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Aviation in the City of Tempe

Post Date:02/17/2017 10:21 AM


Welcome to Tempe’s first quarterly newsletter on aviation to help inform our residents on current issues and progress that impact our community.

The City of Tempe would like to thank everyone for attending the Aviation Public Meeting on October 5th. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the City of Phoenix for partnering with us and helping to make this event a wonderful success! On the following page, you will find all of the questions and comments received at this meeting, with staff responses.



February 21st, 6:30pm – Tempe Aviation Commission Monthly Meeting

Public Works Conference Room, Garden Level, City Hall Complex


TAVCO welcomes all residents to attend and learn more about the Commission, their goals, and their progress.



You may be aware of the City of Phoenix’s lawsuit against the FAA over flight path changes. At the January 10, 2017 TAVCO meeting, Ms. Anne Kurtenbach – the Airspace and Noise Program Manager for the City of Phoenix – shared that the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC has scheduled oral arguments for this lawsuit for March 17, 2017! For more information, please click this link.




Did you know that planes are directed on the Sky Harbor runways according to the daily winds, and the changes in winds throughout the day? This means that in general, departures are directed towards the east in the morning and towards the west in the afternoons. 


Remember: Keep Sending in your Complaints!

It is important for residents to continuously submit noise complaints to both Tempe and Phoenix. It helps staff prove that this is a consistent issue that isn’t going away.

Here’s a reminder on how:

  • Tempe: Call Tempe 311 at (480) 350-4311 or submit via this website
  • Phoenix: Fill out the form online here, or through the SmartPhone App. Find downloading directions here.  

The October 5th Public Meeting was a great success! The questions and comments received, with Tempe staff responses, are summarized below:

  • Has there been outreach to realtors and property owners regarding aircraft noise? This is not something that the city or TAVCO has pursued at this point in time. TAVCO and city staff will discuss the idea further. The Arizona Department of Real Estate has published airport boundary maps at this site.  
  • Can complaints from Tempe be routed, compiled and included in Phoenix’s database, and vice versa? At this time, the City of Tempe and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport monitor and collect reports separately. The airport is run separately from the City of Phoenix’s operations and IT services. Sky Harbor’s complaints are tracked through the smart phone app and public view flight track. Tempe complaints are manually registered by the call center in the Tempe 311 database and by city staff. Staff will continue to pursue adding a reporting component to the Tempe 311 app.  
  • Why have there been no improvements to noise monitoring in north Tempe? The eight fixed noise minors in north Tempe are part of a system of twenty fixed monitoring sites located around the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The last major upgrade to the noise monitor equipment occurred in 2010. The number of sites were determined years ago, (1996-97), when the noise exposure contour lines for the airport were extending farther out from the airport.  No new sites have been added because the noise exposure forecast and the monitoring data show that over time area covered by the airport noise exposure lines is shrinking.  
  • Can residents write letters to help support the issue? The most effective way to support this issue is to report complaints through the City of Tempe’s and Phoenix’s complaint forms. Complaints can also be filed with the FAA’s Noise Ombudsman at this link.  


What would you like to see in these newsletters? What would you like to see from the city? We want to know! Send an email to Shannon_Reed@tempe.gov with your ideas!      

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