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Aviation Pros – April 23, 2020 – 30 Years After ANCA: Can Airports Live with New Community-Imposed Noise Restrictions?

Posted on May 6, 2020

30 Years After ANCA: Can Airports Live with New Community-Imposed Noise Restrictions?

By Curt Castagna
Apr 23rd, 2020

In Colorado, Congressional lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow general aviation airports to impose new operational restrictions to reduce aircraft noise, including the ability to limit access to their facilities based on aircraft type and number. In similar fashion, a proposed California bill called the Restore Everyone’s Sleep Tonight Act of 2019 would enable airports to impose mandatory curfews and financial penalties against aircraft operators based on their community noise impacts.

These join a series of recently introduced bills that would provide local regulation over aircraft noise, and which have drawn staunch opposition from aviation advocates. However, increased Congressional intervention appears to be trending toward the future. For example, efforts are underway by a dozen U.S. Representatives to garner support for the Decrease Noise Level Act, which would lower the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) of 65 decibels as the acceptable level of aircraft noise for persons living in the vicinity of airports.

All of these measures pose the threat of jeopardizing the national airspace system, weakening the economic base of communities and undermining the Aircraft Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990. It is important to consider that ANCA was passed by Congress to…

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