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8 Overview Incompatible land uses can threaten the safe utility of airports and expose people living and working nearby to potentially unacceptable levels of noise or safety risk. GA airportsâthe largest single category of airports in the United Statesâare the airports most susceptible to airport land use compatibility conflicts as they are more likely than air carrier airports to be underfunded, understaffed, and undervalued by their communities. The characteristics of GA airports and their environs vary widely. They range from very busy ârelieverâ airports in metropolitan areas to minimally used facilities in rural locations. Since many GA airports are located on the fringes of urban areas, both the threat of new incompatible development and the opportunity for local governments to help preserve compatible land uses are great. Encroachment of incompatible development around airports has been a long-standing issue. In 1952, the need for compatible land uses near airports was publicized with the release of The Airport and Its NeighborsâThe Report of the Presidentâs Airport Commission, commonly known as the Doolittle Report after General James Doolittle, the commissionâs chairman. The report recommended certain actions by local authorities to alleviate airport land use conflicts. Key among them were: â¢ Airports should plan to incorporate what became known as clear zones and are now called RPZs beyond the ends of airport runways to reduce the danger from accidental overruns on landings or from aborted takeoffs. This area should be considered an integral part of the airport and be completely free from housing or any other form of obstruction. Today, FAA policies strongly encourage airports to own the land or control the uses in RPZs. â¢ Zoning authorities should employ their police powers to prohibit further development that will interfere with appropriate use of existing airports. Areas beyond the airport runways should be zoned to âprevent the erection of obstructions that might be harmful to aircraft but also to control the erection of public and residential buildings as a protection from nuisance and hazard to people on the ground.â â¢ Airports and metropolitan areas should be jointly planned so that they each develop to serve the other. Airports should be made part of and completely integrated with community master plans, also known now as comprehensive or general plans. Unfortunately, many of the airport land use compatibility related recommendations presented in the Doolittle Report have not been widely implemented. As decisions to allow incompatible C H A P T E R 2 Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics General aviation (GA) airports are civilian airports that do not serve scheduled passenger service. Reliever airports relieve congestion at commercial service airports and provide improved GA access to the community. Source: www.faa.gov
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 9 land uses near airports threaten the nationâs aviation system, implementation of compatible land use controls has become an industry priority. Although the FAA can provide grants to airports for capital improvement and require operators to prevent the development of incompatible land use as a condition of that funding, the FAA has no regulatory power to require or empower communities to implement airport compatibility regulations. The FAA has introduced various regulations and guidelines to help airports and their host communities address compatibility issues. Significant among early FAA regulations with land use compatibility implications is Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 77, Safe, Efficient Use and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace (Part 77), briefly referenced in Chapter 1, and its predecessor regulations dating back to the early 1950s, which seek to protect the navigable airspace around airports. Subsequently, the FAA (then the Federal Aviation Agency) released a document entitled Model Airport Zoning Ordinance to help local agencies implement the height limit standards of Part 77. By 1977, this document had become AC 150/5190-4, Model Zoning Ordinance to Limit Height of Objects Around Airports (this AC was updated in 1987). At the state level, all 50 states have enacted some form of airport zoning legislation since the 1950s. The research for this ACRP Project 04-22 indicated the majority of states (90 percent) have enacted laws mandating or enabling local governments to adopt, administer, and enforce airport zoning regulations. In many instances, these regulations are based, in whole or in part, on the obstruction standards set forth in Part 77. Nearly a dozen states have enacted airport compatibility laws that go beyond the traditional airport hazard zoning regulations. These laws address additional airport compatibility concerns, such as noise impacts, wildlife hazards, and/or incompatible land uses, or require that airport compatibility regulations be included in local comprehensive land use plans. Research conducted for this Guidebook identified that local adoption and implementation of airport land use compatibility regulations varies widely among local government agencies. Even within states mandating the adoption of local airport compatibility regulations, some communities have struggled to successfully adopt such regulations. Conversely, in states with enabling airport compatibility legislation, some airport sponsors have had great success and cooperation from their host communities in adopting measures aimed at protecting the airport and community from flight hazards and incompatible land uses. The lessons derived from this research form the basis of this Guidebook. The goal of this Guidebook is to impart successful strategies and industry-proven best practices for overcoming the types of obstacles and challenges commonly facing GA airports and their host communities in adopting and implementing effective airport land use compatibility regulations. The following sections of this chapter offer some context for understanding the basis for airport land use compatibility planning. The information provided herein is intended to be a primer on the topic for those unfamiliar with the concept or desiring some âtalking pointsâ for initiating discussions with state and local stakeholders. What Is Airport Land Use Compatibility? Airport compatible land uses are defined as those uses that can coexist with a nearby airport without either constraining the safe and efficient operation of the airport or exposing people living or working nearby to unacceptable levels of noise or safety risk. Airport land use com- patibility planning seeks to establish land use controls to prevent incompatible land uses near Appendix A summarizes the status of state airport zoning and compatibility regulations by state.
