication with airport tenants, airlines, flight schools, fixed-base operators, and so forth; and â Established noise abatement procedures. â¢ Weaknesses are internal factors that have a negative impact relative to airport noise manage- ment objectives. Weaknesses do not support taking advantage of an opportunity and are susceptible to threats. Weaknesses may include â The inability to allocate staff to new noise abatement duties; â Staff who lack skills in technology or public relations; and â Difficulty accessing information about airport operations, which leads to delayed aircraft noise complaint response. External factors that have either a positive or a negative impact are further described in the following: â¢ Opportunities are external factors that have a positive impact relative to airport noise manage- ment objectives. Opportunities may include â Airport growth that warrants airport expansion, environmental review, or a PartÂ 150 study (although airport growth can be viewed as being within the airportâs control, it is generally out of noise management control); Positive Impact Factors Negative Impact Factors Internal Factors Strengths Weaknesses External Factors Opportunities Threats Table 6-1. SWOT quadrants.
28 Primer and Framework for Considering an Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System â Airport noise exposure (DNL 65) reaching residential areas; and â Airport planning or accounting needing an aircraft operation counting tool. â¢ Threats are external factors that have a negative impact on airport noise management objec- tives. Threats may include â New flight school plans to increase training flights by 200%, â New residential development to be built underneath existing flight paths, and â New city council members putting political pressure on the airport to reduce its noise impacts. Once the input factors are identified, the third step is to restructure the quadrants shown in TableÂ 6-1 into a TOWS analysis (âSWOTâ backward), which is used to guide the decision- makers toward the development of actionable strategies. TableÂ 6-2 shows the rearranged quadrants and describes the generalized strategies. The fourth step is to develop and test the strategies to ensure that they are aligned with the purpose statement. Based on some of the example input factors previously mentioned, the following strategies might be developed: â¢ Opportunities 3 StrengthsâCoordinate airport planning efforts to find an operations counting tool (Opportunity) with noise management efforts to track the performance of the estab- lished noise abatement procedures (Strength). â¢ Opportunities 3 WeaknessesâAn upcoming airport expansion project requires an Envi- ronmental Assessment (Opportunity). Include a NOMS as a noise mitigation project to be eligible for AIP funding and improve lack of funding (Weakness). â¢ Strengths 3 ThreatsâHave staff with skills in public relations (Strength) develop a relation- ship with new city council members (Threat) and establish a reporting program to track noise abatement performance. â¢ Threats 3 WeaknessesâThe airport expects an increase in noise complaints from residents in new residential development that will be built underneath existing flight paths (Threat). This will require an increase in noise complaint response and information gathering, which is currently a lengthy process (Weakness). Explore ways to speed up complaint response and information gathering. Once the strategies are finalized, airport management evaluates whether a NOMS should be a part of implementing the strategies or not. In some cases, the airport noise problems are significant enough to warrant procuring a technological tool such as a NOMS or a flight tracking system to assist in handling noise complaints and aircraft operations investigation. In other cases, the airport noise problems are not significant enough to warrant procuring a NOMS or flight tracking system. In either case, a SWOT analysis will help in the identification and analysis of factors involved in a specific airport noise environment, which can serve as a decision-making framework for the strategic discussions of airport management. Opportunities Threats Strengths Strategies that take advantage of the Opportunity by utilizing the Strengths Strategies that use Strengths to minimize the Threat or convert it to an Opportunity Weaknesses Strategies that utilize Opportunity to improve the Weaknesses Strategies that minimize Weaknesses and avoid Threats Table 6-2. TOWS quadrants.
NOMS Strategic Decision Framework 29Â Â The last step of the SWOT analysis is to deploy the strategies. There are various ways to deploy strategies, but the primary themes for deployment include â¢ Gaining stakeholder approval or buy-in, â¢ Planning and assigning roles, â¢ Implementing and communicating progress, and â¢ Measuring performance. 6.2 Needs, Purpose, and Requirements Checklist Airports should not install a NOMS because of pressure to install one or because other airports have one. An airport considering the installation of a NOMS should decide why it wants a NOMS, how it will use a NOMS, and what its noise management program would be. To inform this decision, the airport should talk to airports that have a NOMS. Once an airport has all this information in hand, it should develop its requirements for the system. Every system and airport is different, so an airport needs to determine what NOMS features it would expect to use. Blindly rushing into acquiring a NOMS system will likely result in higher upfront installation costs and potentially higher operating and maintenance costs in the future. It is important for an airport to prioritize what it will want out of a NOMS before entering into the selection and procurement process. With no prior knowledge of the features, cost, and labor requirements of a NOMS, an airport might install a system unaware of the complexities involved. The checklist in Table 6-3 does not represent all the needs and requirements asso- ciated with a NOMS, but it can be used as a starting point for the decision-making process and in development of an airportâs RFP for a NOMS. An airport considering the installation and operation of a NOMS should review the infor- mation in TableÂ 6-3 and respond to the listed questions. In the context of problem-solving or decision-making, a âneedâ describes the problem(s) that a proposed decision is intended to solve; the âpurposeâ of a proposed decision is to address the issues that cause the problem(s). Generally, for an airport considering installation of a NOMS, many of the problems listed under âNeedsâ in TableÂ 6-3 originate from the lack of readily available information about aircraft noise and operations that airport staff needs to respond to inquiries and complaints from external stakeholders (e.g., the public, elected officials, pilots, and airlines) and internal stakeholders (e.g., airport management and other airport staff/departments). The objectives listed under âPurposeâ in TableÂ 6-3 describe desired changes in handling of airport noise issues. The âRequirementsâ section of the checklist lists some key questions that can help identify major NOMS requirements. Note that if an airport answers the questions in the âNeedsâ section in ways that indicate that there are no problems to solve relative to noise handling, then a review of the remaining sections of TableÂ 6-3 is not necessary. 6.3 Decision-Making Process To assist with the decision-making process, FigureÂ 6-1 presents selected questions from the Needs and Purpose sections of TableÂ 6-3 in a flowchart where the questions lead to one of two responses: that the airport should consider the procurement of a NOMS, or that the airport does not likely need a NOMS. 6.4 Funding Options The funding options for a NOMS are summarized in Section 5.1 and Appendix A: Literature Review. An airport considering the installation of a NOMS should review the funding flowchart shown in FigureÂ 6-2.
