Report on Consultant's Presentation to Worthington City Council
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:41 am EDT
City council met tonight and received a report from consultant David Zoll.
The presentation was preliminary findings on the noise study. They have not run the noise model yet
He identified three flaws in the current draft study:
1. Provided undocumented and unsubstantiated assumptions about the retirement of the most noisy
aircraft at the airport.
2. The airport did not use appropriate worst-case scenarios in the estimation of growth at the
airport. As a side point, if their assumptions are correct, they wish to enter into a multi-million
dollar project that will benefit a total of 450 flight operations in 5 years (an average of about
one flight every 6 days). This fails basic cost-benefit analysis.
3. Their own data (flight profiles) shows aircraft climbed at a much slower rate than the input used
for the model, i.e. plans are actually much lower than what was used to determine noise levels.
Due to requirements set forth by the FAA, if any one of these false assumptions are removed, the
consultants believe a full environmental study will be required.
Courtney Champan pointed out that Zoll showed the graph from the study that had the worst
discrepancy between modeled and actual flight profiles, and that the problem was not as pronounced
with jet aircraft [but see below].
It was reported that the November and December board meetings to consider the master plan have been
pushed back. The environmental reports are currently under internal FAA review. It will then be
open for a 30-45 day public review and comment period, likely in November. Then in February Dean
Baeslack will present his recommendation to the full Board of Trustees on whether to accept the
plan. If he recommends that they accept, they should vote in March and the plan will go to the FAA
for approval. The FAA approval process will take approximately six months and will include a 180
day comment period.
Dough Holmes asked if a more accurate report would cost more. Zoll answered it would.
Councilman Dietrich commented that the profiles should be much lower because of conflicting airspace
with Port Columbus. Zoll related a similar problem at an airport in Toledo. The modeled profiles
were wrong, and the FAA made the airport do the flight profiles again. He also said the airport may
suggest measures pilots may take to alleviate noise, including flying higher, but they are voluntary
and still must adhere to restrictoins from Port Columbus.
Lou Briggs questioned whether the report given tonight will be presented at the airport meetings on
Thursday. They will be presented at both and be made part of the public record.
Champan suggested that it would be better to cooperate with Port Columbus to remove restrictions in
the conflicting air space. Zoll suggested that the full environmental study that OSU should do
would require that analysis.
Bonnie Micheal suggested that OSU Airport has known for over a year about resident's concerns. If
they were interested in decreasing noise, they would have already made efforts to do so. She asked
why OSU would not want a full environmental study. Zoll responded that it
was expensive, even though the FAA covers 90% of the cost.
Zoll reported that the controllers at Don Scott are lax at enforcing their own rules on flight
paths, and the tower at Port Columbus has not participated in these proceedings.
Dough Holmes suggested that is disingenuous that the model would be created without using what
should have been common knowledge to OSU consultants about conflicting Port Columbus airspace.
There needs to be a dialogue with DLZ and OSU to talk about this things.
Lou Briggs discussed how all reports of opinions opposing the airport were omitted from previous
Airport Advisory Committee meeting notes, yet comments of support were left in.
Dr. Goorey suggested that airport proponents need the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Zoll said that the "glaring issues" in the report will be discussed at the technically
oriented Airport Advisory Committee meeting Thursday. Anything may be discussed by the public at
Thursday evening's meeting and should be made part of the public record. [We are seeking
confirmation on this.]
Dean Baeslack said their experts have said OSU has gone well beyond the norm in providing documents
to the public. [We agree, although they have still not met the high standards that should be
expected of a public institution.] He clarified that the Q&A period Thursday evening will be
one hour and facilitated by a non-OSU person. This meeting is not an FAA requirement. The Dean
stated that he has had continuing conversations with Dr. Goorey and wishes to keep communications
open. He stated that all should feel free to contact him with any questions they may have
[firstname.lastname@example.org; please cc email@example.com].
Dr. Cheryl Chandler presented her validation of the noise study model. She made clear that this was
crucial, because all other parts of the environmental assessment depend on the accuracy of the noise
She identified two noisy jets that were omitted from the noise analysis.
Using the study's own methods of validation, she demonstrated that the generated model was accurate
only about 12% of the time.
Chandler also demonstrated that the flight profiles used in the model are much higher in altitude
then actual flight paths. She showed that this includes jets, and more crucially within the first
10,000 feet of take-off (which is approximately over downtown Worthington). At this distance, the
model over-predicted flight profiles by over 400ft over 50% of the time. This would make a
significant difference in noise profiles.
Vera Tedrick stated that it is unfortunate that such a great University as Ohio State would allow
such a poor quality report to come out.
Dennis Hennen, acting president of WOOSE, thanked council for their work and their willingness to
take action. Dr. Goorey thanked both WOOSE and Dr. Chandler for their work and contributions.
George Bell, a pilot from Sharon Township, asked Zoll if safety concerns should override noise
issues. Zoll agreed, but made clear that the purpose now is to request Ohio State performs a full
environmental assessment that will clearly address these issues. Bell asked why Worthington should
spend money on consultants when the FAA will render opinions for free. Zoll said it is very
doubtful the FAA would render an opinion against the airport unless the city made their voice
A voice vote was taken on whether to introduce that the city requests OSU to perform a full
environmental study. Courtney Champan abstained. The remaining five board members voted yes (Dr.
Chosy was absent).
We hope to have all slides presented at this report in the documents section at WOOSE.org within 24
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