Airport Noise Co,plaint Form Revised

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By: 
Kevin Murphy

MIDDLETON–Responding to an increasing number of noise complaints the Middleton Airport Commission last week simplified the noise complaint reporting form aimed at making it more user friendly.

Commission Chair Ald. Robert Burck drafted a revised form that removed a space to insert the aircraft’s tail number, information many said was impractical if not impossible to obtain from a moving plane.

The form requires the street address of where the noise occurred, which has been a sore spot for those who have filed complaints and say they then had planes fly low and loud over their address in retaliation.

The section requiring the filer’s email addresses and phone number has been omitted from the new form.

“What information we do need is to identify the time, date and location of the noise concern,” Burck said, in order to investigate the complaint.

Noise reports are investigated by Airport Manager Richard Morey who has found that most complaints are determined to involve a pilot flying a pattern that is allowable at Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field.

It was suggested by a member of the public that someone presumably other than Morey investigate the complaints as he profits from flight activity at the airport.

The remark was made during the public comment period at the beginning of last week’s meeting and not mentioned by the commission.

The new form also includes guidelines as to why it seeks the information it does and prompts that reports be filed in a timely manner and contain all required information. 

In an effort to make noise reduction efforts most effective, the form asks filers to focus on the loudest aircraft so officials can make them a priority.

“We need information at the airport level to try to up our game and figure out way to respond to noise complaints and focus on worst noise offenders to make a net difference in and around the airport,” said Burck.

The noise complaint form currently listed on the city’s website dates from November 2019. No word of when it will be replaced by the form the commission approved Feb. 4.

Ald. and Commission member Luke Fuszard also worked on revising the form and said it could be further revised if necessary.

The noise complaint form is located on the web at:

https://www.cityofmiddleton.us/Search?searchPhrase=airport+noise+complai....

The Commission learned that environmental impacts of aircraft operation at the airport would be mentioned in the Airport Master Plan currently being drafted by Mead & Hunt, Inc.

While a more exhaustive Environmental Impact Statement wouldn’t be conducted until federal funds are sought for major improvements at the airport, Mead & Hunt is addressing some concerns about lead emissions from aviation fuel that were brought up at a recent Airport Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting, Burck said.

A Department of Natural Resources specialist has noted that Morey Field is Dane County’s second largest source of lead pollution behind only Dane County Regional Airport.

The next AMPAC meeting is set for Feb. 18.

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