Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Airport protection zones

  1. #1
    Mar 2005
    Keith County, Nebraska

    Airport protection zones

    One of my County Commissioners and I were talking about how to control land uses at the threashold areas at the ends of runways. His general thought was that the land should be purchased by the local government and uses as open space and park land. In an ideal situation I would agree with him, but with government money being tight, I suggested that industrial uses be allowed within the threashold areas. Recognizing that there are FFA regulations which have some control over land uses near airports, I still believe that a well designed industrial development would be an ideal situation.

    Anyone have any experience in this situation or thoughts on the subject????????

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    I worked for a community that purchased "avigation easements". They did 2 things: (1) limited the types of uses in approach zones, and (2) basically put a "Don't complain about noise - we warned you" disclaimer at the register of deeds. That way it showed up on title searches when property changed hands.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Apr 1996
    New Hampshire
    We have Airport Approach Height and Noise Overlays and a in our zoning:

    The purpose of this regulation is to: Establish zones adjacent to Grenier Field (Manchester Municipal Airport) which require development restrictions so as to ensure safe and efficient airport operations. Establish the maximum height of structures and objects of natural growth in the restrictive zones to ensure proper airport approach zones. Definitions
    As used in these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires: “Airport” means any area of land or water, whether constructed or not, which has been approved by the director as a site for the landing and taking off of aircraft or utilized or to be utilized by the public as a point of arrival or departure by air. “Approach Zone” means the approach area to a runway and landing strip having dimensions as hereinafter described and the center line of which coincides with the center line of the runway and landing strip extended. (The dimensions of the landing strips at Grenier Field (Manchester Municipal Airport) are: N/S 7000' by 150'; NE/SW 5850' by 150'; NW/SE 5430 by 150'; each of the landing strips is 500' wide and the same length of the runway. “Airport Hazard” means any structure, tree, smoke, steam, dust or other substance which obstructs the aerial approaches of a publicly owned airport or impairs the reasonable visibility in the vicinity thereof, electrical impulses and disturbances which interfere with radio aids or communications and lights which might result in glare in the vision of the pilots of aircraft or be confused with airport lights. “Non-conforming Use” means any structure, tree, or use of land which does not conform to a regulation prescribed in these regulations or an amendment thereto, as of the effective date of such regulations. “Person” means any individual, firm, co-partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association or body politic, and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative thereof. “Structure” means any object constructed or installed by man, including such objects although regulated or licensed by other provisions of law. “Tree” means any object of natural growth. The Airport Reference Point is at the control tower and its elevation is 233' above sea level. General Requirements Zones
    In order to carry out the purposes of these regulations all of the land in the Town of Londonderry that lies within the boundaries of the approach zones as defined in paragraph hereof and all of the land within a distance of 100,000 feet from the Airport Reference Point is hereby declared subject to the restrictions of these regulations, in accordance with the Grenier Air Force Base Airport Approach Plan adopted by the New Hampshire Aeronautics Commission on February 25, 1957, which Airport Approach Plan is incorporated herein by reference. Height Limits
    No structure or tree shall be erected, altered or allowed to grow within the areas referred to in Section B hereof, to wit: In the approach areas to the N/S runway which are 1500' wide at 1000' from the end of the pavement and 4000' wide at 10,000', an inclined plane of 50:1 slope, 200' above the runway end from 10,000' to 25,000'; 500' above the runway end from 25,000' to 50,000'; in the approach areas to the NW/SE and NE/SW runways, which are 500' wide at a point 200' from the ends of the runways and 2400' wide at 10,000' out from this point an inclined plane of 40:1 slope. On the sides of the landing strips and approach areas, an inclined plane of 7:1 slope. 383' above sea level (150' above the airport) within 10,000' of the Airport Reference Point. 433' above sea level (200' above the airport) from 10,000' from the Airport Reference Point. 733' above sea level 1500' above the airport; from 25,000' to 50,000' from the Airport Reference Point. An inclined plane of 100:1 slope from the periphery of the horizontal surface of 500' above the airport for a distance of 100,000' measured horizontally from the Airport Reference Point Height Permitted
