Goals & Timeline

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District has worked for years to develop new flight procedures that aim to maximize pilot safety, security and efficiency while minimizing impacts to the community.

These procedures are designed to shorten flight paths over the community, lessen noise exposure, and ultimately reduce aircraft noise and greenhouse gas emissions impacts for the Truckee-North Tahoe area. Learn how these procedures may affect your specific neighborhood.

With the new flight procedures,

the airport seeks to:

Influence the path of aircraft as they approach and transition to land.

Influence the path of aircraft as they depart and transition on course.

Develop safe flight paths that benefit the community and reduce environmental impact.

Develop safe flight paths that accommodate the widest array of aircraft type, size, speed, and character.

Create efficient procedures that align with federal regulations, airspace procedures, and regional terrain.

Flight Procedure Development

Flight procedures are detailed, FAA certified instructions for an aircraft during specific parts of a flight. They determine the approximate position and altitude of the aircraft as it travels over the ground in both the arrival and departure phases of flight. Because the FAA has authority over all flight activity in the air, airports are required to use a specified set of criteria to develop new procedures that allow the airport some influence over the location of arriving and departing aircraft.

At Truckee Tahoe Airport, the development of new procedures for Runway 11 and Runway 29 will help pilots to fly more strategic flight paths—utilizing instrumentation to fly over more open space than homes. These potential flight procedures take into account the region’s terrain, neighborhoods, and the most efficient manner to bring pilots in and out of Truckee Tahoe Airport.

These draft flight procedures are part of the TTAD’s “three-legged stool” to increase safety and efficiency at the airport. In addition to establishing an air traffic control tower at the airport, the recent deployment of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) system, which provides highly accurate, real-time surveillance data for aircraft in the Truckee Tahoe region, has provided the system requirements needed to update its flight procedures.

These draft flight procedures are designed for planes that utilize instrument flight rules (IFR), and will likely apply to less than 30% of all traffic. The entire process to develop and gain approval from the FAA is expected to take between 18 and 36 months.

Methodology

During the airport’s flight path development process, a number of concepts were identified as potential procedural improvements. Each of the concepts were evaluated against the following requirements; if the concept didn’t fully meet all criteria, it was not carried forward. The concepts must:

  • Provide environmental benefits – reduced emissions, noise or track miles.
  • Serve all runways to enhance runway utilization and reduce environmental impact.
  • Meet current FAA procedure design criteria.
  • Meet current FAA terrain and obstruction requirements.
  • Meet current performance-based network design criteria.
  • Provide independent operations from current procedures at:
    • South Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL)
    • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
    • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • Be available to the majority of aircraft that use TRK.

Project Timeline

18 – 36 months

July 2020 – September 2021

Design and Criteria Development

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District has completed the Design and Criteria portion of the procedure development process. The airport developed working groups with pilots, technical advisors, airport leadership, the Federal Aviation Administration, and environmental organizations to suggest improvements to the existing flight procedures. The airport and its aviation partners also performed several assessments of the planes that fly into TRK, the paths they currently take, and items like terrain, population centers, and improvements in aviation technology that may allow for more streamlined flightpaths in and out of the Truckee region. From these analyses, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District has developed a set of potential flight procedures, and the final design and criteria is underway.

July 2020 – September 2021
October 2021 – July 2022

Environmental Review

After the Truckee Tahoe Airport District drafts a set of potential new flight procedures, the procedures must undergo federal environmental review. All environmental reviews of air traffic projects are conducted under the guidelines and regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related statutory and regulatory environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and National Historic Preservation Act, as well as internal FAA environmental regulations:

For more details on the FAA environmental review process, click here.

October 2021 – July 2022
May 2021 – Summer 2022

Public Comment

The airport is actively seeking input from the community on the proposed flight procedures. Members of the public have from now until the procedures are submitted to the FAA to review the draft procedures and provide their feedback. You are welcome to submit comments via this website, airport phone, or during any of the monthly Truckee Tahoe Airport Board meetings. The feedback will be compiled and presented to the Airport Board before the submission.

To provide your feedback on the proposed flight procedures, click here.

May 2021 – Summer 2022
Summer 2022 – 2025

FAA Review

The Truckee Tahoe Airport Board will review the procedures, public comment, and the environmental analyses, and then determine a final set of procedures to submit to the FAA. The FAA approvals process is expected to take up to three years.

Summer 2022 – 2025

Oversight

The Federal Aviation Administration has oversight of the airspace around Truckee Tahoe Airport, but is willing to consider revised flight procedures proposed by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District. In order to create procedures that comply with FAA regulations, TTAD is required to use specific criteria and include feedback from key stakeholders—including the public.

Several regional and federal organizations are directly involved in the lengthy process, including:

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport Board
  • TTAD Airspace Design Technical Advisory Committee
  • House of Representatives, California 4th District
  • Regional Pilots and Tenants
  • Noise and Environmental Groups
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Safety Risk Management Panel