Sept. 3, 2020
Business aircraft operators utilizing Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in Southern California are encouraged to comply with the recently enacted Quieter Nights Program (QNP) and refrain from jet operations from 11 p.m.-7 a.m. if possible.
VNY owner and operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) enacted the voluntary noise abatement program in March. Leading up to implementation, LAWA engaged with airport tenants to encourage them to reschedule non-essential repositioning and maintenance flights to daytime hours and avoid other nighttime jet departures and arrivals where feasible. Military, law enforcement, emergency, fire or air ambulance operations are exempt.
Although the QNP has been in effect for several months, declining traffic levels due to the pandemic make it difficult to assess its effectiveness thus far on reducing nighttime operations, noted VNY Airport Manager Flora Margheritis.
“While flights have started to rebound, our overnight traffic levels in July 2020 remained down by 41% compared to the same period last year,” she added. “That said, we’ve received very positive feedback from our based operators about the QNP. They’re incredibly supportive of the program, even during this very challenging time.”
In fact, decreased air traffic levels during the pandemic may cause aircraft noise to be even more noticeable, said Alex Gertsen, NBAA director for airports and ground infrastructure – making it that much more important for pilots to consider the heightened sensitivity of the current environment.
“The Quieter Nights Program highlights the benefits of engagement with the community and being attentive to their concerns, a critical step in assuring the long-term viability of general aviation airports like VNY,” he added. “A lot of collaborative work took place behind the scenes and we seek cooperation from pilots and operators to achieve a successful outcome for the airport.”
NBAA Western Regional Representative Phil Derner termed VNY “a model airport” not only for business aviation operators, but as an example of working with all stakeholders to arrive at collaborative solutions. “Van Nuys demonstrates how even large and extremely busy general aviation airports can remain good citizens of their communities,” he said.
Under the QNP, the airport will document quarterly nighttime turbine activity. As further encouragement to participate in the voluntary program, results will be incorporated into VNY’s Friendly Flyer Awards Program recognizing jet operators achieving 100% regulatory compliance and 99% or greater compliance with voluntary noise abatement efforts.