Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Airport Noise Fully Disclosed

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Airport Noise Fully Disclosed

Your recent article “MWAA: ‘Warn New Residents about Aircraft Noise’” omits important facts regarding our application to develop 157 townhomes in Westfields. Opponents of our application cite new noise contours, a flight path over our property, and projected growth in airport operations as reasons our application should be denied. However, the updated 2019 noise contours and the previous 1993 noise contours are the same for our property. There is no change in the contours for our site. Further, the 2019 noise contours account for the flight path over our property and factor in the ultimate projected growth in airport operations at Dulles International Airport. In fact, the 2019 noise contours account for a projected three-fold increase in the frequency of flights over current levels, notwithstanding the fact that this ultimate projected level of airport operations is not anticipated to occur any time soon. The projected airport operations in 2045 are anticipated to be less than half of the level of ultimate buildout that is factored into the noise contours.

Opponents also cite the need for full and accurate disclosures to potential residents of the noise impacts from the airport. We agree and have proffered to a robust disclosure package regarding airport noise. These disclosures include notice that aircraft fly directly over the property, that the noise from these overflights exceeds the average noise level, that the frequency of such overflights is likely to increase in the future, and a map showing our site, the airport, and the noise contours.

Our application provides appropriate disclosures for aircraft noise, mitigation of noise impacts to homes through enhanced construction techniques, and an avigation easement to protect the airport. That’s why the Fairfax County Planning Commission endorsed our application on a vote of 8-0-1.

James L. Perry

Regional Partner/Vice-President

Elm Street Communities