Guide to Airport Noise Policies

We Understand...   

Most pilots are unaware of the impact of their aircraft’s noise on the community surrounding an airport.  They may take for granted that those who choose to live near an airport are either accustomed to the noise or  accepting of the situation.  When pilots are confronted with the circumstances surrounding noise they are generally willing to assist in adjusting their route of flight, altitude and even power settings consistent with safety.  As in any activity, there are those who simply refuse to comply with reasonable operating practices.  The non-compliant pilot is often at the heart of community problems.

Illegal or persistently onerous behavior is not the rule-of-the-day for nearly all pilots.

Indeed, there are circumstances where a pilot is forced to take actions that he/she might not otherwise choose.  The air traffic control system is under the jurisdiction of the FAA and often pilots are required to conduct over-flights of sensitive areas or fly at altitudes that are less than optimum in order to comply with the instructions of air traffic control.

Jurisdiction Over Noise:

Unfortunately, Northeast Florida Regional Airport does not have jurisdiction over any aircraft or its related noise while in flight.  That jurisdiction rests with the Federal Aviation Administration.  Local Noise Ordinances are pre-empted by the Federal government. 

If the noise you are experiencing is the result of a locally owned or operated aircraft, we will assist in contacting the party and suggesting operating practices that will result in better community acceptance.

If the noise being experienced is the result of an aircraft operating in an unsafe or illegal manner, the FAA can and will investigate complaints made by citizens.  The back of this document provides that contact information.

To be able to address noise related complaints, the FAA will required the following information from you at the time of contact:

  • Can you identify the Aircraft?  Was it military or civilian?  High or Low Winged? 
  • Were you able to see or record the registration number? On US registered aircraft that number will be preceded with a capital “N”
  • What was color was the aircraft?
  • Time and Place?  Exactly when and where did the incident(s) occur?  What direction was the aircraft flying? 
  • Flight Characteristics?  What was the aircraft doing?  Was it engaged in any unusual maneuvers?  Did you feel endangered?
  • Altitude?  How high or low was the aircraft flying?  On what do you base your estimate?  Did you obtain photographs?  Were there other witnesses and do you have their contact information?

Supporting Evidence

Do you know of any other witnesses?  The more the better.  Do you have their names, addresses?  They may be contacted. 

Is the local Sheriff’s Office aware of the problem?  While they have limited authority in aviation matters, deputies are trained observers recognized by courts and their written statements make excellent evidence should FAA enforcement require a trial.

If you took photographs, FAA will need to know the lens used, and the height of any identifiable landmarks that appear in the pictures.  Law enforcement photographs are excellent, particularly if taken from another aircraft whose altitude can be confirmed.

What will FAA Do?

Once FAA has the appropriate facts, an FAA aviation safety inspector from the local FSDO will attempt to identify the offending aircraft operator.  FAA can do this in several ways.  For example, they can check aircraft records, air traffic & RADAR facilities along with other reported sightings.  FAA may even need to trace and contact the registered aircraft owner, since the owner and operator may be two different people.

FAA Assistance

The FAA welcomes assistance in identifying and prosecuting all violations of Federal Aviation Regulations.  Citizens complaining about low-flying aircraft will, upon request, be advised of the final results of the FAA investigation; be sure to give your name, address and telephone numbers where you can be reached at home and at work.

If further assistance is required, please write:

Community and Consumer Liaison, APA-200
Federal Aviation Administration
Washington, DC 20591. 
During regular duty hours
(7:30 am-4:00 pm), M-F
PH: (202) 267-3481

If you are expereincing an issue with an aircraft, please complete the form below.