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Frequently Asked Questions About STREL and DUUKE


What Changed in March 2011? 
The FAA implemented a departure pattern called “STREL” for about half the flights using JWA. The departure pattern was designed to mirror or track the traditional departure patterns for JWA. The other 50 percent of flights continue to use older departure patterns.

What is STREL?
"STREL" is the name given to an Area Navigation (RNAV) departure procedure implemented on March 10, 2011 for John Wayne Airport (JWA) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Why does STREL even exist? What is the purpose of the STREL procedure?
The FAA wants to improve air navigation across the nation by defining more precise departure patterns from many major airports (see NextGen and RNAV). Doing so saves fuel, improves safety, and increases air capacity. According to the FAA, STREL’s specific purpose is to modernize departure procedures from JWA to center them over Newport Bay.

Did planes stop “throttling back” like they used to do when leaving JWA?
Not necessarily. Many still throttle back. But if a plane is quiet enough, it does not have to throttle back at all. As planes are replaced with newer, quieter, more fuel-efficient engines, they can depart in a more traditional way without exceeding the sound levels at various noise monitors in and around Newport Bay.

But I heard the noise monitors weren’t working anymore.
You heard incorrectly. They are working fine, they’re in all the same places, and are monitored daily and calibrated monthly. Please review the JWA website for more information and for all of the noise monitor data. You can even attend the quarterly noise meetings held at JWA’s administrative offices.

What was DUUKE?
"DUUKE" was the name given to the first (and second) RNAV departure procedure designed and implemented for JWA by the FAA. The FAA adjusted DUUKEs ONE and TWO slightly and renamed them STREL.

What was the purpose of the DUUKE ONE/TWO procedure?
According to the FAA, the goal for the DUUKE ONE/TWO procedure was to develop a procedure centered along existing "classic" tracks over Newport Bay. Environmentally, the DUUKE ONE/TWO were overlays of existing, older John Wayne Airport non-RNAV procedures for flights going east of Las Vegas, NV.

When were DUUKE ONE/TWO put in place?
DUUKE ONE was implemented on September 9, 2009. Its successor, DUUKE TWO, was implemented on April 8, 2010. STREL was implemented on March 10, 2011, replacing DUUKE.

What has been the result of DUUKE ONE/TWO?
JWA's flight track data reflected a narrowing of DUUKE ONE/TWO departures and a shift to the east side of Upper Newport Bay (when compared with non-DUUKE ONE/TWO departures). The Airport's noise monitoring system also reflected the eastward shift (see JWA's Quarterly Noise Reports at http://wow.ocair.com/ReportsPublications/AccessNoise/).   

Has the STREL procedure resulted in airplanes turning before the coast?
No.  Nor does the JWA flight tracking system show commercial airplanes turning before they cross the coast.  Residents can check flight tracks by using JWAs "Airport Monitor" feature found at: http://wow.ocair.com/CommunityRelations/AirportMonitor.aspx.  After passing over the coast the airplanes eventually initiate a turn back towards the coast.  The timing of the turns by the commercial airplanes are controlled by the FAAs Air Traffic Control and the need to separate airplanes.  Any early turns (farther south back toward the coast) that may occur appear to be purely a result of air traffic in the area and the need for Air Traffic Control to "separate" airplanes.  It is the timing of the turns back towards the coast that has resulted in complaints from the local community and which has prompted the City to continue to monitor the data and provide input when possible. 

Do all airplanes departing from JWA use STREL?
No, about half do. The half that uses STREL are (a) flying to destinations east of Las Vegas, NV and (b) are equipped with the required technology. Currently, about 50 percent of all commercial departures (about 50 per day) are using the STREL. All other commercial airplanes are flying the traditional Standard Instrument Departures (CHANL ONE and MUSEL SIX). A small number of general aviation jets, about five to eight per day, are flying the STREL.

Will implementation of the RNAV procedure mean airplanes will fly exactly down the center of Newport Bay?
No. There has always been dispersion of flight tracks along Newport Bay. According to FAA, implementation of an RNAV procedure should reduce the dispersion or "fanning" of tracks, but will not result in a single track down the exact center of Newport Bay.

Who makes decisions about the departure procedures?
The FAA is solely responsible for the design and operation of airspace, therefore, the design and implementation of the RNAV departure procedure falls completely within its jurisdiction. JWA staff has and will continue to provide the FAA with noise and flight track data and the City of Newport Beach has conveyed questions and concerns from its citizens to the FAA.

What is RNAV?
Area Navigation (RNAV) is one of two main components of FAAs Performance-Based Navigation (PBN), the other being Required Navigation Performance (RNP). RNAV enables airplanes to fly on any desired flight path within the coverage of ground- or space-based navigation aids, or within the limits of the capability of airplanes self-contained systems, or a combination of both. By using RNAV, airplane can adhere to a desired flight path with smaller deviations than traditional technology allows. Airplanes need onboard instruments called Flight Management Systems (FMS) to use RNAV procedures.

To date, the FAA has authorized more than 340 RNAV procedures at 118 airports.
The FAA is implementing RNAV and RNP arrival and departure procedures nationwide as it builds out the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

What is FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System?
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is the FAAs plan to modernize the National Airspace System (NAS) through 2025. Through NextGen, FAA is addressing the impact of air traffic growth by increasing NAS capacity and efficiency while simultaneously improving safety, reducing environmental impacts, and increasing user access to the NAS. To achieve its NextGen goals, the FAA is implementing new, Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) routes and procedures that leverage emerging technologies and airplane navigation capabilities.

NextGen is a satellite-based navigation system that is replacing the traditional, ground-based system. RNAV and RNP procedures are like on- and off-ramps to the air routes in the sky. NextGen will provide capabilities that make air transportation safer and more reliable, improve the capacity of the NAS and reduce aviation's impact on the environment.

(Source: Federal Aviation Administration)



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