NewsMissoula County


Missoula airport plans noise study, flight tracker to monitor departures after complaint

MSO Jet Runway.jpg
Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 15:28:58-04

MISSOULA — The new director of Missoula Montana Airport said he’s reached out to a homeowner who brought a noise complaint to the Airport Authority last month and will do so again once a system to help track flights goes live with the new passenger terminal.

An airport-area resident last month complained to the board about the noise of aircraft departing to the east. The resident suggested that flights more commonly left to the west in past years.

“I’ve been working with that homeowner,” said airport director Brian Ellestad. “We dug out our old noise study and we’re going to recommend doing a new noise study for our next master plan.”

The noise study will unfold as a new wave of residential and retail construction begins to play out in the greater Mullan area. The growth – directed by $13 million in federal funding and a sweeping master plan – is largely filling in to the airport’s south and southeast.

The property historically has served as rural agriculture but is becoming increasingly populated.

Aside from that growth, the airport also plans to open the first phase of its new passenger terminal early next year, and it could begin the second phase. New software is included in the expansion, and it could help the airport track flights that depart or arrive from either direction.

“We found a great resource that’s going to automate our general aviation billing and collections,” Ellestad said. “As part of that, we’ll be able to keep a flight track of all arrivals and departures. We’ll be able to feed that to whoever does the noise study. We’ll have some good data once that goes live.”