10 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports airports. The desired outcome or result of effective airport land use compatibility planning is two-fold: â¢ To protect the long-term viability and growth of airports and the nationâs aviation system, at large; and â¢ To preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the flying public and the people living and working in the airport environs. Why Is Airport Land Use Compatibility Important? GA airports serve many vital societal needs that most commercial airports do not focus on, such as retaining and attracting GA and corporate business and industry to their respective communities or pro- viding emergency access to remote areas across the country. Effective airport land use compatibility planning is essential for the protection of GA airports. Lack of advance planning can lead to creation of incom- patible development for which remedial actions can be far more dif- ficult and costly than adoption and implementation of measures to prevent such development in the first place. Public fiscal resources (e.g., federal, state, and local funds) are invested to develop and maintain GA airport infrastructure necessary to support aviation activity. Protecting GA airports from incompatible development helps to maximize return on infrastructure investments and maintain a safe operating environment. Airport operations may be perceived to generate negative impacts on nearby communities, especially when there are incompatible land uses. Incompatible land uses can lead to a politically contentious relationship between an airport and nearby communities, resulting in complaints and demands for restrictions on airport operations. These circumstances ultimately threaten the airportâs ability to operate efficiently and serve its function in the local and regional community and economy. Table 2-1 provides a partial list of the potential consequences to airports and nearby communities due to encroachment from incompatible land uses. For further discussion of this topic, see ACRP Report 27: Enhancing Airport Land Use Compatibility, Volumes 1â3. A final concern related to land use is that ineffective airport land use compatibility planning can increase the risk of an airport permanently closing. Table 2-2 provides a list of factors contributing to the risk of airport closure. Table 2-3 includes a partial list of news article headlines signaling the closure of certain airports across the country. Who Is Responsible for Airport Land Use Compatibility Planning? The responsibility for airport land use compatibility planning spans multiple levels of government and interest groups. The roles and responsibilities of the involved stakeholders are interrelated and often complex. In simple terms, federal and state aviation agencies develop regulations and guidelines aimed at protecting airports. Local government officials, land use planners, and airport sponsors must implement and enforce airport compatibility programs GA Aviation Services GA airports provide diverse aeronautical services for the benefit of the national aviation system and local communities. Examples of these services include: â¢ Emergency medical flights. â¢ Aerial firefighting. â¢ Law enforcement flights. â¢ Disaster relief flights. â¢ Time-sensitive cargo services. â¢ Business and personal travel. â¢ Flight training. â¢ Agricultural functions. â¢ Tourism.
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 11 Airport Impacts Community Impacts Degraded airport operations â Increased approach minimums â Modification of flight procedures â Loss of usable runway length â Limits on when and where aircraft operate â Voluntary noise abatement procedures â Restriction of certain aircraft â Limits on number of aircraft operations â Preferential runway use Reduced quality of life (e.g., exposure to aircraft noise) Increased risk to persons on the ground (e.g., exposure to aviation crash risk) Reduced development potential of land adjacent to airports Unrealized local and regional economic benefits due to constraints on airport growth Constraints to airport development Limited economic development opportunities Lost value of public investment Decline in transportation access Increased safety risk to aircraft Presence of bird attractants Encroachment and concentration of people Litigation and related costs Table 2-1. Consequences of incompatible land use. Type of Factor Example Economic (Community Concerns) Failure to consider the airport as part of the local economic vision High or increased local land values, relative to value of airport land, make airport appear attractive for other land uses Airport Lack of substantial customer base or number of airport-based aircraft Dwindling airport services or on-airport business Encroaching incompatible land uses create political pressures leading to airport closures Significant local political opposition and dissent by airport neighbors Absence of aggressive airport public relations and marketing efforts Discontinuing acceptance of federal funding thereby releasing airport of grant obligations Community Considerable airport noise, air quality, or environmental issues Perception that the risk of aircraft accidents warrants closure of airport Source: ACRP Report 44: A Guidebook for the Preservation of Public-Use Airports, 2011. Table 2-2. Factors increasing airport closure risk. to satisfy federal, state, regional, and local requirements. The roles and responsibilities of the primary stakeholders involved in airport land use compatibility programs are described below. Airport Manager The airport manager is the person with overall administrative responsibility for the airport. The airport manager reports to and takes policy direction from the airport sponsor (i.e., the governing body of the entity owning the airport). The managerâs duties also may include being an advocate for the interests of the airport, although others may play this role as well. The role of the airport manager is particularly important for airports owned by local governments with land use authority, as these agencies must balance competing public needs and interests. Frequently, the airport manager is the only agency representative advocating the airportâs interests and role within the larger context of the community and local economy.