30 Primer and Framework for Considering an Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System 20 a. Have unique requirements in developing the system, i.e., noise abatement procedures/paths, flight tracking only, ground noise issues, validation of the 65 DNL, etc.? b. If so, has the airport prepared a comprehensive list of requirements? 21 Have available federal and/or local funding for the system? 22 Secure and use airport funds? 23 Want a flight tracking system only (no microphones) or a full NOMS? 24 Require additional monitoring equipment (radios, cameras)? 25 Prefer a hosted system where the data remains off-site or prefer that all data remain on-site? Item No. NOMS Considerations Response Needs Does your airport: 1 Handle noise inquiries or complaints from internal or external stakeholders? 2 Provide staff with sufficient information to appropriately respond to noise issues/concerns from internal and external stakeholders? 3 Have special reasons for acquiring a NOMS, i.e., Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) ROD, Part 150, public pressure, etc.? 4 Expect a future increase in aircraft operations or change in flight paths that could potentially result in an increase in noise complaints? 5 Expect a future residential land use development that could potentially result in an increase in noise complaints? 6 Have legal requirements or agreements to monitor aircraft noise and/or operational levels? Purpose Are the airportâs objectives to: 7 Improve its noise inquiry or complaint handling process? 8 Optimize staff time spent handling aircraft noise issues? 9 Mitigate aircraft noise? 10 Provide staff with access to readily available aircraft noise and/or operations information? 11 Address legal requirements, agreements, or obligations relative to aircraft noise and/or operational levels? 12 Monitor aircraft operational counts (i.e., runway/taxiway use, Remain Over Night use, etc.)? 13 Monitor noise abatement procedure performance? 14 Develop a strong public outreach program that fosters an airport-community partnership? 15 Engage the public in discussions relative to aircraft noise and operations? 16 Manage community expectations through education and sharing factual aircraft information? Requirements Will the airport: 17 Develop an RFP in house that is clear and concise and defines exactly what theairport wants in a NOMS? 18 Hire a consultant to help with the RFP, system design, and the procurement process? 19 Ensure that its system design and technical specifications are not generic and fit the airportâs wants and needs? Table 6-3. Airport NOMS considerationsâneeds, purpose, and requirements checklist.
NOMS Strategic Decision Framework 31Â Â Item No. NOMS Considerations Response 26 Require permanent, portable, and/or virtual noise monitoring terminals? 27 Have locations for NMT site selection in mind? 28 Require an integrated complaint database? 29 Want the ability to import and export GIS data? 30 Want certain types of reports (complaint statistics, operational statistics)? 31 Want other airport departments (accounting, gate management, etc.) to have access to the system data? 32 The staff to operate a system or will new staff be hired? 33 Plan on providing special training to staff (e.g., acoustics, public relations/communications, noise modeling, GIS)? 34 Use an existing manual of policies and procedures specific to handling noise issues such as complaint response or would a new manual have to be developed? 35 Prefer to outsource certain operations of the system (routine data validation and reporting)? 36 Want the public to have online access to the data for self-investigation of noise complaints? 37 Provide in-house or outsourced staff to maintain the system hardware? 38 Require UAM/UAV monitoring now or in the future? Table 6-3. (Continued).
Does the airport have legal requirements to monitor aircraft noise and operational levels? Does the airport handle inquiries about aircraft noise and operations? Does the airport have special reasons for acquiring a NOMS? Does the airport expect a change in aircraft operations, flight paths, or residential land use that may result in a significant increase in noise complaints? The airport does not likely need a NOMS. Consider procurement of a NOMS. Does the airport staff have sufficient and readily available information to appropriately respond to airport noise issues/ concerns from internal and external stakeholders? Consider procurement of a NOMS. Consider procurement of a NOMS. Are the airportâs objectives to achieve any of the objectives listed in the Purpose section of Table 6-3? Consider procurement of a NOMS. The airport does not likely need a NOMS. NO YES YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO YES NO Figure 6-1. Decision-making owchart.
NOMS Strategic Decision Framework 33Â Â Is the entity an airport? Is the entity a local jurisdiction? Is the entity a facility used for medical (hospital) or educational (school) purposes? Is the NOMS included in an FAA-approved Part 150 Study or in an environmental Record of Decision? NOMS is not eligible for funding. NOMS is eligible for AIP funding for federal share and PFC funding for local share. Other state/local funding options may be available. Was a NOMS included in a land use compatibility plan before September 30, 2018? NOMS is eligible for AIP funding. Does the airport have an approved set of noise exposure contour maps? NOMS is not eligible for AIP funding. (Check with local ADO regarding change to sunset date.) Has the NOMS been requested but there is no FAA-approved Part 150 Study or an environmental Record of Decision? NOMS is not eligible for funding. NOMS is not eligible for funding. NOMS is eligible for AIP funding. NOMS is eligible for AIP funding. YES NO NO NO NO NO NO NO YES YES YES YES YES YES Figure 6-2. Airport NOMS funding owchart.