Part 150 Noise Study

Part 150 Noise Study

The latest update to the noise compatibility program for McCarran International Airport (LAS) was completed by the Clark County Department of Aviation (CCDOA) in 2005/2006. Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 150 - Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, established the requirements and guidelines to complete a noise compatibility program, commonly referred to as a Part 150. A Part 150 was initially completed for LAS in 1988/1989, and updated in 1994.

The development of the 2005/2006 Part 150 update included significant community involvement. A Public Working Group was formed, included 23 community members, and met monthly over the course of a year to discuss and review various noise abatement and reduction options. Four open houses were held to share Public Working Group activities with the community.

On October 3, 2006, the Board of County Commissioners approved the 2005/2006 Part 150 Update. The final Part 150 Update contained three noise exposure maps and 22 noise reduction measures, which were forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for review and approval. On July 10, 2007, the FAA formally determined that two of the three noise exposure maps were in compliance with Part 150 - Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, Federal Aviation Regulations. On October 21, 2008, the FAA formally approved 20 of the 22 noise reduction measures and disapproved two. The FAA’s approval of 20 measures allows the Clark County Department of Aviation to be eligible to receive funds to implement the approved measures.

The Part 150 Study Update is comprised of three volumes.

Volume 1 includes the Noise Exposure Map (NEM) report, and contains noise contours for 2004, 2011, and 2017. The 2017 NEM was not approved by the FAA because forecasted noise contours for 2017 were not necessary per Federal Aviation Regulations.The 2017 NEM was provided for local long-term airport-compatible land use determinations.

Volume 2 includes the Noise Compatibility Program report, which contains 13 noise abatement measures and nine noise mitigation measures. The FAA approved (1) the existing preferential runway use program, (2) encouraging the use of noise abatement flight tracks, (3) use of designated engine run-up areas, (4) supported use of general aviation reliever airports, (5) bi-annual noise monitoring for fixed wing aircraft and annual noise monitoring for helicopter tour traffic, (6) a study of noise reduction benefits for advanced navigation technologies/more predictable and precise flight patterns, (7) a study of noise reduction benefits for continuous descent approach procedures, (8) a study of noise reduction benefits for distant noise abatement departure profiles, (9) airlines to use quieter aircraft, (10) the pursuit of the Southern Nevada Regional Heliport, (11) an expand the public information program and publishing a “fly quietly and safely” brochure, (12) voluntary acquisition of airport-incompatible development within the 70 day-night annual average noise level (DNL) and higher on the 2011 NEM, (13) voluntary acquisition of airport-incompatible development within the 65 DNL and higher on the 2011 NEM, (14) voluntary sound insulation and/or providing transaction assistance for certain airport-incompatible development within the 65 DNL and higher on the 2011 NEM, (15) discouraging the introduction of noise-sensitive and otherwise incompatible uses in areas exposed to 60 DNL and higher, (16) support redevelopment of noise-sensitive land uses to airport-compatible land uses in the 65 DNL and higher, (17) updating the Airport Environs Overlay District contained in Clark County Code and add the 60 DNL, (18) requiring sound attenuation requirements in the 60 DNL for certain land uses, (19) continued review and conditioning of development applications, and (20) pursuit of airport noise disclosure requirements. The FAA disapproved (1) increasing the length of the final approach segment for arrivals into Runways 1L, 1R, 7L, and 7R, and (2) supporting legislation that establishes quieter engine standards.

Volume 3 includes a compilation of public comments and responses, and details the extensive outreach programs undertaken during the development of the updated noise study. Appendix A includes Public Working Group materials, referenced above, section II includes open house material referenced above, and section V includes public hearing materials referenced above.

Federal guidelines recommend that airport proprietors update their Part 150 Study every five years or sooner if significant changes have occurred at the airport. It is anticipated that the next Part 150 Update for LAS would likely not begin until either after the opening of Terminal 3 (2012) or until traffic demand exceeds pre-2008 conditions. The Noise Complaint Reports, published quarterly, summarize the status of noise reduction measures.