12 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports Airport and Location Article Title and Source Factors in Closure St. Clair Regional Airport St. Clair, Missouri âSt. Clair Regional closes up shop after 10-year struggleâ Airport Improvement, Robert Nordstrom, March 2018. âThe airportâs locationâat the heavily trafficked intersection of Missouri Highway 47 and Interstate 44, with the famed old Route 66 running alongside the propertyâmakes the land valuable for retail and other development that could expand the local tax base.â Banning Municipal Airport Banning, California âWhy Banning council voted to close the municipal airportâ The Press-Enterprise, Gail Wesson, April 26, 2017. âItâs time that this albatross goes awayâ¦The council is open to reuse of the 154-acre site for economic development and ideas mentioned in a staff report and at the meeting included a logistics center with warehousesâthe site is close to a freeway and rail lines â or perhaps an e-commerce hub.â Santa Monica Municipal Airport Santa Monica, California âSanta Monica Airport will close in 2028 and be replaced by a park, officials sayâ Los Angeles Times, Dan Weikel and Dakota Smith, January 28, 2017. âThe city of Santa Monica has been fighting to shut down the general aviation airportâlong a favorite of celebrities and business leadersâcontending it is unsafe, noisy and pollutes nearby neighborhoods with potentially harmful aircraft exhaust.â Rialto Municipal Airport Rialto, California âFinal closure of Rialto Municipal Airport is now almost guaranteedâ The Sun, Leslie Parrilla, September 14, 2014. âThe Rialto Municipal Airport is set to close Thursday to pave way for a redevelopment project that includes residential and commercial buildings and a retail center.â Blaine Municipal Airport Blaine, Washington âWashingtonâs Blaine Municipal Airport to close: Lack of funds for master plan cited as main reasonâ General Aviation News, Meg Godlewski, March 9, 2007. âThe council has decided that the best economic use of the property is not as an airport, although no decisions have been made yet on what the property will be used for nor have there been any specific proposals.â Atlantic City Municipal Airport Atlantic City, New Jersey âRequiem for Bader Fieldâ Airport Journals, Henry M. Holden, November 1, 2006. âAfter 86 years of operation, Atlantic City Municipal Airport/Bader Field (AIY), in Atlantic City, N.J., closed on September 30. Local pilots and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association waged a long battle against three successive Atlantic City administrations. But the development interests were stronger than the aviation interests.â Table 2-3. Recent airport closure headlines.
