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CHAPTER 9 Land Use Management Techniques for Noise Abatement The reduction of adverse aircraft noise impacts on noise-sensitive land uses is dependent not only on the abatement of aircraft noise at the source or through operational techniques, but also through the management of the use of land that remains exposed to high noise levels after abate- ment measures are implemented. There would be little logic in modifying flight activity to focus or disperse noise over compatibly used land if that land were to be built up in noise-sensitive uses by future development action. This chapter will discuss a series of land use management oppor- tunities available to airports and communities to seek a balance between airside and landside responsibilities for maintaining compatibility between the airport and its neighbors. Since the retirement of louder, older aircraft from the operating mix began in the mid-1980s, aircraft manufacturers and operators have contributed substantially to the reduction of the size of the areas deemed incompatible around airports. Their conversion to new aircraft types and/or quieter engines has resulted in the removal of millions of persons from within the 65 DNL foot- prints around the nation's airports. As the contours have shrunk, lands that had previously been deemed incompatible for the development of noise-sensitive uses no longer fell within the 65 DNL contour and hence became eligible for compatible development. Throughout the history of the conflict between aircraft noise and noise-sensitive uses, land developers have applied pressure to reduce the contour and open the land to development. Communities with land use jurisdiction face conflicting pressures from developers who wish to bring vacant lands to their highest and best use, and from airport advocates who wish to main- tain unimpeded abilities to use the airport. Until the mid-1990s actions were possible on the avi- ation side of the conflict that would allow tweaking of flight paths, runway use, and operating procedures to make increasingly smaller adjustments to noise contours. However, as the overall contour size shrank from reduced noise emissions at the aircraft source, the costs to make mean- ingful flight management changes to enhance compatibility began to exceed the benefits. With the passage of Lott Amendment to the Vision 100 Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act of 2003 (140), Congress formally banned the use of federal funding to mitigate noise beyond the 65 DNL contour. Although that provision expired on December 31, 2007, FAA policies are now in place that discourage the expenditure of funds to not only mitigate noise-sensitive land uses beyond the 65 DNL contour, but also to modify flight paths that effect noise conditions there. The position now taken by the FAA, as well as nearly all other aviation groups, is a call for bal- ance between the airside and the landside management efforts to control the incompatibilities between aircraft noise and noise-sensitive land uses. User advocates have taken a stand for more control at the local level to prohibit the introduction of potential new incompatible land uses into areas where aircraft noise remains above 65 DNL, and where possible, within an envelope around the contour to assure that future growth at the airport will not reintroduce noise impacts into areas that are allowed to newly develop adjacent to the current contour of significant exposure. In March 133