FACT SHEET #2 Navy LINGO You Need to Know!
Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) Program is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of those living near a military airfield while preserving the operational capability of the airfield. This impacts all of Central Whidbey. The 2005 AICUZ Noise Study made predictions about the noise contours of the Growlers for 2013.
If the Central Whidbey Community can document that there is a 5% increase in noise from that predicted, this may be sufficient grounds to reopen the Navy’s 2005 EA — and a 5% increase seems to have been well surpassed. The Navy, under NEPA regulations, will then have to re-open their 2005 EA that allows for the transition to EA-18G Growlers at NASWI.
The Navy’s NEPA regulations lay it out. The Navy has a duty to prepare a new EA or EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for “continuing projects” where (1) the currently occurring impacts have not been documented in an EA or EIS and there is a discovery that substantial environmental degradation is occurring as a result of the ongoing operation; or (2) there is discovery that the environmental effects are significantly and qualitatively different or more severe than predicted in an earlier NEPA document.
There has never been an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) done on the impact of these large jets at OLF.
How Safe is OLF?
What is an APZ and why should YOU care?
APZs (accident potential zones) are areas where an aircraft mishap is most likely to occur.
APZs follow departure, arrival, and flight pattern tracks and are based on analysis of historic data. The AICUZ includes three APZs — the Clear Zone, APZ I, and APZ II. The Clear Zone extends 3,000 feet beyond the runway and has the highest potential for accidents. APZ I generally extends 5,000 feet beyond the Clear Zone, & APZ II extends 7,000 feet beyond APZ I. An accident is more likely to occur in a Clear Zone than in either APZ I or APZ II.
Per the 2005 AICUZ, the OLF is a class B runway. The APZI area for a class B is 3000’ wide by 5000’ long, and APZII area is 3000’ wide by 7000’ long. Neither APZ designations have been created for the OLF. Nevertheless, the Navy criteria for establishing APZ zones have been exceeded at OLF Coupeville.
The Clear zone is 3000’ long. Some of the Clear Zone at OLF is privately owned.
Island County has allowed development to continue around OLF, including the Whidbey Island Transit District’s expansion, which is in an APZI crash zone. Admirals Cove, another example, is a 400 home housing development, which by current safety regulations, should also be an APZI.
How Loud is the EA-18 G Growler?
How does the Navy Calculates Noise? The Navy describes noise exposure using the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The DNL metric expands daily noise events into a 24-hour average for an entire year. Aircraft ‘operations’ conducted at night (10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) are weighted because people are more sensitive to noise during sleeping hours.
DNLs do not tell us what the loudest event is in a 24-hour period, nor do they tell us how many noisy events there may be in a 24-hour period. Our ears do not average noise over a 24-hour period. We hear and react to each noise as a separate incident.