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 13 Many airports, particularly ones with low activity levels, do not have a full-timeâor maybe not even a part-timeâairport manager. Someone responsible for airport maintenance may be the only airport staff. In those instances, the administrative duties of an airport manager may be assigned to a public works director or other department head of the entity that owns the airport. That person will have a variety of other duties, and thus may have little time to attend to airport matters, particularly ones like land use compatibility that usually do not require immediate attention. This Guidebook should be particularly valuable to these non-full- time airport managers. The strategies for airport managers outlined in Chapter 3 will help these managers quickly identify and bring focus to land use development matters that could become major issues if not addressed in the near term. Airport Sponsor Under most circumstances, such as when the airport is owned and operated by a municipality or county, the entity owning and operating the airport (i.e., airport sponsor) is broadly responsible for adopting, administering, and enforcing airport land use compatibility regula- tions. Those functions may be delegated among various agencies or agency offices, such as planning or zoning enforcement offices. When the airport sponsor has no direct land use authorityâfor example, the airport is owned by a state agency, airport authority, or private entity, or when the airport impact area extends across multiple jurisdictional boundariesâthe airport sponsor must make a concerted effort to inform local government officials, land use planning staff, and citizens of the importance of compatible land use planning within the airport environs. An airport sponsor with no direct land use control must actively participate in the local comprehensive planning and zoning processes and stay informed about local community actions regarding land use issues within the airportâs proximity. Airport Advocate The role of advocating for the interests of the airport in general and for the importance of airport land use compatibility in particular is often led by the airport manager, but others may make valuable contributions. Pilot groups, businesses that rely upon the airport, chambers of commerce, and other such groups can be essential players in the effort to persuade decision makers to adopt land use compatibility measures and disapprove proposals that can adversely affect the current and future utility of the airport. Local Planning Agencies The local planning department plays an administrative role in guiding the physical development of a community. The planning department is responsible for developing long-range community master plans, formulating ordinances, issuing building permits, and advising the governing body on all planning-related activities. Planning professionals from counties, cities, and townships are often the first to be pre- sented with a land use development proposal for the areas in proximity of an airport. Local planners are the first line of defense in that they can advise applicants of potential airport land use compatibility conflicts and alert an airport sponsor of land use proposals around the airport. In addition, the planning staff is responsible for making recommendations to local decision makers regarding land use proposals. Therefore, it is vital that local planning professionals be educated about the importance of compatible land use planning around airports and understand the significance of coordinating with and obtaining input from an airport manager or sponsor. A sponsor is any public agency or private owner of a public use airport, as defined in the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 (AAIA), codified at 49 U.S.C. Â§ 47102(24).
14 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports Local Governing Body Most land use decisions are vested with local governments. The governing body (e.g., city council, county board) is elected by citizens as the legislative, policy-making branch of local government. Land use decisions are influenced by numerous, often conflicting, consid- erations. Therefore, it is essential for elected officials to recognize the critical functions that the local GA airport provides the community and the value of compatible land use decisions for the airport, community, and local economy. Regular coordination and communication between the airport sponsor and government officials is critical to building local government support of airport land use compatibility initiatives. State Aviation Agencies State aviation agencies can play a significant role in guiding airport land use compatibility issues. As sovereign entities possessing govern- mental powers, each state determines the type and how much power it grants to local governments, special districts, or regional authorities. The diversity of state involvement in land use issues is wide. Some states have recognized their responsibility in promoting compatible land use around airports and have adopted very aggres- sive mandatory compatibility land use programs. Others have created guidelines that can be voluntarily implemented by local governments and airport sponsors. For example, in California, most counties have established an ALUC with the specific purpose and authority to adopt mandated airport land use compatibility plans for public-use and military airports. In states such as New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, state legislation requires local governments to adopt airport compatibility requirements as part of their local comprehensive plans. In Wisconsin, state legislation authorizes airport sponsors to voluntarily adopt airport land use zoning regulations. Understanding the role of state government is essential to understanding land use compatibility planning practice within individual states. Appendix A summarizes the status of state airport zoning and compatibility regulations by state. The FAA The FAA is the primary agency responsible for federal regulations and guidance relevant to land use compatibility as it relates to the national aviation system. The FAA is the primary funding source for airport construction, airport master plans, and noise studies. Although the FAA has no regulatory authority to mandate specific land uses near airports, it provides airport sponsors with guidance focused primarily on the protection of airspace from incompatible uses including tall structures and land use features that can attract hazardous wildlife to the airport environs. The FAA provides only minimal guidance regarding noise and safety impacts to the public other than in the most highly impacted locations: those within the day- night average sound level (DNL) 65 noise contours and the RPZs. Federal Aviation Regulations, FAA Orders, and FAA ACs are the primary tools used for management at the national level to preserve, protect, manage, and grow the national airport system. How Is Airport Compatibility Planning Achieved? Various government entities and stakeholders prepare airport plans and land use plans. Although each plan serves a distinct purpose, together they form the basis of establishing and implementing airport land use compatibility regulations. Therefore, for effective compatibility As used in this Guidebook, the term âgoverning bodyâ refers to the local agency (city or county) that makes final approval decisions for a proposed land use development. Which body this is varies from state to state based on the stateâs statutes. This body can also vary from one local agency to another within a state. Most often this body consists of elected officials but can also be an appointed board such as a planning commission or zoning board if its decisions are not subject to overruling by the elected body. Appendix B provides of summary of FAA guidance, as well as other national resources, pertaining to the airport land use compatibility
