Please remember that attempts to address aircraft noise over
the surrounding communities are not just one effort, initiative, or project by
itself. The PDK Airport’s overall noise program is made up of many initiatives
and projects just like the pieces of a puzzle. Listed below are some of the many
initiatives undertaken by the airport to address the important issue of aircraft
noise over the immediate, surrounding communities.
Preferential Use Runway Program
With four runways at the airport, PDK has implemented
a policy of operating on runways that create the least impact on residential
areas. These runways are utilized whenever weather conditions, safety and
operational efficiency allow. Pilots are requested to take off to the north
whenever possible to decrease the departure noise impacts on the communities
south, southeast, and southwest of the airport’s main runway.
Noise Abatement Flight Procedures -
PDK actively studies and promotes flight procedures that
allow aircraft to arrive or depart in the quietest manner. The Airport
Department attempted to put into place formal Departure Procedures (DP’s)
that directed as many southbound turbojet aircraft as possible over the
Buford Highway Corridor. However, certain members of the airport advocacy group,
PDKWatch, contacted the FAA contesting the fleet mix and forecast data
supplied by the Airport in the Environmental Assessment (EA) required for
the formal implementation of the DP’s. A suit was threatened. Consequently,
the request to implement these procedures was denied due to the apparent
lack of community support.
NBAA Noise Abatement Procedures
For arriving and departing turbine business aircraft,
the PDK Noise Information Office recommends utilizing the National Business
Aviation Association’s (NBAA) close-in arrival and departure procedures which
allow for the quietest operations possible.
Noise Abatement Arrival/Departure Profiles
Fixed Wing Aircraft
The PDK Noise Information Office has published procedures
that include depictions of noise sensitive areas around the airport and
suggested departure/arrival climb profiles that can be mailed or faxed free
Voluntary Night Curfew - All Aircraft
Pilots are encouraged not to fly between the hours of 11
p.m. and 6 a.m. Due to FAA Regulations, PDK cannot implement a mandatory
curfew at this time. While DeKalb County cannot enact a mandatory curfew,
the Airport has taken numerous steps to let the flying public know there
is a voluntary curfew period. Letters are sent to each aircraft operator
that flies in or out of the airport during the voluntary curfew period
notifying them of the curfew and requesting they avoid flying during this
period whenever possible. Many times, just notifying these operators has
made a big difference. The voluntary curfew is published on the Airport’s
website, and the curfew information is published in those written
publications routinely used by professional aviators. Only those operators
conducting verified medical operations are considered to be exempt. These
operations include, but may not be limited to: transfer of patients;
transfer of blood, medical supplies and medical tests; organ donor
Noise Monitoring Program
The PDK Noise Information Office operates a high tech
noise monitoring system to track noisy aircraft operations.
- The system allows airport staff to identify procedures and aircraft
types that are most disturbing to the community.
- The system allows airport staff to provide information on the types
of operations that occur over their houses.
- The system allows for the implementation of a computer-generated
“high noise event level threshold” that alerts airport staff to an
extremely noisy operation at any time of the day or night. Letters
are then sent to these operators notifying them of the existence of
this system and asking that, without compromising safety, the aircraft
review its operating practices and perhaps modify its procedures to
keep this from happening again.
Noise Abatement Hotline
PDK maintains a 24-hour hotline that residents may call
to notify the airport of a noisy aircraft operation. Additionally, residents
may also use the airport’s website to report a noisy aircraft operation over
the internet. Airport staff utilizes this information to further understand
such factors as time of day and locations of residential aircraft disturbances.
Hotline Number: (770) 936-5442
Off-Set Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Instrument Approach
With the support of the communities northeast of the
Airport and the FAA, the Airport was able to develop and have published
another instrument approach to the airport’s main runway, Runway 21L,
that “offsets” the ground-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) by
about 14 degrees. This means that in certain weather conditions, this
satellite-based approach can now be used, and the final approach path
is different by about 14 degrees from the ILS approach. This off-set
provides significant relief for those homeowners who live directly
underneath the ILS approach into the airport used during inclement
weather conditions. Instrument pilots are requested to use the Runway
procedure whenever possible if their aircraft is GPS equipped. This is
PDK's preferred instrument approach for noise abatement.
