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woose.org: Media - New System to Monitor Aircraft (news release)
New System to Monitor Aircraft (news release)
The Ohio State University, Department of Aviation, November 21, 2006


News Release
For immediate release: November 21, 2006
Contact: Cathy Ferrari, 614-292-5823
For Immediate Release

New System to Monitor Aircraft

COLUMBUS, OH (November 21, 2006) ¯ The Ohio State University Airport has installed a new aircraft noise and operations management system to provide better communication between the airport and its surrounding communities.

The AirScene flight tracking system uses state-of-the-art software which allows airport staff to watch flight tracks and to calculate an aircraft¯s altitude over specific locations. The system will also maintain the complaints and inquiries filed by neighbors, allowing airport staff to gain a firm understanding of the causes and concerns expressed by individual homeowners.

¯AirScene will help us analyze noise complaints and take the appropriate steps to improve communication with our neighbors,¯ says Airport Director Doug Hammon. ¯Community concerns will be handled in a more effective manner, based on the additional information available through AirScene. We¯ll be able to say ¯here¯s what happened¯, instead of ¯here¯s what we think happened¯.¯

Hammon said the AirScene system, produced by Rannoch Corporation in Alexandria, VA, was chosen after reviewing several similar systems and talking to airport managers across the country. The system will track flights within a 50-mile radius of The Ohio State University Airport.

¯Port Columbus has a noise and flight track monitoring system. I believe that the AirScene system will provide the OSU Airport with important feedback,¯ said Bernard Meleski, director of planning and development for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. ¯With this type of system in place, there will be better information available to the OSU Airport for responding to the community¯s concerns.¯

Inquiries from the public will be treated confidentially, Hammon said. Residents can contact the airport either by calling 292-9055 and leaving a message, or by sending an e-mail to noise@osuairport.org. Specific complaints must be filed within 30 days of the aircraft operation.

In the near future, the Airport plans to add a feature to its web site, called WebScene, which will show the actual status of aircraft operations in the sky in real time or in playback mode. Residents will also be able to submit a noise complaint directly from the web site.

The AirScene system does not include noise monitors. Hammon said that temporary noise monitors can be placed in certain neighborhoods, depending on analysis of the noise complaints.

The airport has taken several steps during the past year to reduce noise in the neighboring communities.

¯ Working with Air Traffic Control last December, new helicopter procedures were implemented to direct helicopter traffic away from residential areas and over commercial areas as much as possible. Exceptions are made for medical emergencies.

¯ The OSU Airport is one of the founding members of Sound Initiative, a group that is lobbying to ban Stage 2 engines in small jets. Stage 2 engines are considered the noisiest in the aviation industry.

¯ Noise abatement guidelines, which include a voluntary curfew of aircraft with Stage 2 engines between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., have been adopted by the Airport.

In addition, the University and the Airport are seeking FAA support to perform a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. The goal of this study will be to reduce the number of people affected by significant aircraft noise through the implementation of measures that are economically, environmentally and legally sound. Two main products of this study will be revised noise exposure maps and an approved Noise Compatibility Plan.

The Ohio State University Airport is one of the leading general aviation facilities in the nation, providing educational opportunities to the university¯s students and aircraft services to many of central Ohio¯s pilots and businesses. The Airport began in 1943 as a flight training facility for military and civilian pilots, operated by The Ohio State University School of Aviation and now operates as a self-supporting entity of The Ohio State University through the Department of Aviation.

Today, The Ohio State University Airport serves as a general aviation reliever for Port Columbus International Airport. It is home to 230 aircraft and sees an estimated 100,000 operations per year, including corporate activity, student training, and personal flying.

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