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 15 planning to occur, these independent plans must be considered in a comprehensive and inter- related manner. Figure 2-1 identifies the basic geographic areas considered in the various types of planning documents. Airport Master Plan An airport master plan primarily addresses on-airport issues. The guiding principle of the airport master planning process is the development of a safe and efficient airport that meets the long-term needs and demands of airport tenants, users, and the general public. A typi- cal airport master plan includes an airport layout plan (a drawing showing existing facilities and planned improvements), textual background data, a discussion of forecasts (typically covering a 20-year period), and an examination of alternatives along with a detailed descrip- tion of the proposed development. Sometimes an airport layout plan narrative report, which is a more focused form of an airport planning document, may be used in lieu of an airport master plan. Airport master plans and airport layout plans are prepared for and adopted by the entity that owns and/or operates the airport. An airport master planâor an airport layout planâis an important tool for establishing airport land use compatibility regulations. The plan identifies and provides the justification for future airport development. It also forms the basis for local agencies to define the airport hazard area, also known as the airport influence area. Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan An airport land use compatibility plan (ALUCP), common in some states such as California, is a document developed specifically to promote compatibility between an airport and the surrounding property. It is a long-term plan that supports anticipated growth of an airport and establishes measures to guide local land use decisions. ALUCPs typically describe what land uses and land use characteristics are incompatible with aviation and, therefore, should not be permitted within the airport influence area. ALUCPs also list conditions that must be achieved to enable or allow a particular land use or activity (e.g., sound attenuation, usage intensity limits, height limitations, avigation easements). Specific elements of an ALUCP vary depending on what is authorized or mandated by individual state legislation. In most cases, an ALUCP is adopted and implemented by a local government agency. Figure 2-1. Types of plans and their geographic scopes. Airport hazard area means any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented. Source: Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Com. v. McCabe, 271 Minn. 21 (Minn. 1965)
16 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports Comprehensive Plan A comprehensive plan, also called a general plan or master plan in some states, is a local governmentâs long-term blueprint for the com- munityâs vision of future growth. The plan establishes public policies on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, housing, and other elements important to a community. It typically addresses facilities required for future growth, where growth should occur, and impacts that may be associated with that growth. The comprehensive plan is a policy document that provides the legal underpinning for all land use decisions. Local comprehensive planning is a technique that can be used to prevent and mitigate incompatible land uses around airports. Local comprehensive planning processes provide the first and often the best opportunity to examine community-wide issues, such as airport land use compatibility. Local governments also use the comprehensive plan as a basis to develop and amend zoning ordinances, such as airport compatibility zoning ordinances. Some states have enacted laws requiring airport compatibility regulations be incorporated into local comprehensive plans. Zoning Ordinance A zoning ordinance is the implementation tool and legal document that guides orderly development consistent with the goals and policies set forth in the local comprehensive plan. A zoning ordinance is a written regulation adopted by a local government to control the physical development of land. Zoning is the most common form of land use regulation used by local governments. Zoning regulations define and establish restrictions on how property in specific geographic zones (i.e., districts) can be used. They regulate the type and intensity of land use through restrictions on the height of buildings, setback require- ments, and lot coverage. Addressing airport compatibility concerns as part of a community- wide zoning ordinance, perhaps as an overlay to the underlying land use designations, is an effective way of ensuring that compatibility issues are not overlooked. An airport combining/overlay zoning ordinance also can serve as a convenient means of bringing various airport com- patibility criteria into one place. The model AZO developed by the FAA can serve as a starting place for language to address airspace protection issues. ACRP Report 27 provides an expanded model zoning ordinance that enables an airport sponsor to address the full gamut of airport land use compatibility concerns. Some communities have expanded this model to cover noise and safety issues as well. What Concerns Do Airport Land Use Compatibility Address? Compatibility concerns include any airport impact that adversely affects the livability of surrounding communities, as well as any community characteristic that can adversely affect the viability of an airport. Airports can create impacts such as noise, vibration, odors, and risk Local authorities must be careful to recognize that zoning without a âcomprehensive planâ can be subject to attack by landowners who may claim that the community failed to approach land use zoning with adequate planning. Source: ACRP Legal Research Digest 5: Respon- sibility for Implementation and Enforcement of Airport Land Use Zoning Restrictions Zoning is the separation of a community into districts, or âzones,â that regulate land uses and the intensity of develop- ment. Zoning is adopted by ordinance and carries the weight of local law. Source: A Citizenâs Guide to Planning, State of California, Governorâs Office of Planning and Research (January 2001) https://www.acgov.org/ sustain/documents/CitizensGuidetoLandUse PlanninginCalifornia.pdf. Overlay zoning is a regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district placed over an existing base zone or zones to identify special provisions that should be applied in addition to those in the underlying base zone. Regulations are attached to the overlay district to protect a specific resource or guide development within a special area. Source: University of Wisconsin, Center for Land Use Education, 2005. https://www.uwsp.edu/ cnr-ap/clue/Documents/PlanImplementation/ Overlay_Zoning.pdf.
