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letter: follow-up on Residents still upset by Part 150 "flaws"
ThisWeek Worthington, June 12, 2008

To the editor:

To follow-up on the "Residents still upset by Part 150 "flaws" story we wish to provide the following:

We are residents who have spent years working with OSU airport on various committees and subcommittees. We have taken time to become involved and informed and one or both of us have attended all the meetings regarding the Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study.

At the first meeting, in January 2008 we were given only minutes to review the proposed data inputs for the OSU Integrated Noise Model (INM) and immediately identified and reported errors in three areas- 1) understated night operation numbers, 2) understated night Stage 2 jet operations, and 3) use of fractional operations numbers for yearly totals.

All three errors were found to be correct and the consultants revised the data in March 2008 by 1) increasing the number of PA-31 night operations from 160 per year to 1,521, 2) increasing the night Gulfstream operations from .37 operations per year to 2 as supported by analysis of radar data and 3) changing all annual operations to whole numbers.

In March the consultant team reported the total number of actual operations for FY 2007 to be 87,156 however the operations records obtained from Columbus Regional Airport Authority contained only 55,312 operations. The consultants made a number of assumptions and adjustments to account for the 31,844 difference in operation numbers. Because the final inputs were not based entirely on empirical data, we felt it would be important to test the accuracy of some of the inputs using empirical data.

Our testing, although limited, resulted in the following conclusions: 1) night fleet mix was understated, 2) touch-and-go operations do occur at night although none were modeled, 3) we could not verify the accuracy or reasonableness of the proposed night-time jet operations, 4) the methodology for equalizing arrivals and departures appeared to be incorrect and 5) the night-time allocation of unknown aircraft appeared to be incorrect. We suggested in April the proposed inputs to the INM need to be verified before they are used. To ensure our documents are available to the public, we provided them to WOOSE after OSU removed them from the Part 150 website. You may review our work at http://woose.org/docs/files/Whitlock-Nixon-Bell-Questions-and-Comments-re-Part-150.pdf

As a result of our tests we contacted and are now working with the FAA to secure clearance to review currently restricted flight data to continue our testing. We also submitted questions and two documents concerning the Part 150 study following the open house. We were concerned to learn all questions and comments will be summarized by the consultant and attached to documentation prepared for FAA approval. That document will be available for public review months from now.

Since January we have requested the Consultants verify their work. They have assured us of their confidence in their work but have not taken steps to verify it. In the absence of verification, the public should be given the opportunity to verify the data. Therefore we suggest the INM inputs should not be accepted until the FAA has responded to our request and we have had a chance to review the fleet mix and the data used. It is important that the affected communities and their citizens have confidence in the results of this Part 150 Study.


Scott Whitlock Kimberly Nixon-Bell

6081 Olentangy Rv. Rd 6077 Olentangy Rv. Rd

Worthington, Ohio Worthington, Ohio

614-284-0629 614-436-5537


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