Aviation Noise Experts Confirm Lower Noise Levels and No Significant Change in Flight Paths of Aircraft Using Westchester County Airport
White Plains, NY – January 14 2020. In mid-2019, Westchester County retained HMMH, a leading environmental and transportation consulting firm that specializes in noise analysis for airports, to conduct an updated analysis of flight paths and noise levels caused by aircraft arriving and departing from Westchester County Airport. The consultant reviewed noise data for 2013, 2015 and 2018 and the same firm was previously retained by the County to analyze noise levels for 1988, 1999, and 2005. HMMH presented its findings to the County and Airport Advisory Board in October of this year.
The consultant’s findings show a dramatic and sustained reduction of aircraft noise levels in all directions around the airport for the 2010s relative to the decades past. The consultant attributed these significant reductions in noise levels to the quieter engines of modern jets compared to the older and louder jets of past decades and the lower number of average daily aircraft operations at the airport – from 609 in 1999, 531 in 2005, 469 in 2013 and down again to 428 in 2018.
The study also revealed there has been no significant difference in flight paths of landing and departing aircraft. These results are consistent with research conducted by others that looked at radar data going back as far back as 2005. This confirms longstanding statements by aviation experts that the broad traffic patterns of arriving and departing aircraft have remained essentially the same for decades. These findings are backed by detailed radar data showing the exact type, position and altitude of aircraft arriving and departing the airport. The data validates the significant, measurable and sustained positive impact the aviation community's efforts have achieved in reducing noise levels and clearly shows the airport is quieter now than it has been in decades.
“There has been a lot of inaccurate information lately about the noise levels from aircraft using Westchester County Airport and the flight paths they use when landing or departing from the airport,” said Westchester Aviation Association Vice Chairman John Wellington. “We felt the broader public, who overwhelming supports the airport, should know that the airport is doing better than ever to be a respectful and quiet neighbor to its surrounding residents,” continued Mr. Wellington.
HMMH's work for Westchester County is continuing in 2020. The firm is exploring a number of issues including the concentration of flight paths over parts of the County away from the airport. To the extent that it does not impact operational safety, the Westchester Aviation Association supports efforts that could diversify longstanding traffic patterns into and out of the airport
About The Westchester Aviation Association
The Westchester Aviation Association (WAA) is the voice of general aviation at Westchester County Airport (HPN) – a not-for-profit organization, which promotes aviation education and understanding on the part of government authorities and the public. Its members include a growing number of individuals and businesses, who value the presence of good air transportation facilities in Westchester County. WAA represents individuals, businesses and corporations from all over the United States but primarily from the Northeast. The goals of the organization are to:
- · Promote the value and benefit of HPN to the general public, government officials and the media.
- · Promote harmony, coordination and cooperation within the local aviation community.
- · Promote safe, secure and environmentally friendly operating practices.
- · Promote enhancement of aviation facilities at HPN that improve safety, utility and efficiency.
Photo Caption 1: The noise footprint of aircraft arriving and departing from Westchester County Airport has contracted significantly over the last several decades. Experts cite lower traffic numbers at the airport and improvements in noise reduction technologies on aircraft as the primary drivers for the significant reduction of noise levels.
Photo Caption 2: Aircraft operations for flights arriving and departing from Westchester County Airport have steadily declined over the past two decades.