Meeting on airport noise


By TOM CALLIS

Tribune-Herald staff writer

Hilo International Airport should be slightly less noisy in 2015, according to a state Department of Transportation report.

The agency’s draft Noise Exposure Map is projecting a small drop drop in air carrier and general aviation flights that year, when compared to 2010.

As a result, it is expecting to be able to reduce the size of its “noise contour areas,” which define noise levels outside of the airport, by a few acres each.

That’s likely not enough to be noticed by nearby residents.

But those wishing to comment on the noise can attend a meeting Wednesday hosted by DOT.

The agency will present the draft report and receive comments at a two-hour meeting held at 5:30 p.m. at the Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lu‘au Hale, 799 Pi‘iliani St., Hilo.

Thomas Carson, who lives near the airport, said he doesn’t mind the flights but would like a few noisy landings during the early morning and nighttime hours rescheduled if possible.

“Everyone like the planes flying around but maybe if they fly different hours and different times it could help,” he said.

An estimated 2,238 people live near the airport.

Cargo planes make up the most night time flights.

Overall, flights at the airport are expected to increase by 1.8 percent from 2010 to 2015, thanks to a projected increase of helicopter flights from 39,116 to 42,500.

Total passengers will increase from 1.28 million in 2010 to about 1.4 million in 2015, even though air carrier flights are expected to drop by a few dozen, from 14,055 to 14,000.

General aviation flights, which include business jets and propeller planes, are expected to drop from 16,938 to 15,800.

Military flights are also expected to drop slightly, from 10,746 to 10,000.

The DOT will use the report to determine the capability of nearby land uses.

DOT officials and airport management couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

To view the report, visit hawaii.gov/ito/.

Email Tom Callis at tccallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.