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Marine Corps Base Hawaii

 

Marine Corps Base Hawaii

"Supporting Readiness and Global Projection"

Community meeting comments

The following questions were written comments at the MCBH community meeting on April 24th at Kainalu Elementary School.  Not all comments are included in the below transcript. 

Question:
  The P-8 is replacing the P-3.  Is the flight pattern the same, larger or smaller?

Follow-up:  There will be no difference between P-3 and P-8 tower pattern altitudes and only minor differences in the P-8 pattern approach path.  Since the P-8 aircraft approach speed would be slightly faster, the P-8 turn to final approach might be slightly wider.  However, the P-8 flight path would normally remain within the confines of the Bay.  As with any aircraft, tower traffic saturation, sequencing, and spacing of dissimilar aircraft could be factors in occasionally causing a wider, deeper pattern.  Additionally, the number of P-8s expected to come to Marine Corps Base Hawaii would likely decrease to a smaller detachment of only two aircraft.

Question:  Are more aircraft coming?  How do you intend to address the extreme noise pollution we already contend with?  This is not a prejudice against the U.S. Military; it is a legitimate community concern. 

Follow-up:  In the last ten years, the makeup of aircraft operating on Marine Corps Base Hawaii has significantly changed.  For example, the Marine Corps recently deactivated three CH-53D squadrons, and only one CH-53E squadron currently operates from the base.  In August, we gained one squadron of light attack helicopters (23 aircraft), and anticipate seeing the phasing in of two MV-22 tiltrotor squadrons in 2015 (24 aircraft).  The timing of these changes depends on Department of Defense and Marine Corps funding and planning.  When the last MV-22 squadron arrives, MCB Hawaii would have four Marine squadrons.  However, there would be a net gain of approximately 35 aircraft compared to the number of aircraft stationed here in the early 2000s.

The Navy is also proposing to remove three P-3 squadrons from the base in the next few years.  These P-3s would be replaced by a detachment of two P-8 aircraft.

Currently, the base is conducting fewer aviation operations now than 10 years ago.  This is for two reasons.  First, the operational deployment cycle in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom kept a large number of our squadrons away from the base and their families.  Since they were not here to fly locally, the total number of flight operations dropped.  Second, the drawdown of the total number of aircraft as part of the Aviation Campaign Plan resulted in fewer aircraft per squadron.  So, there were fewer flight operations.  As the number of aircraft aboard the base climbs to its normal level, flight operations will increase accordingly.  According to a recent Environmental Impact Statement, the projected number of flight operations will be slightly higher than what is currently being accomplished, but the same as operations in the early 2000s.

Historical traffic counts for the airfield between 1990 and 2000 were over 100,000 operations per year, and even with our anticipated complement of aircraft, we project our annual flight operations to be considerably lower than previously recorded.  Additionally, our Air Installation Compatible Use Zone studies have shown that our noise footprint would actually shrink in some areas with overall noise decibel levels well within safe ranges.  We care about noise levels, and we will work to ensure that aircraft follow standard flight paths and operate within set hours.                   

Question:  Would really appreciate it if aircraft activity could take into consideration "Kona" conditions and not run engines endlessly toward land.  Our houses fill w/jet exhaust on those days.  We find it hard to breathe.

Follow-up:  Under Kona wind conditions, the wind blows from the south and west, which should carry any aircraft engine exhaust fumes out to sea away from windward communities.  Even during normal, strong trade winds that blow toward windward communities, Marine Corps Base Hawaii meets all State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) requirements for air emissions and is inspected annually by the DOH Clean Air Branch. 

There have been no negative findings by the DOH Clean Air Branch during any inspections.  Additionally, Marine Corps Base Hawaii conducts semi-annual monitoring and reporting of their DOH-permitted air emissions sources as part of its environmental compliance program.

Question:  Re: helicopters over my area.  I believe there has been some reduction in noise.  However other branches of service do not have "course rules."  I believe that when Army, etc. use the base airfield they should be taught about the course rules.

Follow-up:  Federal Aviation Regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Pilots flying toward Kailua currently use course rules to stay on the north side of the Nu’upia Ponds.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “Class D” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any Federal Aviation Regulations. 

When military aircraft not based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii fly across the ponds, they follow Visual Flight Rules and are required to check in with our air traffic control tower.  They can fly over land as long as they follow Federal Aviation Regulations and our designated “class D” airspace requirements.  For a definition of Class D airspace, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspace_class. 

