Thursday, April 24, 2003

Airport noise complaints up as tests continue

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HEBRON - The continuing tests of late-night flight patterns at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport spurred 16 complaint calls about noise in March, airport officials said Wednesday.

Overall, there were 82 calls last month, a jump from 49 in March 2002.

"We had a lot of winds in March, which might be a factor, or it might be the test itself," said Barb Schempf, the airport's manager for governmental and technical affairs. "But we're waiting to see the results of our own noise monitoring to see just which had more impact."

Schempf said, "We're going to continue to get as much public feedback on what the impact of these tests has been to make sure we minimize them."

Airport and local air traffic officials met with government officials Wednesday about the test, requested early this year by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA has been running the tests for the last three months. It started another 60-day test Tuesday and plans at least one more this year.

The test enables controllers to use standard approach patterns, primarily taking off to the south (or north if weather requires) until 11 p.m., rather than the previously set 10 p.m. curfew.

The airport has seen a 91 percent increase in traffic from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. the past four years.


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