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Dec 19

FAA Provides Direction on Airport Public Process; County to Assess Cost, Timing

Posted on December 19, 2023 at 4:55 PM by Nancy McCormick

Recent direction from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding concerns about noise from Dulles Airport calls for a community roundtable that includes all impacted communities and would consider any recommended changes to airport operations.  

The direction prompted the Board of Supervisors’ Transportation and Land Use Committee (TLUC) to suspend work on the Airport Noise Work Group that was set to begin meeting in January until the county staff can assess the FAA direction. County staff plans to return to TLUC in the second quarter of 2024 with more information and a recommendation. 

According to Vianair, a consultant hired by the county to analyze airport noise west Dulles International Airport’s only existing east-west runway, the proposed roundtable would serve as conduit for the FAA to receive recommendations. A community roundtable was set up around Reagan National Airport and some flight patterns were changed as a result. 

The county has been working to assemble an Airport Noise Work Group consisting of representatives of the communities west of the east-west runway that is intended to develop recommendations for FAA consideration. The work group would make recommendations to the community roundtable, which would pass the recommendations along to the FAA. 

Such a roundtable may include representatives from jurisdictions with communities impacted by aircraft lower than 3,000 feet flying to or from Dulles Airport. County staff will begin analyzing the community roundtable process, the time it would take and costs before returning to TLUC with a recommendation. 

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