Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Noise Abatement Policy
November 18, 1976
Basic Policy Principles
Because aircraft noise adversely affects
a significant portion of the nation's population, a nationwide
commitment, involving federal, local and private resources, is
required to reduce the impact of aviation noise on the people
who live in areas surrounding airports.
Public understanding is essential to an
effective program to reduce aircraft noise so that we do not raise
the expectations of airport neighbors for noise reductions beyond
the levels which technology and reasonable cost-effectiveness
Each of the participants in the noise abatement
effort -- the airport users, aircraft manufacturers, the airport
proprietors, federal, state and local governments, and residents
in communities surrounding airports -- must take specific steps
that are essential in reducing the number of people adversely
affected by noise and the severity of the effect on all people.
Planning and acting in coordination, each
of these parties should move toward the goal of confining severe
aircraft noise exposure levels around U.S. airports to the areas
included within the airport boundary or over which the airport
has a legal interest, and of reducing substantially the number
and extent of areas receiving noise exposure levels that interfere
with human activity.
Authorities and Responsibilities Under the Policy
The Federal Government has the authority and responsibility to control aircraft noise by the regulation of source emissions, by flight operational procedures, and by management of the air traffic control and navigable airspace in ways that minimize noise impact on residential areas, consistent with the highest standards of safety. The federal government also
provides financial and technical assistance to airport proprietors for noise reduction planing and abatement activities and, working with the private sector, conducts continuing research into noise abatement technology.
are primarily responsible for planning and implementing action
designed to reduce the effect of noise on residents of the surrounding
area. Such actions include optimal site location, improvements
in airport design, noise abatement ground procedures, land acquisition,
and restrictions on airport use that do not unjustly discriminate
against any user, impede the federal interest in safety and management
of the air navigation system, or unreasonably interfere with interstate
or foreign commerce.
State and Local Governments and Planning
Agencies must provide for land use
planning and development, zoning, and housing regulation that
will limit the uses of land near airports to purposes compatible
with airport operations.
The Air Carriers
are responsible for retirement, replacement, or retrofit of older
jets that do not meet federal noise level standards, and for scheduling
and flying airplanes in a way that minimizes the impact of noise
Air Travelers and Shippers
generally should bear the cost of noise reduction, consistent
with established federal economic and environmental policy that
the adverse environmental consequences of a service or product
should be reflected in its price.
Residents and Prospective Residents
in areas surrounding airports should seek to understand the noise
problem and what steps can be taken to minimize its effect on
people. Individual and community responses to aircraft noise differ
substantially and, for some individuals, a reduced level of noise
may not eliminate the annoyance or irritation. Prospective residents
of areas impacted by airport noise thus should be aware of the
effect of noise on their quality of life and act accordingly.