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Noise Abatement

Aircraft flying over noise monitor

Westchester County Airport, as part of its effort to reduce the noise levels created by aircraft operations, voluntarily maintains a noise abatement program at the airport. 

Under the auspices of the airport Environmental Department and the Environmental Management System, the noise abatement office carefully monitors and reports the airport’s impacts on aircraft noise levels and compliance with Westchester County’s voluntary noise abatement programs.

An Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System (ANOMS) is used to collect noise data from 22 remote noise monitoring terminals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The aircraft and community noise levels are reported and published in the Airport Monitor.

You may download the current issue of the Airport Monitor to read and print.

In 2002, the County initiated the Westchester County Airport Aircraft Noise Study to identify existing and likely future noise impacts resulting from aircraft operations at the airport.

Noise Abatement Programs
The airport was one of the first airports in the country to establish a noise abatement office as well as to install a computerized noise monitoring system with remote noise monitoring terminals to record and monitor aircraft and community noise levels. Today, the airport has six major noise abatement programs which are in effect daily.  These programs are as follows: Voluntary Restraint from Flying (VRFF), High Range Noise Event (HRNE), Intersection Takeoff prohibition, Maintenance Runups restriction, Use of Reverse Thrust limitation, and Advanced Authorization to operate. All of these programs were designed to reduce the noise levels created by aircraft operations and are closely monitored by the noise abatement office.

Voluntary Restraint From Flying (VRFF) Program
A Voluntary Restraint From Flying (VRFF) Program (commonly referred to as the “voluntary curfew”) has been adopted requesting that all operators refrain from flying between the hours of midnight and 6:30 a.m. daily.   This policy was adopted in order to keep the noise down during these sensitive hours and also to be a good neighbor. The noise abatement office keeps track of all operations that take place during the program hours; subsequently, we contact each operator who flies during the VRFF to remind them about the program and to notify them of any noise complaints they may have caused as a result of their operations.

Operators please note: this is not a mandatory curfew, but a voluntary program. We encourage all operators to cooperate and appreciate your best efforts to participate and comply with this program.

High Range Noise Event (HRNE) Program
A High Range Noise Event (HRNE) Program is in place to reduce the noise impacts on the communities surrounding the airport. Our ANOMS allows staff to identify any operator who causes a maximum noise level (MNL) noise event of 90.0 decibels (dBA) or higher at any of our remote noise monitor terminals (RMTs).  Please note: due to the proximity of RMT’s 2R and 17 near the airport’s perimeter, these monitors are not part of the HRNE program. All operators who cause HRNE’s will be contacted by the Environmental Department and notified in an effort to reduce noise levels. Operators please note: there are no fines, penalties or aircraft restrictions associated with this program; however, we seek your cooperation and best efforts to use quiet flying techniques when operating.

It is the responsibility of the airport Environmental Department to monitor compliance with all of the airport’s voluntary noise abatement programs, to respond to citizen and governmental noise concerns and issues, and to research new noise abatement initiatives in an effort to reduce the impacts of aircraft noise on surrounding communities and residents. We thank all aircraft operators in advance for their assistance and cooperation in these efforts.

Aircraft operators
Special noise abatement programs have been specifically developed for helicopters, light general aviation (12,500 lbs. and less) and large aircraft (greater than 12,500 lbs.) to further reduce noise levels in the vicinity of the airport. We ask that all operators participate to their fullest. As always, safety is paramount. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

We at Westchester County Airport ask that you keep the curfew in mind when making travel plans. When you fly into Westchester County Airport, you’re not just entering an airport, you’re entering a neighborhood.

Our Neighbors
Westchester County and the airport truly understand the aircraft noise concerns of its neighbors and communities and work in a collaborative effort with aircraft operators and citizens alike to minimize aircraft noise impacts. The County is committed to implementing programs and procedures that will help reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the surrounding communities.

The airport Environmental Department is dedicated to working with and educating the general public on noise issues, flight paths and noise monitoring terminals, and working proactively with aircraft operators to promote noise abatement awareness by means of pilot informational handouts, publications, airfield signage, educational videos and motivational awards.

Map showing 50 mile radius around county airport. Click to open larger view.The Region
The New York metropolitan region has some of the most congested airspace in the world. Within a 50 mile radius of the Westchester County Airport there are 19 other airports. These airports range in size from single runway general aviation facilities to major international airports. Including Westchester County Airport, these airports have an average of 7000 operations per day.  The area is also traversed by aircraft that are simply passing through. (Map image credit: gcmap.com)

As a result of having so many airports and air traffic in such a small area, the flow of this traffic must be carefully coordinated to avoid conflicts. As such any changes to traffic patterns are the responsibility of the FAA and not the individual airports.

Register a noise complaint
The Environmental Department operates a hot line that citizens can call to register noise complaints at (914) 939-8484. Citizens should be prepared to provide the following information when lodging a noise complaint:

 

  • Caller’s name and address (please spell out)

  • Nearest cross street

  • City/town, state and zip code

  • Describe the noise event by date and time of the event, type of aircraft involved and description or color (e.g. commercial jet or single-engine propeller) and its direction relative to your location

  • Include any other descriptive adjectives that may be helpful to have (e.g. low, loud, vibration, or frequent traffic)

  • State if you would like a follow-up call and if so, remember to leave a phone number where you wish to be reached. Allow 10 business days for a return response

  • State if you would like a copy of your complaint with the airport’s findings. Allow 10 business days for a return response

 

 Complaints may also be submitted through our online form or faxed to (914) 995-3980.