    No provision of paragraph shall limit the height of a structure or tree to less than 30' above the ground upon which it is located. Use Restrictions MDNM : Notwithstanding any other provisions of these regulations, no use may be made of the land described in paragraph hereof in such manner as to create electrical interference with radio aid or communications between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for flyers to distinguish between airport lights and others, result in glare in the eyes of the flyer using the airport, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport by the creation and discharge of smoke, steam, dust, or other obstructions to visibility or otherwise endanger the landing, taking-off, or maneuvering of aircraft. Non-conforming Uses: The regulations prescribed in and of these regulations shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date hereof, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of any non-conforming use. Nothing herein contained shall require any change in the construction, alteration, or intended use of any structure and the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of these regulations, and is diligently prosecuted and completed within two years thereof. Variances: Any person desiring to erect any structure or increase the height of any structure, or permit the growth of any tree, or use his property, not in accordance with these regulations may apply for a variance therefrom. Such variance shall be allowed where a literal application or enforcement of the regulations would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and the relief granted would not be contrary to the public interest but do substantial justice and be in accordance with the spirit of these regulations. Permits Future Uses - No material change shall be made in the use of land in violation of paragraphs and hereof and no structure or tree shall be erected, altered, planted, or otherwise established in violation of paragraphs and hereof in any of the areas of land described in paragraph hereof, unless a permit therefore shall have been applied for and granted. Each such application shall indicate the purpose for which the permit is desired, with sufficient particularity to permit it to be determined whether the resulting use, structure, or tree would conform to the regulations herein prescribed. If such determination is in the affirmative, the permit applied for shall be granted. Existing Uses - Before any existing use, structure or tree may be replaced, substantially altered or repaired, rebuilt, allowed to grow higher or replanted, within any of the areas of land described in paragraph hereof, a permit must be secured authorizing such replacement, change or repair if it is in violation of paragraphs and hereof. No such permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of an airport hazard or permit a non-conforming use, structure or tree to be made or become higher or become a greater hazard to air navigation, than it was on the effective date of these regulations or than it is when the application for a permit is made. Except as indicated, all applications for a permit for replacement, change or repair of existing use, structure, or tree shall be granted. Hazard Marking and Lighting: Any permit or variance granted under paragraphs and may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purposes of these regulations and reasonable in the circumstances, be so conditioned as to require the owner of the structure or tree in question to permit the present owner or lessor at his own expense, to install, operate, and maintain thereon such markers and lights as may be necessary to indicate to flyers the presence of an airport hazard. Administration: The Office of the Airport Manager of Grenier Field is hereby designated as the administrative agency charged with the duty of administering and enforcing the regulations herein prescribed including the hearing and deciding of applications for permits under paragraph of these regulations. Board of Appeals: There shall be a Board of Appeals consisting of five members, each of whom shall be appointed by the New Hampshire Aeronautics Commission for a term of three years and one of whom shall be designated a chairman by the Commission. One member of the Board shall be a Town Councilor of Londonderry and another one shall be a citizen of Londonderry. The members of said Board of Appeals shall be removable for cause by the New Hampshire Aeronautics Commission upon written charges and after public hearing. The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers. To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the administrative agency in the enforcement of these regulations. To hear and decide all applications for variances under paragraph of these regulations. To exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Board of Adjustment as set forth in RSA 31:68-86 as presently in force or as amended in the future. Penalties and Remedies: Each violation of these regulations shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars or imprisonment for not more than sixty (60) days or by both. Such fine and imprisonment and each day a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense. In addition, the New Hampshire Director of Aeronautics may institute in any court of competent jurisdiction, an action to prevent, restrain, correct or abate any violation of these regulations, or of any order or filing made in connection with their administration or enforcement in accordance with the provision of RSA 424:9. Severability: If any of the provisions of these regulations or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of these regulations which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and to this and the provisions of these regulations are declared to be severable. Effective Date: These regulations shall take effect upon their adoption by the Commission and said regulations together with any amendment thereto shall remain in full force and effect until such time as adequate airport zoning regulations provided for in RSA 424 are adopted by the Town of Londonderry.

    The increasing aircraft activity that is occurring at the Manchester Airport has reached the point in which it has become necessary to create noise overlay zoning for the entire area of Town within the 65 Ldn contour in accordance with the 1991 Part 150 Noise Compatibility Plan conducted by the Manchester Airport Authority. Definition of Terms:
    The following definitions shall apply only to this Noise Overlay Zoning Ordinance, and shall not be affected by the provisions of any other Ordinance of the Town of Londonderry.

