Saturday, April 21

JAXEX at Craig - A Broken Noise Abatement System

After the third airplane flew right over my house today, I figured I'd let the folks over at JAXEX know that I know (or thought I knew) that the flight path is not over my house. I studied all kinds of maps before we moved here. Flood zones were important, but on this side of town, I felt like airport noise was just a much of a deal breaker. Supposedly, this wasn't going to happen here, but that third airplane was low enough that the pilot probably saw me give him the finger.

JAXEX (Craig) claims to have a 24-hour noise complaint hotline It also claims to have an online form, but that's just a broken link. Three, since the word "click" is used thrice:
To file a noise event online with JAA’s Webtrak noise monitoring and reporting system please click click here. To learn more about the reporting system, please click here.
Noise Event Telephone Hotline at (904) 641-3606. 
I guess I'm supposed to sit around all day and call the hotline after each occurrence. In fact, the airport says it wants my name, number, and date and time of the noise event for each complaint. OK, JAXEX, let's just say three times today. I was outside for about an hour total, so let's assume twenty times total. These aren't generally super-loud airplanes, but the point is that the flight path is right over my house.

When I searched some more, I found that there's supposed to be an online flight tracking system in Jax. Looks like WebTrak, which is embarrassingly still on the JAXEX homepage. The problem is that it's no longer monitoring Craig Airport. And you can't complain online. And not of the EXecutives that use JAXEX give a rip about you. Try the WebTrak for yourself. Looks to me like some pilot program from 2011 that was later dropped in favor of flying willy-nilly over neighborhoods. I bet no one even tracks the phone calls anymore. Probably just some inmate at a prison call center who listens and then hangs up.
The biggest problem really is that I don't know for sure that the maps I have are accurate. Maybe Craig Airport in Jacksonville has changed its noise abating ways since 2006. I don't know how to read a flight path on the aviation websites, so I can't say whether those follow the maps shown here. I can surmise that the closest approach that might go over my house (the yellow X in the map) would be the HOTAR ONE approach coming from the northeast.

You can see in the departure and arrival maps where the planes are supposed to be (according to the latest actual maps I can find). I am conceding that it may be possible that JAXEX has since changed the maps, but it would be nice if those were available to the public, and it certainly would have been nice to have those as I searched for a house. Maybe these maps of departures and arrivals from Jacksonville's Craig Airport (JAXEX) can help you in finding a house or finding reason to complain, but keep in mind the age of the maps, lack of support for the online flight tracking, and general lack of information provided by the airport to its neighbors.

I'm not complaining about departures. Yet. The map shows those going straight north rather than at a diagonal toward my house. But how am I even to know if that's always going to be the plan?
JAXEX Craig Departures
JAXEX Departures

The arrivals again. My neighborhood is a yellow X.

JAXEX Craig Arrivals
JAXEX Arrivals
Residents of East Arlington deserve to have an updated map like these to show us where we can expect noise. Maybe it could add daily averages, too. According to the only map I could find, there should be exactly ZERO airplanes over my house to arrive at Craig, but I guess that's probably not correct. It's just sad that I had to search so much and not find what I needed, and it's also sad for other homebuyers who might get fooled by the maps that are and are not out there.

I received some answers from JAXEX / Craig. There seems to be a noise abatement system that will be coming again soon, and the website will be updated with that new system, so stay tuned.

I also learned that there is a map for pilots (plates), which are probably those HOTAR things I mentioned, which I can't read. However, I did find some "voluntary procedures" for approaches on the website, which uses the same map as on this page. I have to wonder if pilots are deciding NOT to follow these instructions for some reason.

I added a link to updated noise abatement in this article. I've also been reading about plans to expand the runways on Nextdoor, with most neighbors not wanting the expansion. Honestly, if the current airplanes can't fly the routes on the map, it'll be a huge concern if the runways are expanded for larger jets that will also not follow the routes. If the runways are expanded, the possibility would exist to fly Boeing 767s or even 747s right over our homes. If you don't think that will take $50,000 to $100,000 off the value of your $300,000 home, then you've never lived right next to an airport.  

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