Safety and Environment

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District and its aviation partners have taken a multitude of factors into account while developing the new flight procedures. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for airport operations: close-in mountainous terrain features, differing aircraft capabilities, and the ongoing evolution from ground-based navigation to performance based navigation all play a role in how the airport developed its proposed procedures.

The airport has undertaken a variety of assessments and analyses to determine the safest possible procedures, including:

These assessments and more can be found here in Data and Analysis.

These proposed procedures enhance the airport’s ability to accommodate operations by a wide array of aviation users, including higher performance aircraft, while remaining sensitive to the interests of nearby residential communities. Several factors came under particular consideration, including the regional environment, neighboring population centers, existing procedures at nearby airports, and pilot safety.

The Environment

Developing environmentally friendly flight procedures is a high priority for the TTAD. The airport sought to design procedures that meet terrain and obstructions criteria, yet protect the surrounding communities from adverse impacts. While the mountainous terrain surrounding TRK provides a scenic backdrop to the area, the terrain necessitates additional planning considerations for arriving and departing aircraft. Updates to existing procedures, and the development of new flight procedures, have taken into account the surrounding terrain as well as the varied airspace and nearby neighborhoods.

The time of day is also considered when developing these procedures. Some proposed arrival procedures are prohibited during the night, as is circling south of Runway 29, among other restrictions. Historic weather, sky conditions, and visibility were all utilized to determine a safe path for pilots. Additionally, TRK experiences mountainous weather conditions that limit the ability for aircraft to fly except under instrument flight rules. All of these factors were considered when developing the proposed procedures.

Population Centers

Of particular importance during the assessments were the several residential communities surrounding the airport. In 2001, TTAD developed a set of procedures for arriving and departing aircraft to minimize impacts to these communities, and these figured heavily into developing the new procedures.
Whenever possible, the proposed procedures direct pilots over highways and open land, to minimize the impact on the neighboring communities.

Pilot Safety

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District has carefully considered the operating capabilities and navigation performance of both business and general aviation operators to determine the most viable instrument flight procedure solutions at TRK. Developing instrument-based procedures protects pilots from terrain and obstructions. Flying an established procedure rather than flying with visual reference to terrain and obstructions in marginal conditions will increase safety when departing the airport.

Each proposed arrival procedure must take into account missed approaches, or when an aircraft isn’t able to align with the correct approach and has to circle back and try again. Precisely how an aircraft is directed to do that differs by runway, but the ultimate goal is to create a safe path for an aircraft that allows it to merge into the proper arrival procedure. The proposed procedures also designate safer locations for emergency landings, which will minimize potential collisions with someone on the ground.

Existing Flight Procedures

When developing the proposed flight procedures, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District had to ensure that none of its draft procedures would conflict with simultaneous flights at TRK, Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), or South Lake Airport (TVL).

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