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 17 of accidents. Likewise, many land uses can cause direct or indirect impacts on the way airports grow and the safety of their operations. For example, development around an airport, particu- larly in the approach and departure paths, can create obstructions in the airspace traversed by an approaching or departing aircraft. Additionally, certain land uses have the potential to attract wildlife or create hazards to aircraft such as distracting lights, glint or glare, smoke, steam, or invisible heat plumes. Also, development that places large concentrations of people or other high-risk uses close to an airport can indirectly affect the airportâs utility if it leads to limits on the airport operations. Airport land use compatibility concerns can broadly be classified as related either to noise-related issues or safety-related concerns. The four basic compatibility factors are described below and the relative sizes of the areas affected by the four factors are illustrated in Figure 2-2. Airspace Protection The airspace protection compatibility factor addresses flight hazards that can be the cause of an aircraft accident. Flight hazards include objects that create obstructions to navigable airspace, as well as activities that can cause electronic or visual impairment to navigation or attract large or flocking birds. Airspace protection compatibility policies seek to prevent the creation of land use features that can pose hazards to aircraft in flight. Airspace protection compatibility policies should rely upon the regulations and standards enacted by the FAA and the state. Federal regulations and standards do not give the FAA authority to prevent the creation of airspace hazards; that authority rests with state and local agencies. The three most common types of airspace hazardsâairspace obstructions, wildlife hazards, and other flight hazardsâ are described below. Airspace Obstructions An obstruction to air navigation is defined as any object that, upon evaluation, is determined by the FAA to be required to be properly marked, lighted, and identified on aeronautical publi- cations so that it may be easily recognized by aircraft navigating through the airspace. Airspace obstructions include buildings, antennas, wind turbines (Figure 2-3), and other types of man-made structures, as well as objects of natural growth that pose a potential hazard to flight. An obstruction may or may not be an airspace hazard. The purpose of FAA aeronautical studies is to determine whether an obstruction is a hazard and, if so, what remedy is recommended. Source: Mead & Hunt, 2018. Figure 2-2. Compatibility factors and geographic areas.
18 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports With regard to airspace hazards, the FAAâs remedies are limited to making changes to the airspace and an airportâs approach procedures, but it also can indicate an objection to proposed structures that it deems to be a hazard. The criteria for classifying objects as obstructions, obstacles, or hazards are found in a variety of federal publications including CFR, FAR, FAA Orders, and ACs. The principal federal sources for these criteria are summarized in Table 2-4. Wildlife Hazards A variety of land uses, facilities, and structures on and near airports can create features or conditions that can attract wildlife that would pose a threat to aircraft operations. Examples of such land uses include sanitary landfills, water management facilities (e.g., drinking water intake and treatment facilities, storm water and wastewater treatment facilities, and ponds built for recreational use), wetlands, agricultural areas, aquaculture activities, surface mining, natural areas, architectural features, and landscaping. The FAA encourages airport sponsors to prevent potential wildlife hazard attractants on and near their airports and to work with local land use planners to avoid the establishment of incompatible land uses that would attract potentially hazardous wildlife. Table 2-5 identifies key federal guidance on wildlife hazards. Other Flight Hazards In addition to the physical hazards to flight posed by tall objects and wildlife, other land use characteristics can present visual or electronic hazards. â¢ Visual Hazards. Visual hazards include distracting lights (particularly lights that can be confused with airfield lights), glare (e.g., from solar farms), and sources of smoke. Wind Turbines on the Field. Publicdomainpictures.net. Figure 2-3. Potential obstruction to navigation. A wildlife attractant is defined as any human-made structure, land use practice, or human-made or natural geographic feature that can attract or sustain hazardous wildlife within the landing or departure airspace or the airportâs airport operations area. Source: FAA AC 150/5200-33B, Hazardous Wildlife Attractants On or Near Airports.
