Airport Study Raises Noise Concerns

McKinney National Airport located on a map. | Image by SevenMaps/Shutterstock.

A new airport project is raising noise concerns from residents.

McKinney’s upcoming May 2023 bond election will feature new construction projects and expansions to McKinney National Airport. The $300 million project includes a 144,000-square-foot terminal complete with four passenger gates, 2,000 parking spaces, a 15-acre aircraft apron, and more.

If approved in May, the project would be constructed over the course of two years — through 2024 and 2025 — before an expected opening in 2026. The construction would take place on the eastern side of the building.

Officials believe that the expansion would make the airport a viable transportation alternative to larger airports in the DFW metroplex and “enhance passenger experience.”

Officials claim that the expansion of the airport would provide a number of benefits to the local economy. Benefits would include the introduction of potentially over 3,000 new jobs, up to $850 million in terms of economic output, and more.

The city of McKinney announced that public hearings would be held to discuss the environmental assessment and possible impacts on the quality of living in the area. The first of these meetings was held on March 23, and the next will be held on April 19.

Attendants of the latest meeting communicated a number of concerns related to the project, including noise, wildlife impacts, and traffic, according to Dallas Morning News.

“I don’t think they’re considering the neighbors,” said Lee Moore, a Fairview resident, according to Dallas Morning News.  “[The planes] will be flying right over my house,” he continued.

Garver’s North Texas Aviation Leader Mitchell McAnally said during the meeting that the noise levels would only rise above the threshold in underdeveloped areas outside the city.

“As we grow the airport over the years, the noise contours will extend further,” said Barry Shelton, McKinney’s deputy city manager, according to Dallas Morning News. “A small extension does actually go just south of FM 546 by 2031, and that’s because there’s more flights taking off to the south,” he continued.

Other residents communicated different concerns, such as nature preserves that exist within noise contours and increased traffic for surrounding communities. Some residents were concerned that migrating birds would be affected by the expansion.

Shelton said that traffic increases would not be an issue due to the inclusion of the four-gate terminal.

The project, as well as its findings, are still awaiting approval from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA has dictated that a day-night average sound level (DNL) of 65 is the “threshold of significant noise exposure” and that above this limit, noise levels would be incompatible with local populations.

In similar news, DFW International Airport recently warned local residents that they could also expect a minor increase in noise due to its Airfield Rehabilitation Project.

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  1. Jim holland

    You don’t extend a runway in one direction because “more planes take off” in that direction. You extend a runway so larger planes can use the airport. Larger planes could be a noise problem. The committee is not being honest with the residents.

  2. Linda

    Thank you for your recent coverage of the McKinney airport expansion proposal. Readers need to be fully and truthfully informed about the dramatic impact this proposal will have on McKinney as well as the surrounding towns and neighborhoods. The heightened noise levels, environmental health concerns, and ever-increasing traffic congestion are all true and valid concerns for area residents. If you need affirmation that all these issues are indeed already existing and very real, you’re welcome to sit on our back patio for a few minutes. We’ll have to interrupt our conversation to wait for the noisy planes to roar over, though. They come over early in the mornings, throughout the day and late at night also.

    Just these quality of life issues alone are sufficient reasons why McKinney voters should not vote to subject themselves and their surrounding town neighbors to increasing environmental impact.

    However, equally concerning should be the lasting impact this taxation burden will present to the residents of the city of McKinney. The language on the ballot sample I saw briefly amounted to basically providing a blank check for McKinney taxpayers to fund this huge project now and many years to come. Why would McKinney voters want to do that to themselves? Especially when a perfectly good former Air Force Base with plenty of land and existing large runways is already in Grayson County. That facility could much more easily be accessed and developed to serve the entire North Texas area while more fairly sharing the tax load.

    I have the impression that folks may think, “I’d rather go to McKinney than Love Field or DFW” but the truth is McKinney would most likely not actually be comparable in services, especially since no larger carriers have committed. So why would McKinney taxpayers even want to do this?

    I encourage to continue your research and in-depth coverage of these issues beyond marketing talking points.
    Thank you.

  3. Hugh Cooley

    City is glossing over the monumental negative Cash Flow that is forecast for the airport expansion. The existing FOB is costing the citizens of McKinney about $7,000,000 a year in tax revenue (over the last three years). The proposed $300,000,000 expansion is forecast to loose over $120,000,000 over the next 20 + years. That is tax revenue that could be used for roads, public safety, and important city services.

  4. Ken Sipiora

    Andrew, there is SO much more to this story than noise and traffic. Suggest you research social media to learn about the rising opposition to this project


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