The FAA has released its draft South-Central Florida Metroplex Environmental Assessment. For those of you in District 4 concerned with airport noise, your knowledge and engagement is essential to this issue.
As the project is planned, the Metroplex project could bring increased aircraft noise to our area. However, with just a slight change to this plan, aircraft noise could be significantly decreased.
Please see below for a link to LIWMD’s briefing which is a simplified explanation of what will happen with Metroplex. We’ve also included some frequently asked questions below, answered by our own Lauderdale Isles Civic Improvement Association Airport Noise Committee.
Common FAQ’s, Answered by the LICIA Airport Noise Committee:
What is the South/Central Florida Metroplex?
The Metroplex is simply a modernization of the air traffic control system in Florida. Aircraft will use satellite-based technology so that the airspace will be used more efficiently. Metroplex is sometimes called the new “highway in the sky.”
What is the “Draft Metroplex Environmental Assessment?”
Before the FAA can put the Metroplex plan in place, it is required to produce a study about the affects it will have on the environment. For us, the most important part of this Environmental Assessment is aircraft noise.
Is Metroplex related to the “Part 150 Study” that has been going on for the past three years?
Metroplex and the Part 150 Study are totally separate projects. The Part 150 Study was conducted to determine if we have worse airport noise since the opening of the South Runway. Although we experience higher noise levels, the Part 150 used an “average” to determine our noise levels and incorrectly concluded we do not have objectionable noise here. The Metroplex project is an upgrade to the air traffic system and includes this Environmental Assessment to determine the effects it will have on the environment, including noise.
Why should I care about Metroplex?
Aircraft will be guided to “waypoints.” When they take off to the west on the north runway, the first waypoint is very near us and as a result the planes will be closer to -- or even right over -- our neighborhood. The way it’s planned now will result in significantly more noise for Lauderdale Isles and nearby neighborhoods.
The study is over 400 pages. How can I easily understand how Metroplex will affect me?
The LICIA Airport Noise Committee has waded through this document and come up with a simplified briefing of what will happen for our area. If you are truly concerned about the airport noise issue, you need to look. Here is the link:
How does the Metroplex Assessment address the airport noise issue?
The FAA determines what the noise levels will be with the new flight patterns versus the noise levels if the patterns are not changed. They claim that takeoff patterns will be the same as they are now (not exactly true). So, they conclude that noise levels will not change. In actuality, the nearby waypoint they are choosing to use WILL result in more noise for us. Again, to see a simple explanation of how this will all work, look at our briefing at http://liwmd.org/metroplex.html.
So, we are going to have worse noise than now when Metroplex starts?
If the plan is put into place as it is written now, yes. However, if the FAA moves the waypoint to one that’s slightly farther west, Metroplex could vastly improve our noise situation. In other words, Metroplex COULD make the airspace more efficient AND solve our airport noise problem once and for all.
What can I do to help prevent the Metroplex causing more aircraft noise for our area?
There are a couple things that you can do to help:
- Become educated on the effects Metroplex will have on our area by going to: http://liwmd.org/metroplex.html
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: File a “comment” with the FAA telling them that you object to the Metroplex as it is now planned and that you want the waypoint changed to alleviate the airport noise for us. These comments are extremely important, and the FAA must consider them. The more comments they get, the better. Comments can be filed through July 10th. They tell you how to file comments on the virtual workshop page.
What about noise complaints that I file?
Our area filed 44,451 airport noise complaints with BCAD in 2019. That is more than all the other complaints filed in the county combined. You need to make sure the FAA knows that number in your “Comment” – and let them know they can solve our noise problem with Metroplex.
What are our local officials doing about Metroplex?
We have been collaborating between Commissioner Sorensen, the City Manager, attorneys from the City’s Airport Noise law firm, LICIA Board members, and a staff member from Congressman Ted Deutch’s office. They are working on approaching the FAA in Washington about the problem. However, the consensus right now is that neighbors must participate in the virtual workshops and must submit “Comment” forms to the FAA opposing the present Metroplex plan.
In the meantime, take five minutes and go to our briefing to learn how Metroplex will affect our area: