Authority Triples Nighttime Fines, Supports Adoption of Tight Stage 4 Noise Standards for New Aircraft

$1,000 Penalty for Stage 2 Jet Flights at Night Increased to $3,000; Authority Calls for 14 Decibel Reduction for Aircraft to Gain Stage 4 Rating

BURBANK, Calif., February 14, 2001— The nine-member Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority today voted unanimously to amend its noise rules, passed originally in 1981, to triple the amount of fines levied on operators of Stage 2 turbojets flying to or from Burbank Airport between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

As of March 1, the Authority’s Noise Rule 9 will impose a fine of $3,000 for each violation of the nighttime ban on Stage 2 jets, up from the $1,000 amount set when the rule was adopted in 1981.

“Over the years, inflation has softened the impact of this restriction, but tripling the amount will definitely send a message that we are serious about enforcing this key rule,” said Authority President Carl Meseck.

The Authority also amended Rule 8, which predominantly prohibits nighttime general aviation training operations, engine run-ups and takeoffs from midpoints of the runway instead of the takeoff end of the runway.  The amended rule fines violators $1,000 for the first offense and $1,500 for subsequent offenses.  The previous penalties were $500 and $1,000 respectively.

The rule changes also put in place a formal enforcement process that provides any alleged violator with an avenue of appeal if he wishes to contest the fine. There have been 36 nighttime violations at the airport in the past two years.

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that noise rule financial penalties in place prior to the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 may be updated to reflect the impact of inflation, at the discretion of the airport proprietor.

In a separate noise-related action, the Authority unanimously passed a resolution adding its support for the establishment of a new Stage 4 aircraft noise certification standard by the FAA.  The FAA is currently participating in discussions with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) leading to the adoption of the new standard in June.

Currently, an ICAO working committee is recommending that the new standard require a 10 decibel improvement over Stage 3 requirements, but the Authority’s recommendation is for a greater reduction in noise, 14 decibels, as the threshold to qualify for a Stage 4 rating.

“Some Stage 3 planes are already 10 decibels quieter than the minimum requirement, and technology will continue to improve. It will take 20 years or more to shift to a newer generation of aircraft, and we feel the new standards should reach as high as possible,” said Meseck.