Reports on Aircraft Noise and Mitigation





Annual Compliance:

The City of Tempe noise reports compare how jets and large turboprop aircraft that use Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport comply with noise mitigation flight procedures on a monthly basis. The agreement with the City of Phoenix includes the following procedures:

4-DME SID: The 4-DME standard instrument departure procedure includes specific runway headings to keep departing carrier aircraft over the Salt River/Town Lake as means to lessen departure noise impact on adjacent noise sensitive areas.

According to the 1993 Environmental Impact Statement for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport master plan improvements that included construction of the third runway, the 1-DME Standard Instrument Departure Procedure (SID) was to be continued for noise mitigation purposes. After the VORTAC was moved, it became the 4-DME SID. With 3 parallel runways in operation the flight procedures for the airport changed, most jet departures were directed to the runway in the middle of two runways that receive most jet arrivals.












Montly Compliance: 













Quarterly Noise: 

1st Quarter 2015 

2nd Quarter 2015 

3rd Quarter 2015

4th Quarter 2015 

The Tempe Aviation Commission used the SID to come up with a “Corridor” to measure airline compliance with the 4-DME SID. The Tempe measuring concept was rejected by the airport as inapplicable when the Noise and Flight Track Monitoring System for the airport was configured for operation in 1996.


The airport uses a 5,500 feet long imaginary vertical line, or gate, at 4-DME or approximately at Price Road. Turns by carrier jets north or south away from the Salt riverbed before reaching this line result in a notice of deviation from the airport to the responsible airline. The airport does not include large turboprop aircraft in the “Gate” measure.


The noise reports compare compliance with both measures.

Equalization: On an annual basis equalize the noise burden from jet and large turboprop aircraft departures between east and west during daytime and nighttime hours.




The noise reports compare equalization between Tempe and Phoenix, and include a 12 month account of east an west departure percentage separately for night- and daytime hours and a percentage for night- and daytime hours combined.


Side-Step Procedure: The agreement also included a new "side-step" procedure for mitigating noise from arriving jets and large turboprop aircraft to the proposed third runway (25L). On March 27, 2002 the FAA suspended formalization of this procedure although it had been in use after the third runway opened in October 2000.

Factors that led to the FAA's decision to suspend the "side step" procedure:

  1. The destabilizing effect on the approach,
  2. computer reprogramming going on in the cockpit,
  3. loss of visual reference, particularly at night (Sun Devil Stadium not always being lit), and
  4. inability to intercept the glide slope for the third runway.* 
     * Because the Runway 25L threshold is located farther west than the Runway 25R threshold, (the center runway), the glide slope is higher up than the glide slope to Runway 25R. Using the Runway 25R glide slope a pilot would need to apply power and both turn and climb close to landing to intercept the glide slope for Runway 25L when executing the "side step" maneuver when abeam Sun Devil Stadium.