Marine Corps Base Hawaii is conducting an operational review.  As part of this review, after hearing residents’ comments, and in an effort to continue fostering positive relationships with our neighbors, the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Commanding Officer has discussed with Army Garrison Hawaii a proposal to adjust the Chinooks’ flight patterns and/or altitude to decrease the flight noise level over the local communities. 

Question:  Why do you have to rev the engines when it is already passed 10 PM?  If you are doing maintenance on your planes can you rev the engine the next morning instead of 10pm?

Follow-up:  Aircraft maintenance is continuous and necessary to safely prepare aircraft for flights during normal operation hours.  However, as a general rule, high power maintenance turns are only allowed M-F 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. and Sat-Sun 8:00-6:00pm.  The base and reconnaissance squadron commanding officers must approve any high power maintenance turns outside of those hours.

Question: In the past 1 1/2 the Marine Corps helicopters are generally flying in the center of the Nuupia Ponds where they should, however the Army CH-47 pilots don't seem to have the word to stay away from the Kaimalino Bay.  They need to get the word.

Follow-up:  Federal Aviation regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Pilots flying toward Kailua currently use course rules stay on the north side of the Nu’upia Ponds.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “Class D” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any Federal Aviation Regulations. 

When military aircraft not based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii fly across the ponds, they follow Visual Flight Rules and are required to check in with our air traffic control tower.  They can fly over land as long as they follow Federal Aviation Regulations and our designated “class D” airspace requirements.  For a definition of Class D airspace, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspace_class. 

Marine Corps Base Hawaii is conducting an operational review.  As part of this review, after hearing residents’ comments, and in an effort to continue fostering positive relationships with our neighbors, the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Commanding Officer has discussed with Army Garrison Hawaii a proposal to adjust the Chinooks’ flight patterns and/or altitude to decrease the flight noise level over the local communities. 

Question: Please define the MCBH upward chain of command for questions.  I understand that Ben Telleri has command.

Follow-up:  The Secretary of the Navy recently established Marine Corps Installations Pacific, a regional installation command encompassing all Marine Corps bases and air stations in Hawaii, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.  Major General Charles L. Hudson, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, is the Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, and Colonel Annichiarico’s Commanding General.  While Colonel Annichiarico does not command a III Marine Expeditionary Force operational unit on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (such 3rd Marine Regiment and Marine Aircraft Group-24), he works very closely with operational unit commanders to support them and ensure all personnel living and working on Marine Corps Base Hawaii are the best possible neighbors to the local community. 

Question: Thank you for cancelling the Blue Angels.
The noises levels have decreased recently in my neighborhood (Aikahi Park) keep it up.
Please schedule more community meetings to address mutual concerns, we need a different format however

Follow-up: The Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron performances at Marine Corps Base Hawaii have not been permanently cancelled.  The Blue Angels perform here every two to three years at no cost to local residents when we open the base for our air show.

Due to the current fiscal environment, the Blue Angels have drastically reduced their 2013 schedule.  However, we anticipate their future return to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. 

We are glad you have noticed a difference in noise levels at Aikahi Park.  Federal Aviation Regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “Class D” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any Federal Aviation Regulations. 

We regularly attend the Kailua, Kaneohe, Kahaluu and Waimanalo Neighborhood Boards to give residents the opportunity to raise issues with the base representative and ask questions.  Should you have additional questions, feel free to attend any of those meetings.

Question: Suggestion, to email excessive training days (areas) to Aikahi neighborhood to e-blast out information, announce on your website possible dates.

Follow-up:  We currently do not have the ability to “email blast” information to residents.  However, you may sign up for our Aloha Newsletter, which contains current base events and is sent to all local legislators every Friday.  You may also find our newsletter on our website at: http://www.mcbhawaii.marines.mil/News/AlohaNewsletter.aspx.  

At the monthly neighborhood board meetings in Kailua, Kaneohe, Waimanalo and Kahaluu, we announce upcoming training.  The schedule can be found here: http://www1.honolulu.gov/nco/boards.htm.

The base does not have a set number of training days.  We train Marines and sailors to prepare for any contingency or combat operation, and the number of training days varies throughout the year.  To maintain good relationships with our neighbors, we brief the community when “out of the ordinary” training occurs, such as late-night flying or firing exercises.

Question:  To MajGen Talleri, you told me that two weeks ago you sent a response to the letter from the Windward Coalition.  As it did not arrive, you said you would resend it to the Windward Coalition address and to me.  Thank you in advance.

Follow-up: Ms. Isayame , thank you for attending Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s community meeting on April 24th.

We have been assured a letter was sent to the Windward Coalition.  If you did not receive a copy of the letter, please contact us at 257-8832.