Charted Visual Flight Procedure (CVFP)
The airport and the FAA continue to investigate another
“off-set approach” into the airport that is different from the ILS and
GPS-based approaches discussed above. This CVFP uses the Peachtree
Industrial Boulevard (PIB) – CSX – MARTA corridor under visual flight
rules conditions. The reverse of this procedure route structure is
already being used in the Preferential Use Runway
Program explained above.
Touch and Go Operations
All pilots and flight schools are encouraged to
practice touch-and-go operations at outlying fields whenever possible.
Engine runups for maintenance are discouraged from
10PM to 7AM daily. An engine maintenance runup area has been designated
in the center of the airfield. Additionally, the area is marked with a
direction arrow indicating which way the jet exhaust should be pointed
to minimize noise disturbances to the nearby communities.
For noise abatement purposes, intersection takeoffs
are not recommended. Intersection takeoffs are used to expedite traffic.
However, because a shorter section of the runway is used, more engine
power might have to be used than if the entire runway length was used
in the takeoff.
Use of Reverse Thrust
Pilots of turbojet aircraft are particularly requested
to limit the use of reverse thrust at other than idle power and limit the
use of reverse thrust to perform early runway turnoffs onto a taxiway.
Reverse thrust noise can be a particular problem during bad weather
conditions when the sound travels more easily along the ground away from
Prior Permission Required - Military Aircraft
The PPR system is used by Airport Staff just to ensure
it knows when a military aircraft might be using the airport. Obviously,
military aircraft, specifically jets, coming into or out of the airport on
a training or repositioning flight might be noisier than civilian aircraft.
It helps if the Airport Staff knows about this operation beforehand to
notify the local populace if necessary.
(Prior Permission Required)
Helicopter “Close-In” Training Patterns
Helicopter training pattern boxes have been developed in
coordination with the local helicopter flight training schools and the FAA
PDK Air Traffic Control Tower. These “close-in” training boxes maximize
training opportunities for helicopters while respecting the nearby
communities and staying clearing of the many fixed-wing patterns around
Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS)
The ATIS is the continuous broadcast of recorded
non-control information in high activity terminal areas like the PDK
Airport. During the periods when the Air Traffic Control Tower is not
operating, the ATIS finishes each broadcast with the admonishment to
“please follow all noise abatement procedures”.
High-Impact “Surge Events”
Atlanta hosts major sporting events, exhibits,
conventions and meetings on a routine basis. Many of these events
bring in an extraordinary number of general aviation aircraft into
the PDK Airport due to its central location. Airport staff works
through its Airport Advisory Board and other mediums to notify the
local communities that such an event is coming that may generate a
greater number of aircraft operations into and out of the airport
over a short period of time, most notably over a weekend, and
possibly at night.
Prior Authorization Required-Civilian Aircraft
Weighing More Than 75,000 Pounds
DeKalb County Code (Sec 6-93) states aircraft with
a gross certificated takeoff weight of more than 75,000 pounds are
required to contact airport administration for prior authorization
before landing at the airport. This is FAA-certificated weight, not
operational weight. Prior authorization is received by simply calling
airport administration (770-936-5440) during normal weekday work hours
or using the link below. Please provide your: N-number (registration
number); type of aircraft; date & time of arrival (ETA); date & time of
departure (ETD); and, a point of contact with company name and telephone
number. You will not receive a prior authorization number; you will
merely be documented in a logbook that your request was received and
granted. Multiple operations over multiple days require separate
(Request Prior Authorization)
Annual reports contain a summary of the information
found in each monthly report. These reports are also given to the Airport
Advisory Board in January of each year and are posted the day of the
meeting or as soon as possible following the meeting.