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 19 â¢ Electronic Hazards. Electronic hazards include any uses that interfere with aircraft navigation instruments or radio communication. Additionally, wind-turbine farms have been known to interfere with air traffic control or military air defense radar. â¢ Thermal Hazards. Thermal plumes, including steam, from cooling towers, even when not a visual hazard, may be a hazard to flight by causing air turbulence. Except for glare from solar farms on-airport, there are no specific FAA standards for these types of visual, electronic, and thermal hazards. Potential hazards are evaluated case by case. Local agencies can request an FAA evaluation of proposed development when certain features appear to be potentially hazardous. Safety Hazards The safety compatibility factor addresses the protection of people and property on the ground and the safety of those on board an aircraft in the event of an accident or controlled emergency landing away from the runway or its immediate environment, whether on or off FAA Regulation/Policy Description 14 CFR Part 77, Safe, Efficient Use, and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace Part 77 is the central regulation governing airspace protection, with cross- references to many other criteria documents. It sets forth the requirements for notifying the FAA of proposed construction, defines obstruction criteria, and describes aeronautical studies required to assess hazard status. FAA Order 8260.3B, United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS) This Order, along with several derivative orders in the 8260 series and other related orders, defines criteria that FAA flight procedure designers use when designing instrument flight procedures. Airspace protection requirements for instrument flight procedures are among the types of obstruction standards referenced in Part 77; they are also among the most common criteria analyzed for hazard status in aeronautical studies. TERPS and related instrument procedure design criteria provide the basis of how the aircraft relying on cockpit instrumentation safely and efficiently take off and land at the airport while avoiding the existing obstacles. TERPS criteria can also be applied to evaluate whether proposed objects would conflict with existing or planned instrument procedures. FAA AC 150/5300-13, Airport Design This AC is the principal document the FAA, airport sponsors, and planning consultants use when planning and designing new airports or modifications to airports. Airspace clearances for key runway end features are defined in the ACâs Appendix 2, âRunway End Siting Surfaces.â The AC provides basic design standards for locating runway ends that do not conflict with existing objects and may be used to determine conflicts between existing runway ends and proposed objects. Runway end siting criteria also provide criteria for initially evaluating whether or not an object may be in conflict with all-engine instrument departure procedures. Source: ACRP Report 38: Understanding Airspace, Objects, and Their Effects on Airports, March 2010. Table 2-4. Federal airspace obstruction criteria for GA airports. FAA Advisory Description FAA AC 150/5200-33B, Hazardous Wildlife Attractants On or Near Airports Provides guidance on types of attractants to be avoided. It also identifies âcritical zonesâ beyond the airport essential for wildlife management. Airport sponsors that have received federal grant-in-aid assistance must apply these standards to their projects. FAA AC 150/5200-34A, Construction or Establishment of Landfills near Public Airports Sets guidelines on proximity of these facilities to airports. Table 2-5. Federal wildlife hazard guidelines.
20 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports airport property. Locations closest to the runway endsâparticularly locations within RPZsâare at greatest risk of experiencing an aircraft accident, but significant risks are present in surrounding areas as well. To reduce risks to people and property, controls should be established on land use development that would place people and property in harmâs way. The degree of control that is appropriate in any given part of the airport environs varies depending primarily upon the likelihood of an aircraft accident in that location and the potential consequences if an accident occurs there, but other factors such as the character of existing development in the area and the level of risk acceptable to the community may also need to be considered. Also, a desirable function of safety compatibility policies is to preserve open land near the airport that pilots could use to land aircraft during a controlled emergency landing. Open land should be relatively level and free of structures and other large objects. The intent is to give pilots the opportunity to avoid locations where people may be present and also to give themselves a better chance for a survivable outcome. Safety compatibility policies typically seek to accomplish the following: â¢ Avoid land uses that attract high concentrations of people. Safety compatibility policies seek to avoid or limit land uses that attract large concentrations of people in areas exposed to signifi- cant risk of an aircraft accident (Figure 2-4). Compatibility criteria or policies that would limit the number of dwellings or people in areas close to the airport are the most direct method of reducing the potential severity of an aircraft accident. â¢ Avoid risk-sensitive uses. Certain types of land uses present safety concerns regardless of the number of people associated with those uses. Land uses of special concern include those with the following characteristics: â Vulnerable occupantsâsuch as uses in which the majority of occupants are children, elderly, and/or physically challenged individuals who have reduced effective mobility or may be unable to respond to emergency situations. Uses include, but are not limited to, schools, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and places of assembly. â Hazardous materials storageâMaterials that are flammable, explosive, corrosive, or toxic constitute special safety compatibility concerns because an aircraft accident could cause release of the materials and pose dangers to people and property in the vicinity. Facilities include, but are not limited to, oil refineries, chemical plants, and other uses or facilities that manufacture, process, or store hazardous materials. A comprehensive discussion of safety compatibility issues can be found in the California Airport Land Use Planning Handbook available on the California Aeronautics Division website. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/planning/aeronaut/ documents/alucp/AirportLandUsePlanning Handbook.pdf Source: https://www.goodfreephotos.com.Crowd-and-lights-at-a-concert. Figure 2-4. Example land use that attracts large concentrations of people.