Question: We live in the Kaimalino area and have for 17yrs., the aircraft are getting closer and closer to our house, the altitude is also lower.  The noise is getting louder, please observe the areas in which you can fly.  We support our troops.

Follow-up:  Federal Aviation Regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “Class D” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any Federal Aviation Regulations. 

The size of our newer CH-53E helicopters may make the aircraft appear closer than they are.  This is because the CH-53E is 100-ft long and replaced a similar-looking helicopter—the CH-53D—that was only 88 feet long. 

Question: Would like to see-in black & white a draft mitigation plan/program regarding proposed increase of aircraft at MCB Kaneohe, such as installing air-conditioners in classrooms for schools around Kaneohe bay that are affected by noise.

Follow-up:  As part of this commitment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii conducted detailed noise studies to examine the noise levels in the surrounding community.  The noise levels around all schools remains well below the “clearly acceptable” 55 dB Day-Night Sound Level (DNL) contour, and future changes in the average noise levels are expected to maintain a clearly acceptable DNL contour with an  increase of no more than 3 dB (the minimum change in sound that the average human ear can detect is 3 dB). 

Question:  Next meeting we need to have a representative -FAA, Congressional delegate...etc.

Follow-up:  We agree.  We regularly work with Federal, State, and local elected officials and agency representatives, and we will invite some of them to our next community meeting. 

Question:  Why do fly over home, school, malls. EIS!?  (Aviation/Air Space question)

Follow-up:  An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzes how a proposed major federal action would affect the environment.  After a Department of the Navy EIS is complete, the Secretary of the Navy signs a Record of Decision (ROD), and the ROD includes an analysis and approved measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate significant environmental impacts. 

Federal Aviation Regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “Class D” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any Federal Aviation Regulations. 

Question: DoD guidelines for flights.  (Aviation/Air Space question)

Follow-up:  Aircraft operating from Marine Corps Base Hawaii comply with “Class D” airspace requirements around the base.  For a definition of Class D airspace, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspace_class. 

Question: Why do we (you) have EIS when you don't follow it!  You’re breaking Environmental Laws! Health and Safety

Follow-up:  An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzes how a proposed major federal action would affect the environment.  After a Department of the Navy EIS is complete, the Secretary of the Navy signs a Record of Decision (ROD), and the ROD includes an analysis and approved measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate significant environmental impacts.  We also consult Federal, State, local and community organizations to develop balanced approaches for protecting the environment and our training mission.             

Question:  In conjunction with the schools in the area- my suggestion is to place sound sensors at each school- reasons...

Follow-up:  Marine Corps Base Hawaii Environmental Department, Community Relations, and school liaison offices regularly work together with local schools.  Child education is important to us, as we have a state elementary school (Mokapu) here on our base, and our children also live and go to school within our neighboring communities.  So, we coordinate with school officials and have students of all grade levels and school subjects, especially the sciences, visit the base and receive tours of the important activities performed on the base. 

Marine Corps Base Hawaii conducted detailed noise studies to examine the noise levels in the surrounding community.  All schools remain well below the clearly acceptable 55 dB Day-Night Sound Level (DNL) contour, and future changes in the average noise levels are expected to maintain a clearly acceptable DNL contour with an  increase of no more than 3 dB (the minimum change in sound that the average human ear can detect is 3 dB). 

Question:  We get a fair amount of fine black dust...any factors from the base that could cause this?

Follow-up:  Based on the distance your residence is located from operational areas on the installation, it is unlikely that our airfield, dining facilities, or maintenance/construction areas would create the black dust that you are experiencing at your residence.  So, you may want to look at other potential sources, like road construction or repaving and, perhaps, volcanic sources.   

Question:  As a resident living in a home on Kaneohe bay drive fronting the MCBH runway, I occasionally lose a little sleep or have to adjust the volume on my TV to offset some noise from the base, but that’s just a slight issue and want the MCBH to know I support their mission to the fullest.  Keep doing what you have to do. -I'd like to express my thanks to all involved at MCBH for allowing myself and others to paddle the 6-man outrigger canoes with na koalani on the base.  i steer with the recreational crew and also coach the keikis during regatta season.  Thank you for supporting our sport and recreation! 

Question:  still have helicopters flying way too close to the fence line.  We understand this is being worked on; it has improved over several months.

Follow-up: federal aviation regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at marine corps base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “class d” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any federal aviation regulations. 

The size of our newer ch-53e helicopters may make the aircraft appear closer than they are.  This is because the ch-53e is 100-ft long and replaced a similar-looking helicopter—the ch-53d—that was only 88 feet long.           