    “Day-Night Sound Level” (Ldn): A cumulative aircraft noise index which estimates the exposure to aircraft noise and relates the estimated exposure to an unexpected community response. The Day-Night Sound Level noise metric assesses a 10 db penalty to all noise events occurring between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

    “Ldn Contour”: A line linking together a series of points of equal cumulative noise exposure based on the Ldn metric. Such contours are developed based on aircraft flight patterns, number of daily aircraft operations by type of aircraft and time of day, noise characteristics of each aircraft, and typical runway usage patterns.

    “Navigable Airspace”: The airspace above the minimum altitudes of flight prescribed by regulations issued under-the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, Section 101(24) 49 United States Codes 1301, including the airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft. Noise Compatibility Zones Established:
    Noise compatibility zones for the area around Manchester-Grenier Airport are hereby established based on the Ldn contours for aircraft noise developed for conditions forecast to exist in 1991 with noise abated operating conditions The N-1 zone generally corresponds to the area between the 65 Ldn and 70 Ldn contours. The N-2 zone generally corresponds to the area between the 70 Ldn and 75 Ldn contours. The N-3 zone generally corresponds to the area within the 75 Ldn contour. Noise Overlay Zone Boundaries:
    The boundaries of the Noise Overlay Zones are shown in the Manchester-Grenier Airport Noise Compatibility Plan. Because of the averaging inherent in making Ldn calculations and the assumptions necessary in the forecasting procedure, the Ldn contour lines are not capable of being precisely defined in the field. Therefore, the boundaries between the noise overlay zones, while bearing a very close relationship to the Ldn contour lines, have been adjusted to facilitate understanding and agreement as to the location of the boundaries. Uses Prohibited:
    Land uses prohibited in the noise overlay zones shall be as specified in the Table of Land Use Compatibility Standards. Soundproofing Required:
    Soundproofing shall be required for certain land uses in each of the noise overlay zones as shown in the Table of Land Use Compatibility Standards. Where soundproofing is required, no building permits shall be issued until the builder has demonstrated that the building design is capable of achieving the Noise Level Reduction required in the Table of Land Use Compatibility Standards. This requirement can be met in one of two ways as described in the following subsections. Design Standards: If the building design incorporates the design standards described in Section, the design shall be considered to have met the required soundproofing standards. Performance Standards: The builder may choose to use design features other than those described in Section as long as the final design is capable of achieving the Noise Level Reduction required in the Table of Land Use Compatibility Standards. Such noise attenuation capability shall be certified on the building plans by a registered architect, structural engineer, or acoustician. Soundproofing Design Standards Noise Level reduction of 25 Decibels (dB) If wood frame construction is used, all exterior stud walls shall have interior and exterior surfaces of an approved material at least as massive as half-inch thick gypsum wallboard, and the intervening space shall contain fibrous thermal insulation at least three inches thick. The design for a habitable room shall be such that any exterior door or window can be kept closed when the room is in use. Means of ventilation shall be available to afford a minimum of two complete air changes per hour. Any air duct or connection to out-of-doors shall contain an interior sound absorbing lining acoustically equivalent at least to fiberglass duct liner one inch thick and length greater than five times the diameter of the duct. The ceiling below an attic space shall include gypsum board or plaster at least one-half inch thick; fibrous thermal insulation at least three inches thick shall be laid between the ceiling joists. A forced air circulation system shall be provided that will give a minimum of two complete air changes per hour, of which at least one-fifth is fresh air. A ceiling or exhaust duct shall be provided with a bend in the duct such that there is no direct line of sight through the duct from outside to inside. The bend shall be lined with the equivalent of fiberglass duct liner one inch thick. There shall be no direct openings, such as mail slots, from the interior to the exterior of the building. All chimneys shall be provided with well-fitting dampers. Exterior hinged doors shall be solid-core construction. Jalous windows shall not be permitted. The total area of glass windows and of any exterior door to a sleeping space shall not exceed 20 percent of the floor area of a room. Workmanship on doors and openable windows shall be such that the doors and windows are as close fitting as possible or weather stripping seals shall be incorporated on all edges to eliminate gaps. Air gaps and rattling shall be prevented. Masonry walls, if used, shall be at least equivalent in weight to six-inch light-weight concrete blocks, at least one surface of which is painted or plastered. The roof deck shall weigh at least seven pounds per square foot, containing a solid core at least one and one-half inches thick. Noise Level Reduction 30 Decibels (db) Window glass shall be set in an elastomer gasket. Double glazing shall be installed, with an air space of at least three inches between the two panes of glass. Windows of dome skylights shall be permitted as long as they have a sound transmission class (STC) of at least 30. The top-floor ceiling construction shall consist of plaster or gypsum board at least 5/8-inch thick supported on resilient clips or channels. A non-hardening caulking compound shall be provided around the entire perimeter of the suspended ceiling. The floor of the lowest room or area containing the uses of which those insulation requirements apply shall be a concrete slab, or shall be similarly sealed otherwise against exterior noise. Masonry walls, if used, shall be at least equivalent in weight to eight-inch light-weight concrete blocks, at least one surface of which shall be painted or plastered. The roof deck shall weigh at least twelve pounds per square foot. Wood roof sheathing shall be continuous and at least 3/4-inch thick.

