City of Dallas officials are considering how to better incentivize quieter flights at Dallas Love Field Airport following input from residents who live near the airport.
City council members were briefed on the Dallas Love Field Voluntary Noise Program by Aviation Department Director Patrick Carreno on Wednesday. Staff told the council that revisiting the existing plan was recommended by the City Auditor’s Office in 2019 as no updates had been made since 1986.
Residents who live near the airport made 14 recommendations for the update, as previously covered by The Dallas Express. Of these recommendations, 13 are supported by the Aviation Department.
The one recommendation not supported by city staff is that of a Part 150 study. Carreno explained that one of the challenges of a Part 150 study is funding, as it has an estimated cost of $1.5 million. Furthermore, he said the study could “significantly impact” the airport’s operation.
Council Member Paul Ridley said he most often hears complaints from his constituents about late-night flights and asked how the City could better incentivize airlines, both commercial and private, to conclude their operations at Love Field before 11 p.m.
Carreno said this can be difficult, as operations at other airports across the nation impact landing times for flights coming to Love Field, but he added that this issue is something they are working to fix in an update to the Voluntary Noise Abatement Program.
“We’re the third-busiest private jet airport in the country,” he said. “We can look at measures down the road and engage the stakeholder group as well, but I think first and foremost, we have to do a better job of communicating and educating that this program is in place because I think that’s lacking right now.”
Carreno said federal legislation prohibits the City from instituting a mandatory prohibition against late-night flights.
Council Members Gay Donnell Willis and Omar Narvaez asked how the City can encourage noise reduction at the airport.
“When it comes to the noise, I completely agree with Councilwoman Willis about the incentives,” said Narvaez. “How do we incentivize in order to see if folks will either get new technology to make the engines quieter or land at a different airport that we also own? Either way, we win because we own all three.”
He said Southwest Airlines has made significant strides in noise reduction over recent years but asked Carreno if private airlines are on the same track.
Carreno said there is a wider diversity among private flights, as some are very loud while others are comparatively much quieter. He added that large airplanes are not always louder, and the plane’s age is a more significant factor in how loud the engine is.
Narvaez said that while the City may not be able to enforce strict noise reduction programs, it is important to maintain and update the voluntary agreement.
“It’s really nice that we can at least have it and have something to point to, to ask the folks … operating the airlines to please try to adhere to these things when you can,” he said.