A series of recommendations developed by two citizen committees will help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) change the way it manages small aircraft operating at PDX. Implementation of these recommendations is expected to occur gradually throughout the fall and winter of 2006.
The first committee was formed in spring 2005 to evaluate preliminary options to reduce noise impacts primarily on North and Northeast Portland residents generated from regional cargo feeder aircraft and other planes weighing 12,500 pounds or less. The second committee was formed in spring 2006 to evaluate impacts on Vancouver neighborhoods near the airport from the same categories of aircraft.
Though the impacts over the two cities are somewhat different, the recommendations from the committees focused on shared principles for minimizing impacts: keep planes higher over residential areas, disperse planes rather than use narrow approach corridors, and manage evening flights to minimize impacts to residents near the airport.
Recommendations from the Portland committee have been shared with the FAA, which is working to develop those recommendations into procedures where possible. The FAA must analyze any proposed changes with priorities on safety and airspace capacity.
Recommendations from the Vancouver committee were shared with the public at an open house in September 2006 before going to the Portland International Airport Citizen Noise Advisory Committee (CNAC) and the Vancouver City Council in October. From there, the FAA will work to implement the Vancouver recommendations in the same manner as the Portland recommendations.
The Port will make formal recommendations to the Port Commission, the Portland City Council and City of Vancouver Council, at the conclusion of this process. Final implementation of new flight procedures by the FAA is expected to occur in summer 2007, depending on the outcome of analysis and community outreach.