July 22, 2008

Feedback From Residents Sought on Update to Airport’s Master Plan

By Sonu Munshi, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

Jul. 22--A key study outlining 20-year projections for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is almost complete.

Airport authorities are hosting a public workshop today to seek resident feedback on the 18-month study to update the airport master plan. That document deals with everything from aviation forecasts to the facility's environmental impact.

The plan, in the process of being revised since April 2007, includes a study of noise-level projections for the next two decades in the area surrounding the airport.

Airport officials say that public feedback is vital to the process, and that they hope to see more residents attend the workshop.

Gateway spokesman Brian Sexton said residents are typically concerned about noise near the airport, and this would be a chance for them to review projects through 2027. The last time the airport conducted a noise contour study was in 1999.

While the forecast anticipates where sound will be located around the airport, Sexton said this sometimes changes over time.

"We always say there are no lines in the sky and every day is different," Sexton said. He added that a couple of dozen houses are currently within noise contours.

The latest projections come "pretty close" to the previous study. Airports use what are called daynight sound levels (DNL), which measure aircraft sound generated during a 24-hour period. They project for areas that fall within a 60 DNL area, which would be areas most affected by aircraft noise.

That level, Sexton said, has, according to the latest study, gone a little wider over the neighboring Arizona State University and Chandler-Gilbert Community College campuses.

The length of the area falling within the high noise levels has reduced on the north end by about a mile and is near Warner and Power roads. It used to be half a mile north of Mesquite Drive and Power Road.

The new projections push the high noise area a quarter mile south into Queen Creek.

The airport is seen as a catalyst for economic development in the region. In 2007-08, the airport's total economic benefit was valued at nearly $490 million, which has doubled from the previous study in 2002, when the number was pegged at $251 million.

Residents can also go to the airport's Web site, www. phxmesagateway.org, for more information.

Airport update

What: Workshop regarding update to airport's master plan

When: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today

Where: Airport Administration Building, 5835 S. Sossaman Road, Mesa

Information: Patrick Oakley, (480) 988-7600


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