Noise abatement procedures, restrictions, and curfews

Almost every airport that is located in an urban area, or has housing near the airport, is likely to have some sort of noise abatement procedure and/or some sort of flight operation curfew or restriction. The goal is a balancing of neighborhood concerns and utilization of the airport by pilots. As an example at our home airport, there are restrictions on the time of day during which pattern practice (repeated takeoff and landings) may be done. (7AM-10PM). This helps avoid annoying neighbors during typical sleep hours, while allowing reasonable hours for flight training and other activities. In addition, we have recommended procedures to keep departures over less residential areas when airplanes are operating at high power and low altitude (and hence are noisiest). In 2019, the airport updated and published new noise abatement procedures.

At 11156312_641478039285575_8823997895904999176_nmany airports, you’ll get a hint by looking at airport information, such as “Noise abatement procedures in effect, ctc arpt manager for details.” (this is the verbatim text from the AFD/Chart Supplement/AirNav for our home airport). If you are trying to find info on noise abatement at a particular airport try searching for the airport name and noise abatement. Also be attuned to the presence of signs at many airports. Here’s an example from Santa Monica. Sometimes signs will designate areas to avoid, particular headings or areas to follow, times during which certain activities are discouraged or prohibited.

AACIT asks that all pilots become familiar with the noise abatement procedures at the airports where they operate and comply with all procedures, as long as that can be done in a safe manner; curfews should be strictly adhered to. Other good ideas are to climb as quickly as practical to pattern altitude, keep patterns a reasonable distance from the airport, and to use as low a power/rpm setting as possible while on approach. If you have questions about procedures, ask a tower controller or ask your CFI or a board member.

Here are a few links to get you started on local procedures

Fly safely, quietly, and neighborly,
David Werntz, AACIT President