Question:  As a member of the Kaneohe neighborhood board, i get calls from people who are unhappy about aircraft noise.  The nights you kept us up till 3a.m. was particularly bad.  I believe Kaneohe residents are very tolerant of MCBH noise, i also think there is a line.  People are worried about the impact of ramped up training activities.  Right now is wait & see.  Please take the noise issues seriously.  This is not an issue that involving a few looks.  People who live near your flight pattern are seriously impacted.

Follow-up:  federal aviation regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, marine corps base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at marine corps base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “class d” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any federal aviation regulations. 

Currently, the base is conducting fewer aviation operations now than 10 years ago.  This is for two reasons.  First, the operational deployment cycle in support of operations Iraqi and enduring freedom kept a large number of our squadrons away from the base and their families.  Since they were not here to fly locally, the total number of flight operations dropped.  Second, the drawdown of the total number of aircraft as part of the aviation campaign plan resulted in fewer aircraft per squadron.  So, there were fewer flight operations.  As the number of aircraft aboard the base climbs to its normal level, flight operations will increase accordingly.  According to a recent environmental impact statement, the projected number of flight operations will be slightly higher than what is currently being accomplished, but the same as operations in the early 2000s.

Historical traffic counts for the airfield between 1990 and 2000 were over 100,000 operations per year, and even with our anticipated complement of aircraft, we project our annual flight operations to be considerably lower than previously recorded.  Additionally, our air installation compatible use zone studies have shown that our noise footprint would actually shrink in some areas with overall noise decibel levels well within safe ranges.  We care about noise levels, and we will work to ensure that aircraft follow standard flight paths and operate within set hours.       

Question:  I understand that you have rules & regulations regarding your aircrafts & pilots, please consider the concerns of the people living around the base especially noise.

Follow-up:  Federal aviation regulations allow aircraft to fly over land.  However, to reduce aircraft traffic over residential areas, Marine Corps base Hawaii established course rules to create a safe and expeditious pathway for aircraft based at Marine Corps base Hawaii to depart and arrive at the airfield in a safe and efficient manner.  Occasionally, though, a pilot complying with “class d” airspace requirements may encounter unforeseen circumstances and must fly over land or otherwise deviate from the course rules.  Doing so is in the interest of safety of the aircraft and would not violate any federal aviation regulations. 

Currently, the base is conducting fewer aviation operations now than 10 years ago.  This is for two reasons.  First, the operational deployment cycle in support of operations Iraqi and enduring freedom kept a large number of our squadrons away from the base and their families.  Since they were not here to fly locally, the total number of flight operations dropped.  Second, the drawdown of the total number of aircraft as part of the aviation campaign plan resulted in fewer aircraft per squadron.  So, there were fewer flight operations.  As the number of aircraft aboard the base climbs to its normal level, flight operations will increase accordingly.  According to a recent environmental impact statement, the projected number of flight operations will be slightly higher than what is currently being accomplished, but the same as operations in the early 2000s.

Historical traffic counts for the airfield between 1990 and 2000 were over 100,000 operations per year, and even with our anticipated complement of aircraft, we project our annual flight operations to be considerably lower than previously recorded.  Additionally, our air installation compatible use zone studies have shown that our noise footprint would actually shrink in some areas with overall noise decibel levels well within safe ranges.  We care about noise levels, and we will work to ensure that aircraft follow standard flight paths and operate within set hours.       

Question:  Establishment of the naval def sea area needs to be updated after 72 years. Hopefully with local input from the community that lives and plays in k bay.

Follow-up:  (no contact info provided) we planned the community meeting to receive community comments, including comments on our enforcement of the naval defensive sea area surrounding the base.  The naval defensive sea area is federally-mandated, and it provides a security and safety zone for the base.  The established documentation for enforcing the naval defensive sea area is currently found in the second chapter of the 45th edition of the United States coast pilot 7 and within section 334.1380 of title 33, code of federal regulations. 

Question:  suggest that the coast guard also be brought into meetings

Follow-up: we agree.  The USCG are welcomed in future meetings. 

Question:  Clearly establish documentation of enforcement powers that patrol boat personnel have within the naval def sea area.

Follow-up:  The established documentation for enforcing the naval defensive sea area is currently found in the second chapter of the 45th edition of the United States coast pilot 7 and within section 334.1380 of title 33, code of federal regulations.  Information regarding active range times and other things affecting the naval defensive sea area are published at www.navcen.uscg.gov and through local notices to mariners.