Sunday, December 10, 2000

Airport to seek $3 ticket tax

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HEBRON — Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport officials plan to ask federal regulators for permission to add an extra $3 onto ticket prices to help pay for a recently approved noise reduction plan.

        Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the airport's latest Part 150 study — a voluntary program aimed at controlling aircraft noise around the airport.

        That program would entail about $15 million worth of sound insulation or land buyouts for homes and businesses around the airport, according to airport deputy aviation director Dale Huber.

        Now that the study has been approved, airport offi cials can apply to the FAA and airlines for a new facilities fee to fund the program, raising about $22 million by adding about $3 per ticket.

        The fee would be added immediately after approval is granted, although the airport may still start the Part 150 study before that.

        “We might have some seed money, a couple of mil lion dollars,” Mr. Huber said Saturday. “But we'll need the facilities fee to fund the whole thing.”

        The new noise study covered the existing three runways while outlining what to do about a proposed fourth runway that would run north-south.

        It also covered not only procedures to control noise on the ground, which could cost as much as $15 million, but also aircraft takeoff and landing procedures.

        The FAA approved all of the study except two parts.

        The airport proposed a western staggered takeoff departure route along the Ohio for the new runway, but the FAA said the procedure needed further environmen tal study.

        And the airport asked that 256 homes and 25 undeveloped lots west of the airport be eligible for sound insulation. But the FAA ruled that only homes in the Dartmouth Woods built before Oct. 1, 1998 were eligible, and that only homes in the other two subdivisions (Deerfield and Orchard Estates) built before the FAA approval on Dec. 5 would be eligible.


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