Northeast Tarrant

Southlake adopts airplane noise stance

The city has taken an official stance on legislation and regulation regarding airplane noise over the city.

City Council members approved an amendment to the city’s legislative agenda at the Feb. 18 City Council meeting that added opinion on the issue. The legislative agenda states the city’s stance on high-level issues.

The amendment supports legislation and regulation that: “Protect the City’s previously agreed upon method for using airspace over its city limits within the well-established corridors that have guided our City’s development and investment.”

Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher said having the stance in writing gives all city leaders a firm opinion on the matter when representing the city.

“This is the one strong arrow in our quiver, to be able to put the conversation out in front of everybody,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher said the city has sent out the legislative agenda to related bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Congress.

He said the city was prompted to add the amendment after an increase in citizen complaints about airplane noise pollution from D/FW Airport. He said residents would ask, where the city stood on this issue and it did not have an official answer.

“At end of day we are trying to show to our community: We don't have those tools available to us. We are legislatively preempted from being able to get involved at the level our residents want,” he said. “That does not mean we can't force a conversation and make our concerns known to all those that are involved.”

The past couple of years, Southlake residents have felt the impact of increase use of the runway that aligns right through the city.

The city built with this in mind, using a sound corridor map provided by the airport to show where airplane traffic is expected.

The noise corridor cuts through the city almost along Texas 114. In this area the city built more commercial and developments within this corridor are built with materials to combat the noise.

This past fall, DFW Airport used the runway facing Southlake more as it did preventative maintenance on its other runways.

Thatcher said the increased use affected residents that may not have heard the noise before.

Mayor John Terrell was pleased with the addition.

“I think its excellent language,” he said. “It sets forward very conscientiously what our thoughts and positions are.”