Web editor's note: This text is current as January 1996. To determine whether a particular section has been amended since then, consult the printed United States Code with supplements, or go to 49 U.S.C. Chapter 471 at the Web site of the Legal Information Institute (Cornell Law School) and follow the instructions there for "updates".


United States Code

TITLE 49 - TRANSPORTATION
SUBTITLE VII - AVIATION PROGRAMS
PART B - AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT AND NOISE
CHAPTER 475 - NOISE

SUBCHAPTER I - NOISE ABATEMENT

    Section
    47501. Definitions.
    47502. Noise measurement and exposure systems and identifying land
           use compatible with noise exposure.
    47503. Noise exposure maps.
    47504. Noise compatibility programs.
    47505. Airport noise compatibility planning grants.
    47506. Limitations on recovering damages for noise.
    47507. Nonadmissibility of noise exposure map and related
           information as evidence.
    47508. Noise standards for air carriers and foreign air carriers
           providing foreign air transportation.
    47509. Research program on quiet aircraft technology for propeller
           and rotor driven aircraft.
    47510. Tradeoff allowance.
 
SUBCHAPTER II - NATIONAL AVIATION NOISE POLICY
47521. Findings. 47522. Definitions. 47523. National aviation noise policy. 47524. Airport noise and access restriction review program. 47525. Decision about airport noise and access restrictions on certain stage 2 aircraft. 47526. Limitations for noncomplying airport noise and access restrictions. 47527. Liability of the United States Government for noise damages. 47528. Prohibition on operating certain aircraft not complying with stage 3 noise levels. 47529. Nonaddition rule. 47530. Nonapplication of sections 47528(a)-(d) and 47529 to aircraft outside the 48 contiguous States. 47531. Penalties for violating sections 47528-47530. 47532. Judicial review. 47533. Relationship to other laws.
AMENDMENTS
1994 - Pub. L. 103-429, Sec. 6(72)(B), Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4388, added item 47510. Pub. L. 103-305, title III, Sec. 308(b), Aug. 23, 1994, 108 Stat. 1594, added item 47509.
CHAPTER REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS
This chapter is referred to in section 47108 of this title. Sec. 47501. Definitions In this subchapter - (1) "airport" means a public-use airport as defined in section 47102 of this title. (2) "airport operator" means - (A) for an airport serving air carriers that have certificates from the Secretary of Transportation, any person holding an airport operating certificate issued under section 44706 of this title; and (B) for any other airport, the person operating the airport. Sec. 47502. Noise measurement and exposure systems and identifying land use compatible with noise exposure After consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Government, State, and interstate agencies that the Secretary of Transportation considers appropriate, the Secretary shall by regulation - (1) establish a single system of measuring noise that - (A) has a highly reliable relationship between projected noise exposure and surveyed reactions of individuals to noise; and (B) is applied uniformly in measuring noise at airports and the surrounding area; (2) establish a single system for determining the exposure of individuals to noise resulting from airport operations, including noise intensity, duration, frequency, and time of occurrence; and (3) identify land uses normally compatible with various exposures of individuals to noise. Sec. 47503. Noise exposure maps (a) Submission and Preparation. - An airport operator may submit to the Secretary of Transportation a noise exposure map showing the noncompatible uses in each area of the map on the date the map is submitted, a description of estimated aircraft operations during 1985, and how those operations will affect the map. The map shall - (1) be prepared in consultation with public agencies and planning authorities in the area surrounding the airport; and (2) comply with regulations prescribed under section 47502 of this title. (b) Revised Maps. - If a change in the operation of an airport will establish a substantial new noncompatible use in an area surrounding the airport, the airport operator shall submit a revised noise exposure map to the Secretary showing the new noncompatible use. Sec. 47504. Noise compatibility programs (a) Submissions. - (1) An airport operator that submitted a noise exposure map and related information under section 47503(a) of this title may submit a noise compatibility program to the Secretary of Transportation after - (A) consulting with public agencies and planning authorities in the area surrounding the airport, United States Government officials having local responsibility for the airport, and air carriers using the airport; and (B) notice and an opportunity for a public hearing. (2) A program submitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall state the measures the operator has taken or proposes to take to reduce existing noncompatible uses and prevent introducing additional noncompatible uses in the area covered by the map. The measures may include - (A) establishing a preferential runway system; (B) restricting the use of the airport by a type or class of aircraft because of the noise characteristics of the aircraft; (C) constructing barriers and acoustical shielding and soundproofing public buildings; (D) using flight procedures to control the operation of aircraft to reduce exposure of individuals to noise in the area surrounding the airport; and (E) acquiring land, air rights, easements, development rights, and other interests to ensure that the property will be used in ways compatible with airport operations. (b) Approvals. - (1) The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a program submitted under subsection (a) of this section (except as the program is related to flight procedures referred to in subsection (a)(2)(D) of this section) not later than 180 days after receiving it. The Secretary shall approve the program (except as the program is related to flight procedures referred to in subsection (a)(2)(D)) if the program - (A) does not place an unreasonable burden on interstate or foreign commerce; (B) is reasonably consistent with achieving the goal of reducing noncompatible uses and preventing the introduction of additional noncompatible uses; and (C) provides for necessary revisions because of a revised map submitted under section 47503(b) of this title. (2) A program (except as the program is related to flight procedures referred to in subsection (a)(2)(D) of this section) is deemed to be approved if the Secretary does not act within the 180-day period. (3) The Secretary shall submit any part of a program related to flight procedures referred to in subsection (a)(2)(D) of this section to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Administrator shall approve or disapprove that part of the program. (c) Grants. - (1) The Secretary may incur obligations to make grants from amounts available under section 48103 of this title to carry out a project under a part of a noise compatibility program approved under subsection (b) of this section. A grant may be made to - (A) an airport operator submitting the program; and (B) a unit of local government in the area surrounding the airport, if the Secretary decides the unit is able to carry out the project. (2) Soundproofing and acquisition of certain residential buildings and properties. - The Secretary may incur obligations to make grants from amounts made available under section 48103 of this title - (A) for projects to soundproof residential buildings - (i) if the airport operator received approval for a grant for a project to soundproof residential buildings pursuant to section 301(d)(4)(B) of the Airport and Airway Safety and Capacity Expansion Act of 1987; (ii) if the airport operator submits updated noise exposure contours, as required by the Secretary; and (iii) if the Secretary determines that the proposed projects are compatible with the purposes of this chapter; (B) to an airport operator and unit of local government referred to in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) of this subsection to soundproof residential buildings located on residential properties, and to acquire residential properties, at which noise levels are not compatible with normal operations of an airport - (i) if the airport operator amended an existing local aircraft noise regulation during calendar year 1993 to increase the maximum permitted noise levels for scheduled air carrier aircraft as a direct result of implementation of revised aircraft noise departure procedures mandated for aircraft safety purposes by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for standardized application at airports served by scheduled air carriers; (ii) if the airport operator submits updated noise exposure contours, as required by the Secretary; and (iii) if the Secretary determines that the proposed projects are compatible with the purposes of this chapter; (C) to an airport operator and unit of local government referred to in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) of this subsection to carry out any part of a program developed before February 18, 1980, or before implementing regulations were prescribed, if the Secretary decides the program is substantially consistent with reducing existing noncompatible uses and preventing the introduction of additional noncompatible uses and the purposes of this chapter will be furthered by promptly carrying out the program; and (D) to an airport operator and unit of local government referred to in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) of this subsection to soundproof a building in the noise impact area surrounding the airport that is used primarily for educational or medical purposes and that the Secretary decides is adversely affected by airport noise. (3) An airport operator may agree to make a grant made under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection available to a public agency in the area surrounding the airport if the Secretary decides the agency is able to carry out the project. (4) The Government's share of a project for which a grant is made under this subsection is the greater of - (A) 80 percent of the cost of the project; or (B) the Government's share that would apply if the amounts available for the project were made available under subchapter I of chapter 471 of this title for a project at the airport. (5) The provisions of subchapter I of chapter 471 of this title related to grants apply to a grant made under this chapter, except - (A) section 47109(a) and (b) of this title; and (B) any provision that the Secretary decides is inconsistent with, or unnecessary to carry out, this chapter. (d) Government Relief From Liability. - The Government is not liable for damages from aviation noise because of action taken under this section. Sec. 47505. Airport noise compatibility planning grants (a) General Authority. - The Secretary of Transportation may make a grant to a sponsor of an airport to develop, for planning purposes, information necessary to prepare and submit - (1) a noise exposure map and related information under section 47503 of this title, including the cost of obtaining the information; or (2) a noise compatibility program under section 47504 of this title. (b) Availability of Amounts and Government's Share of Costs. - A grant under subsection (a) of this section may be made from amounts available under section 48103 of this title. The United States Government's share of the grant is the percent for which a project for airport development at an airport would be eligible under section 47109(a) and (b) of this title. Sec. 47506. Limitations on recovering damages for noise (a) General Limitations. - A person acquiring an interest in property after February 18, 1980, in an area surrounding an airport for which a noise exposure map has been submitted under section 47503 of this title and having actual or constructive knowledge of the existence of the map may recover damages for noise attributable to the airport only if, in addition to any other elements for recovery of damages, the person shows that - (1) after acquiring the interest, there was a significant - (A) change in the type or frequency of aircraft operations at the airport; (B) change in the airport layout; (C) change in flight patterns; or (D) increase in nighttime operations; and (2) the damages resulted from the change or increase. (b) Constructive Knowledge. - Constructive knowledge of the existence of a map under subsection (a) of this section shall be imputed, at a minimum, to a person if - (1) before the person acquired the interest, notice of the existence of the map was published at least 3 times in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is located; or (2) the person is given a copy of the map when acquiring the interest. Sec. 47507. Nonadmissibility of noise exposure map and related information as evidence No part of a noise exposure map or related information described in section 47503 of this title that is submitted to, or prepared by, the Secretary of Transportation and no part of a list of land uses the Secretary identifies as normally compatible with various exposures of individuals to noise may be admitted into evidence or used for any other purpose in a civil action asking for relief for noise resulting from the operation of an airport. Sec. 47508. Noise standards for air carriers and foreign air carriers providing foreign air transportation (a) General Requirements. - The Secretary of Transportation shall require each air carrier and foreign air carrier providing foreign air transportation to comply with noise standards - (1) the Secretary prescribed for new subsonic aircraft in regulations of the Secretary in effect on January 1, 1977; or (2) of the International Civil Aviation Organization that are substantially compatible with standards of the Secretary for new subsonic aircraft in regulations of the Secretary at parts 36 and 91 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, prescribed between January 2, 1977, and January 1, 1982. (b) Compliance at Phased Rate. - The Secretary shall require each air carrier and foreign air carrier providing foreign air transportation to comply with the noise standards at a phased rate similar to the rate for aircraft registered in the United States. (c) Nondiscrimination. - The requirement for air carriers providing foreign air transportation may not be more stringent than the requirement for foreign air carriers. Sec. 47509. Research program on quiet aircraft technology for propeller and rotor driven aircraft (a) Establishment. - The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall conduct a study to identify technologies for noise reduction of propeller driven aircraft and rotorcraft. (b) Goal. - The goal of the study conducted under subsection (a) is to determine the status of research and development now underway in the area of quiet technology for propeller driven aircraft and rotorcraft, including technology that is cost beneficial, and to determine whether a research program to supplement existing research activities is necessary. (c) Participation. - In conducting the study required under subsection (a), the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall encourage the participation of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the airtour industry, the aviation industry, academia and other appropriate groups. (d) Report. - Not less than 280 days after August 23, 1994, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of the study required under subsection (a). (e) Research and Development Program. - If the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration determine that additional research and development is necessary and would substantially contribute to the development of quiet aircraft technology, then the agencies shall conduct an appropriate research program in consultation with the entities listed in subsection (c) to develop safe, effective, and economical noise reduction technology (including technology that can be applied to existing propeller driven aircraft and rotorcraft) that would result in aircraft that operate at substantially reduced levels of noise to reduce the impact of such aircraft and rotorcraft on the resources of national parks and other areas. Sec. 47510. Tradeoff allowance Notwithstanding another law or a regulation prescribed or order issued under that law, the tradeoff provisions contained in appendix C of part 36 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, apply in deciding whether an aircraft complies with subpart I of part 91 of title 14.

Go to Subchapter II - National Aviation Noise Policy