    {chart of noise compatibility standards snipped}

    We are also working on new industrial zoning standards for the 700+ acres of vacant industrial land we have south of the airport.....has the potential for over 3.6 million square feet of development once access is provided (state airport access road, and local road funded by TIF)
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    Airport owners (and flyers) always want nothing but grass at the end of their runways, yet it always becomes "the government's" responsibility to acquire and preserve the land, or at least prohibit the owner from doing anything with it. This latter idea is one I have a problem with. It strikes me as a taking, when either a public or private airport's presence curtails the rights of owners to develop their property. I wonder if there is any case law on the subject.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Aug 2005
    Funky Town, CO.
    My community's general aviation airport has a runway protection zone where no development is allowed off the end of the runways. It is generally owned fee simple by the airport. Under the airport's master plan, which is an element of our Comp. Plan, the area just outside this zone for 1 mile off the end of the runways is only only suitable for industrial or other uses which will not have a concentration of people. Only after one mile is very low density residential uses (No more than 1 unit per 2.5 acres) and other uses called for. Higher density residential uses and assembly uses are discouraged until 2 miles off the end of the runway. The restrictions are much more detailed then this but its the general idea. The plan used FAA standards. We are lucky that the area around the airport is still mostly rural in nature and requires rezoning before any real development can take place. Avigation easements are obtained whenever possible. Sound attenuation measures in the construction of buildings are required is some situations.

    Some states have aviation planners in their Department of Transportation which could be a resource in creating a land use plan. Some airport managers have been through enough airport master plan processes that they understand the land use issues. Our airport hired a consultant to do most of the work on the plan since the process was driven by federal standards to assure continued FAA grants for airport improvements. The land use element was only one chapter in a much larger document. However, there was a fear that if the airport didn't protect itself from encroaching development that the feds wouldn't want to invest more money in the facility.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Airport owners (and flyers) always want nothing but grass at the end of their runways, yet it always becomes "the government's" responsibility to acquire and preserve the land, or at least prohibit the owner from doing anything with it. This latter idea is one I have a problem with. It strikes me as a taking, when either a public or private airport's presence curtails the rights of owners to develop their property. I wonder if there is any case law on the subject.
    Outagamie County (WI) has successfully imposed and defended a series of Airport Overlay zoning districts off of the ends of the runways of the main airport here in the Appleton, WI area (Outagamie County Regional Airport 'ATW'), including the parts that extend into adjacent Winnebago County. They require larger and larger minimum lot sizes for single family residential areas the closer they get to the thresholds with only agricultural, commercial and industrial allowed on the parts closest in. There is a gas station/C-store/fast food joint surrounded by an industrial park across the street from the end of one of the runways.

    The various overlays extend up to about 4-5 km outward from the ends of the runways.


  7. #7
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
    Aug 2002
    The FAA really limits allowable uses in runway protection zones, and any place that would provide for a congregation of people (i.e., manufacturing, retail, offices, etc.) wouldn't be allowed. Industrial parks near an airport seem like a compatible use, but not directly in the rpz. We've adopted the airport plans, delineating the rpz's, and then flagged them on our maps. That way if someone has property in the rpz, they will at least be aware that they are severely limited in uses as per FAA requirements rather than ours. (The FAA will eliminate funding to airports that violate this policy, and even threatened to close down one of our runways when someone tried to pursue a commercial use at the end of one of them). I'd quote their regs to anyone looking to develop in those areas (and see if you can get FAA grant funding to purchase the land anyway).

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Viewshed protection
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 02 Jun 2008, 3:57 AM
  2. Viewshed protection
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 25 Apr 2007, 12:55 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 03 Feb 2007, 10:40 AM
  4. Nothing more than an airport?
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 29 Nov 2004, 2:10 PM
  5. Landscaping Tree protection
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 25 Mar 1997, 2:28 PM