Which flight corridor impacts me?
Why do some aircraft seem louder than others?
Aircraft operating at SFB have a diverse range of noise levels. These noise levels primarily depend on the type of engine used by the aircraft, the size of the aircraft and whether the aircraft is taxiing on the airfield, landing or taking off. The newest “full stage 3” aircraft tend to be the quietest aircraft in the fleet. Aircraft with stage 3 “hush kitted” engines tend to be the loudest. Departures tend to be louder than arrivals since the pilot is forcing more power to the engine to achieve lift.
Who tells the pilots where and when to turn?
Commercial pilots fly prescribed routes to and from SFB as instructed by air traffic controllers. The FAA is responsible for managing SFB’s airspace and for ensuring the safe and expeditious flow of traffic.
It seems like the Airport has been operating on the same flow pattern for days. Is this fair?
Wind and weather dictate which runway end or flow direction (northeast or southwest) the FAA can use. If Sanford is in a persistent weather pattern, this may force the FAA to rely on the same runway end for a long period of time.
Why do airplanes fly out of the corridors?
There are many reasons, sometimes beyond the airline’s control, why a jet may fly out of the preferred voluntary noise abatement corridors. These include traffic conflicts, weather, air traffic control directives, safety considerations, aircraft performance and pilot technique.
Why do I always get aircraft flying over my house during bad weather?
Modeled noise abatement preferred flight corridors are used frequently during periods of good weather. During periods of reduced visibility (rain, fog etc.), aircraft must use an Instrument Landing System (ILS). Three of the Airport’s runways are oriented in an east/west direction and there are instrument approaches from both of these directions. During these periods, residential areas east and west of the Airport will be impacted by aircraft over-flights.
What are the rules regarding how low an aircraft can fly over a residential area?
Aircraft altitude is established by Federal law, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations Section 91.119, which governs flight, states:
“Except when necessary for take-off or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
- Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
- Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.
- Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.”
It is important to be aware of two aspects of this regulation. First, most aircraft operating in the vicinity of SFB are in the process of landing or taking off, thus this regulation does not apply. Second, helicopters are specifically exempt from this Federal regulation.
What good does it do to call-in or enter a noise complaint when the noise abatement procedures are voluntary?
Pilot education is a major part of our noise abatement program and the noise comments assist the Airport in this effort. The noise complaints are compiled into monthly reports that allow the Airport to see trends, which assist staff in enhancing the education program.
My house is not supposed to be under the flight path, why do I get over-flights?
SFB’s modeled flight tracks/corridors are often used by pilots under ideal conditions. Factors such as weather, FAA Air Traffic Control Tower instructions, safety and the presence of other aircraft will often dictate a flight path that is different from the voluntary modeled noise abatement flight tracks.
Why doesn’t SFB have a curfew or rules similar to those at other airports?
What do complaints represent to the Airport and to the Public?
- Airport management maintains a sense of public sentiment through the administration of a program to address community noise concerns. Furthermore, management utilizes this point of contact for public education purposes and attempts to discern between the realities and the subjective nature of complaints. Communications with the public about aircraft noise complaints also allow the opportunity to identify problem areas and sometimes an opportunity to correct something before it becomes a greater issue.
- The public wants to have complaints documented and sometimes seeks information. Most of all, the public seeks change in the condition; they want the noise to go away. People are concerned about aircraft noise and complain because they would like to see changes occur. A call may alert SFB of an unusual noise event and/or a recurring problem that can be investigated and resolved. However, a noise complaint may not bring about an individual’s desired change. The noise complaint form and telephone line provide individuals the opportunity to express their concerns about aviation noise at SFB.
People file complaints for different reasons and have different expectations. The Sanford Airport Authority tries to be responsive to the public and take action when appropriate and when they are able to do so, but some callers become frustrated when they learn that changes cannot be made. Other people are satisfied they have “gone on record” and voiced their concerns. Complaints do not necessarily result in a call back from the Airport.