DCA South – Project Phasing and Deliverables

The project will include four primary components:

Component I – Baseline Assessment

(Timeframe: 4-6 months from project kick-off)

This project will begin with a baseline assessment. This analysis will assess aircraft operations and noise data to establish an understanding of the “baseline condition,” which will serve as a foundation to consider and analyze new strategies to reduce noise impacts.

The consultant will conduct an analysis of aircraft operations and aircraft noise exposure between 2014-2019 (pre-COVID operational conditions) and compare this data to existing conditions. The focus will be the communities south of DCA, specifically, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Prince George’s County. Specific datasets to be included in the baseline assessment will include, but are not limited to:

  • DCA aircraft operations data (fleet mix, total operations, runway use, etc.)
  • Airspace and flight procedures (arrivals and departures)
  • Flight paths and patterns
  • Aircraft noise exposure
  • Community noise impacts, noise complaints, and community concerns

Though technical in nature, the baseline assessment report is intended to be understandable by non-aviation audiences, including local policy makers and the public.

Component I deliverables will include a Baseline Assessment Summary Report, which will be published electronically to enable efficient distribution and availability to the public.

Supplemental materials to support community engagement and outreach will include data visualizations that allow an understanding of the above information by the public.

Component II – Identification and Evaluation of Alternatives to Reduce Aircraft Noise

(Timeframe: 6-12 months following completion of Baseline Assessment)

Following the baseline assessment, the project will transition to the identification, design, and analysis of strategies to reduce aircraft noise impacts in communities within the study area. This may include the development of new or modified flight procedures and recommended changes to existing policies or practices to reduce the community’s exposure to aircraft noise.

Vianair understands that communities are impacted by aircraft noise and, therefore, those impacted communities are key stakeholders in identifying and evaluating potential solutions. This approach differentiates this process from typical industry analyses. A key objective of the baseline assessment will be to understand the communities’ perspectives, concerns, and impacts, which will be a driver for Component II. Community engagement will be an integral part of this effort and will continue throughout the project. In fact, the Design Team, tasked with helping design and evaluate strategies for reducing community noise impacts (including changes in airspace and flight procedures) will involve community representatives. All recommendations will require consensus of the group representatives before moving forward.

Component II deliverables will include a written report documenting the process used to identify, evaluate, prioritize, and select recommendations. The Component II report will include a summary of “Next Steps” for moving forward toward implementation and maintaining support from the applicable agencies and organizations.

Supplemental materials to support community engagement and outreach will include data visualizations that allow an understanding of the above information by the public.

Component III – Community Engagement

(Timeframe: Ongoing throughout the project)

Because aircraft noise impacts communities, Vianair believes it is important to involve those who are impacted in identifying, evaluating, and recommending solutions. Community buy-in also improves the likelihood of Airport and FAA approval, which will be required for implementation.

To gain regional support for alternatives and recommendations, it is important that communities understand the implications of potential strategies, including both the resulting reduction in noise impacts and potential trade-offs. The successful outcome of this effort requires not only identifying strategies that will reduce community noise impacts but, just as importantly, obtaining buy-in from both the aviation industry and community stakeholders.

The Project Team will play a central role in facilitating community engagement throughout the project. Community engagement will be used to solicit project input, identify noise impacts, and generate potential mitigation measures. Ongoing outreach will be used to keep the public informed of the project’s progress. Public input will include workshops and/or Community Working Group (CWG) meetings with members of the CWG’s South of Airport Subcommittee (SOA SC), who will work alongside the Vianair project team in identifying noise abatement strategies, evaluating and assessing those strategies, and recommending the strategies to pursue.

Public outreach will include the preparation and publication of informational materials, project briefings, and press releases; the holding of public meetings; and the development and maintenance of a dedicated project website.

Component III will include the facilitation of several public meetings, including both virtual and on-site workshops and project briefings. Community engagement will be used to share information and to enable two-way conversations with impacted communities. Community briefings are planned for key phases of the project. Planned events can be found here.

In addition to public meetings, the dedicated project website will be used as a hub for information providing the public with access to project documents, presentations, meeting summaries, scheduled events, and links to social media channels. The website will also include tools enabling the community to provide input and to communicate with the project team.

Component IV – Industry Advocacy and Implementation Support

(Timeframe: Ongoing throughout the project)

Vianair has a history of successful collaboration with the FAA and other industry stakeholders (i.e., airport management, airlines, etc.), to develop effective and implementable solutions to reduce community impacts associated with airports and aircraft operations.

Throughout the project, the Vianair Team will work with key industry stakeholders, advocating for communities south of DCA and encouraging collaboration among both community and industry stakeholders. Sustained collaboration and cooperation with industry stakeholders and decision-makers will increase the likelihood of success of this effort, which ultimately means the implementation of recommendations to reduce community noise impacts while facilitating safe and efficient aircraft operations at DCA.

The Vianair team will attend meetings with industry stakeholders including MWAA, DCA, FAA, etc., as subject matter experts and advocates for noise-impacted communities south of DCA. This includes engagement with the DCA Community Working Group (CWG) to present project recommendations and to provide technical expertise related to the project.

Project information, including meeting summaries, presentations, timelines, etc., will be available through this website. For more information, you may also email the project team at: SOA@vianair.com.