Stage II Jets To Be Phased Out

Legislation signed into law in 2012 not only authorized funding for operation of the Federal Aviation Administration but also enacted a provision to phase out older Stage II jets. The phase out of these aircraft will benefit Las Vegas local residence at satellite airports surrounding McCarran airport.

Stage II Jet is a generic name for aircraft that have older jet engines at the time were state of the art in design. They had less efficient engines with raw power that provided enough thrust to carry airline and business jets into the air during takeoff.

The Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 prohibits, ending December 31, 2015, the use of jets that were exempted from the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990. They are jets that weigh 75,000 pounds or less and do not comply with quieter Stage 3 noise levels. The exemption, if passed then, would have limited aircraft noise to 65 dB.

Congress and the FAA, when considering The Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990, weighed the right of communities to peace and quiet and the right of commerce to engage in free market enterprise, against the cost that must be paid to protect that right or to accord the other the courtesy to that right.

The National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) is an advocate of aircraft having the right to fly into and out of public airports utilizing safe and proven operating techniques. The objectives of the NBAA program, since 1967, have withstood the test of time and have been effective in reducing noise exposure for citizens on the ground. Congress determined that thirteen percent (13%) of U.S. citizens are affected by airport noise.

A benefit of owning a Stage 2 aircraft is the initial cost to purchase. This type of aircraft maybe purchased for as little as $300,000 to $2,000,000. Owners, when considering a purchase of stage II aircraft, weigh reduced cost of investment against cost of operation. Many times it is best to purchase an older aircraft.

Government regulations tend to discourage the use of older aircraft. The FAA’s aging aircraft regulation is one example of directing business commerce and satisfying the public concern of noise. Not that these aircraft are unsafe. Older aircraft must comply with time honored FAA aircraft inspections. Decline in use of these aircraft have been driven by EU countries, the FAA and implementation of noise regulations.

A Coalition of airport managers around the country has championed an effort to eliminate the exemption since 2004. Noise sensitive airports known to pilots are; Santa Monica, Teterboro, Carlsbad, John Wayne just to name a few noise sensitive airports. Bob Bogan, deputy executive director at Morristown Municipal Airport, a founding member of Sound Initiative has spearheaded the push to eliminate stage II aircraft: A Coalition for Quieter Skies. Morristown New Jersey is known as a business jet airport in the New York metropolitan region.

The new law gives operators of what FAA registration records indicate are more than 850 Stage 2 aircraft until the end of 2015 to modify their aircraft to meet new standards or discontinue their use in U.S. airspace over the contiguous 48 states.

Many Stage II aircraft have been modified to comply with local noise concerns and have attempted to meet Stage III compliance. Sadly most efforts have come up short which is why the 2015 law has been passed.

Pilots at local Las Vegas airports desire to be good neighbors when flying business aircraft. Pilots understand residence desire to have quite neighbors and the local airport is part of the quite flying neighbor policy pilots have adopted. Pilots are trained to remain safe at all times and monitor local ordinance restrictions when flying near airports.

In order to satisfy noise restrictions pilots are able to implement a modified take off and approach aircraft configuration to comply with noise restrictions. During takeoff, with restrictions, aircraft pilots may select a reduce power and flap configuration to minimize takeoff decibel noise. When landing, the aircraft landing flap configuration may be delayed and the aircraft landing weight may be reduced in order to minimize decibel levels. This procedure is recommended but safety and aircraft performance are the utmost concern.

Either way passenger safety and noise is the by-product.

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