Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA), Jefferson County and Town of Superior Trustee Jason Serbu are pleased to announce a new addition to the airport’s Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures. Pilots operating at RMMA are now requested to use Runway 30R/12L for nighttime pattern operations when traffic conditions and other safety of flight factors allow.This procedural update was brought to RMMA for discussion by Trustee Serbu and was reviewed and endorsed by flight schools based at RMMA. The objective of this procedure change is to reduce nighttime traffic pattern operations over the Rock Creek neighborhood of Superior, Walnut Grove/Countryside neighborhoods of Westminster, and Skyestone neighborhood of Broomfield. The RMMA Community Noise Roundtable also reviewed the proposal and voted in favor of the update at their September, 2023 meeting.In regards to the addition, Trustee Serbu said: “It’s definitely a step in the right direction. These measures will help mitigate nighttime flight operations over the neighborhoods around the airport after 10pm. This exemplifies RMMA’s willingness to work with the adjacent communities in an effort to solve the noise issues we face.”Jeffco County Commissioner Tracy Kraft-Tharp appreciated the change, stating: “I appreciate Trustee Serbu’s willingness to seek solutions through collaborative dialogue, and want to also thank the flight schools and other airport stakeholders who were receptive to suggestions to improve the airport’s voluntary noise abatement procedures.” RMMA Airport Director Paul Anslow added, “We receive a lot of input regarding how pilots should operate, but it’s not always grounded in what is legally or practically possible. I appreciate the time Trustee Serbu has taken to understand these constraints and still work to identify solutions to reduce the noise impacts of aircraft flying out of RMMA.”RMMA has two parallel runways. During daytime hours, both runways are often used to accommodate the significant amount of flight operations experienced at RMMA. With reduced aircraft activity at nighttime, airport stakeholders believed that pilots operating at night should often be able to use the north parallel runway for traffic pattern operations. Nighttime traffic pattern operations are usually conducted as part of training for FAA pilot licensing requirements or for ongoing nighttime currency requirements. For example, a student pilot training for a private pilot license is required to perform 10 take-offs and landings at night, while a licensed pilot may only carry passengers at night if they have performed three takeoffs and landings within the preceding 90 days.
Jefferson County and RMMA understand the impacts of aircraft flight operations on surrounding communities and welcome ideas brought forth in the spirit of collaboration and an understanding of the Federal regulations that govern airport and aircraft operations. The Federal government maintains exclusive sovereignty over the airspace, while ultimate flight decisions remain the responsibility of the pilot-in-command. Jefferson County and RMMA have no authority to restrict or dictate aircraft flight operations. Airports are permitted to publish voluntary noise abatement procedures, and RMMA requests that pilots follow them to the extent practicable to lessen the impact of aircraft flight operations on the surrounding communities.