Airport Land Use Compatibility Basics 21 â Critical community infrastructureâFacilities that, if damaged or destroyed, would cause significant adverse effects to public health and welfare well beyond the immediate vicinity of the facility. These facilities include, but are not limited to, public safety facilities (e.g., police and fire stations), communications facilities (e.g., emergency communication, broadcast, and cell phone towers), and public utility facilities (e.g., primary, peaker and renewable energy power plants, and electrical substations). â¢ Provide open land. In the event that a light aircraft is forced to land away from an airport, the risks to the people on board can best be minimized by providing as much open land area as possible within the airport vicinity. This concept is based upon the fact that the majority of light aircraft accidents and incidents occurring away from an airport runway are controlled emergency landings in which the pilot has reasonable opportunity to select the landing site. To be of use, open land areas must be relatively large (football-field size or bigger) even for small aircraft. Noise Impacts The noise compatibility factor addresses exposure to aircraft noise. Reactions to aircraft noise vary widely; some people react vigorously to very low levels of aircraft noise, while others do not react to very high levels of aircraft noise. The basic strategy for achieving noise compatibility in the vicinity of an airport is to prevent or limit development of land uses that are particularly sensitive to noise. Common land use strategies either reduce the number of people that could be exposed to or affected by aircraft noise, especially those engaged in noise-sensitive activities such as sleep and classroom learning, or promote the development of uses that would not be affected by aircraft noise such as ones that generate significant noise levels themselves (e.g., other transportation facilities or some industrial uses). Highly noise-sensitive uses include, but are not limited to, residences, schools, libraries, and outdoor theaters. (Figure 2-5) Figure 2-5. Residences represent particularly sensitive uses. Source: Mead & Hunt.
22 Guidebook on Effective Land Use Compatibility Planning Strategies for General Aviation Airports Another strategy for addressing airport noise impacts is to require or enhance the level of sound attenuation provided by proposed structures that would be constructed in areas subject to aircraft noise. In some cases, the addition of noise insulation can be identified as a requirement or condition of project approval. While useful in some situations, sound attenuation is not a preferred strategy. It is ineffective for most residential development, especially single-family dwellings, where residents are likely to open their windows and use their porches or yards for outdoor living. Sound attenuation is also of little value for nonresidential uses in which a significant component of the land use occurs outdoors such as school play areas, restaurants with outdoor dining, outdoor entertainment venues, and other uses. However, sound attenuation can be a mitigating strategy for existing structures, such as school buildings and health care facilities. Overflight Annoyance The overflight compatibility factor is associated with annoyance and other general concerns arising from routine aircraft flight over a community, including noise. As previously mentioned, sensitivity to aircraft overflight varies from one person to another. Overflight compatibility policies typically focus on providing people who may be annoyed by airport operations with timely information so that they can consider how living in the vicinity of an airport would affect them. In this respect, developing overflight compatibility policies becomes less about restricting land uses and more focused on informing prospective property owners of the presence of an airport and the potential to encounter noise exposure or other effects associated with over- flying aircraft. Summary Research for this ACRP 04-22 study indicates that a solid understanding of airport compat- ibility factors, which serve as the basis for airport land use compatibility planning, is essential for decision makers and stakeholders. The âwho, what, and whyâ factors discussed in this chapter offer a primer on the essential elements of airport land use compatibility. For a comprehensive discussion on the topic, readers are encouraged to reference ACRP Report 27: Enhancing Airport Land Use Compatibility.