DeKalb Peachtree Airport Noise Program Components
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. Moving to a neighborhood near PDK?
1) NOISE ABATEMENT
Preferential Use Runway Program
With three 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 - Turbojet Aircraft
PDK staff actively study and promote 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 that 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 of charge.
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 who flies in or out of the airport during the voluntary curfew period, notifying operators 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 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 transplants, etc.
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 neighboring 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.
Please be sure to include your address and the time of the operation. (If you would not like your last name or address published in the Monthly Noise Report, please advise in your phone call or email.)
Hotline Number: (770) 936-5442
Hotline Email: email@example.com
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 publish 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 21L GPS/RNAV approach procedure whenever possible if their aircraft is GPS equipped. This is PDK's preferred instrument approach for noise abatement.
Touch and Go Operations
All pilots and flight schools are encouraged to practice touch-and-go operations at outlying fields whenever possible. Additionally, touch-and-go operations are strongly discouraged between 10pm to 7am daily as well as between 11am-12pm on Sundays ( in consideration of services at a church on the southern border of the airport).
Click here for a guide to PDK's traffic pattern and touch-and-go operations written by a local chief flight instructor. This document is designed for those who are not familiar with the aviation industry.
Maintenance runups are prohibited from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Maintenance Runups shall only be performed in the designated run-up areas of the airport - runup pad on Taxiway J (preferred) or East Ops Area with thrust directed in-line with parallel runways.
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 in particular are asked to limit the use of reverse thrust at other than idle power, and to 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 the aircraft.
Prior Permission Required - Military Aircraft
The PPR system is used by airport staff members to ensure they know 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 so they can 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 the airport.
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 of any events that may generate a greater number of aircraft operations into and out of the airport over a short period of time, especially if over a weekend or at night.
Prior Authorization Required for 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 [DD1] 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 and time of arrival (ETA); date and time of departure (ETD) and a point of contact including 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 authorizations.(Request Prior Authorization)
2) NOISE REPORTS
Formal, written reports are presented to the Airport Advisory Board (AAB) at the AAB’s regularly scheduled monthly meetings. These reports are posted to the airport’s website the day of the meeting or as soon as possible following the meeting. Below you will find a direct link to the past monthly reports as given to the AAB.
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.
Click here for the 2018 Annual Noise Report
Click here for the 2017 Annual Noise Report
Click here for the 2016 Annual Noise Report
Click here for the 2015 Annual Noise Report
Click here for the 2014 Annual Noise Report
3) USEFUL LINKS