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OCR for page 26
11. Protecting and Preserving the Airport and Its Environs general Key Po i nt Airport Obstructions RU NW AY PR Structure Penetration OT EC TIO RU It is common for a community to develop around an airport WA and encroach on N the Cell land Tower and airspace that is often critical Penetration N Tree Penetration YP SU to the airport's longterm viability. Prevention of incompatible uses RO TECaround the airport Treeis critical because of their potential Penetration RF AC TIO to impact airport operations and vice versa. Primary tools available N S to local governments to prevent incompatible E UR Tree Penetration FA development include zoning, land use plans, ordinances, building permits, C and E land acquisition. RU NW AY SU EA TION AR RF D i s cu s s i on PROTEC AC RUNWAY E EA TION AR PROTEC RUNWAY T h e Ai r p o r t The three areas of primary concern for both the protection and safety of an airport are height of objects (typically called "obstructions"), aircraft noise impacts, and hazards created by the presence of wildlife. PICK ONE Airport Obstructions Structure Penetration Cell Tower Penetration Tree Penetration Tree Penetration RU N W AY F I NAN C I AL SU RF AC Tree Penetration E Obstruc tions Tall objects such as cell towers, water tanks, wind farms, or trees that penetrate airspace where aircraft fly are obviously not appropriate. FAA's Regulation Part 77, Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace, defines "imaginary surfaces" that generally should be kept free of penetrations. One of these imaginary surfaces is the approach slope to the runway threshold. Both zoning and the building permitting process are used to help prevent tall objects around airports. FAA may also deem a proposed object a hazard, which in most cases will halt the issuance of a building permit. A common form of zoning associated with airports is the development of an airport zoning ordinance. These are typically sponsored by local municipalities or state statute. When feasible, they should include both height and land use restrictions to adequately rules protect the airport, safe movement of aircraft, and persons that live or work in the vicinity of the airport. Proponents of proposed structures near airports are required to obtain FAA approval prior to construction. Local governments should institute a process where this coordination is done early in the planning process. 26

OCR for page 26
Noise GENERAL Considerable progress has been made over the past 20 years to reduce aircraft engine noise; however, this issue remains as a point of controversy between airports and their neighbors. The public is concerned not only about the total amount of noise to which it is exposed, it is also concerned about the number of flights that pass over their home, the individual noise levels emitted from aircraft, the time of day or night aircraft pass over, and the aircraft's height in proximity to the ground. Through a federal Interagency Committee on noise, FAA selected 65 day-night noise level (DNL) as the threshold of significance. DNL is a composite rating of noise that considers nighttime aircraft noise as normally more of a nuisance than day-time noise. This DNL rating includes consideration of the noise of multiple aircraft takeoffs and landings, with those at night counting 10 times those in the day. Many airports have prepared noise maps that identify the DNL contours for their airport. Communities use these noise maps to guide the adoption of responsible land use plans and zoning to protect both the airport and its neighbors. Techniques used to mitigate aircraft noise impacts include: Work with FAA to modify flight track location to overfly corridors of compatible land use; THE AIRPORT Establish voluntary runway use programs, maximizing certain runways and flight tracks when weather and activity permit; Manage time and location of aircraft engine run-up operations; and Acquire or soundproof noise-impacted properties such as residences, churches, and schools. A land use could be deemed incompatible due to noise sensitivity or due to the need to keep certain areas surrounding an airport clear of structures and congregations of people. RPZs (see Issue Paper #7 The Airport: Basic Elements of Your Airport) protect people and property on the ground. These areas are located at the end of each runway and the airport owner should hold sufficient property interest to achieve and maintain the area clear of all incompatible land use, objects, and activities. Wildlife Hazards Activities on or near the airport that attract wildlife such as deer and birds should be avoided or managed to prevent aircraft hazards. Many airports use fencing and employ vegetation practices to keep out land animals. FAA has specific guidelines FINANCIAL for the management and location of bird attractants such as landfills and water areas. FAA's airport safety experts can advise airport management about policy and practices related to wildlife hazards. Local zoning codes should be amended to reduce or restrict wildlife attractants such as ponds in the vicinity of the airport. Projec t Assessments Federal law generally requires the airport sponsor to identify and mitigate any environmental impacts caused by proposed airport development projects. The airport owner works directly with FAA staff to ensure this requirement is met. App l i c at i o n Learn what measures your local government has taken regarding land use RULES planning and zoning around the airport. 27