PDK airport hires new noise, environmental officer

The airport houses a number of corporate jets. AJC file photo

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The airport houses a number of corporate jets. AJC file photo

DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, the second busiest in the state, has a new noise and environmental analyst.

Korey A.L. Barnes will monitor noise levels in and around the airport, DeKalb County said in a statement Thursday.

The position has been vacant since at least June, when airport director Mario Evans announced that the previous noise officer Nate Schattner left to work for the Newnan-Coweta County airport. Noise reports and complaints filed by residents were "just sort of on hold," Evans said at the time.

» READ MORE: PDK airport growth a growing concern for nearby residents

The airport — more commonly known as “Peachtree DeKalb Airport” or just “PDK” by its official FAA designation — is a general aviation airport, meaning it mostly does not service commercial passenger flights and is instead used for smaller planes.

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Channel 2's Berndt Petersen learned the state's second busiest airport expects a 37 percent increase in traffic in next 20 years.

Barnes, a certified pilot, has more than eight years of experience working with Delta and the city of Atlanta at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

He will be in charge of making sure the airport is in compliance with federal, state and local laws when it comes to noise and the environment. His job duties include monitoring noise levels, collecting water samples and working to reduce aircraft noise.

Several neighbors near PDK have been on edge recently, as the city predicts it will see an increase in the number of flights coming in and out. Some residents have said they are often bothered by the noise of planes landing or taking off at PDK.

» READ MORE: As DeKalb airport eyes growth, residents on edge over noise, pollution

Its location, near I-85 and I-285 and not far from Buckhead, makes it a popular destination for corporations like Waffle House and Southern Company, who have jets stationed at PDK. It is located in the city of Chamblee, managed by DeKalb County and subject to guidelines and regulations from the FAA. PDK is also the third-largest payer of property taxes in DeKalb County, according to its website.

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