Noise Mitigation Program
Noise Concern FAQs
Can Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) change aircraft flight paths?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sovereign control over all airspace above the United States and its Territories. Neither the Charlotte County Airport Authority Board nor staff has the legal authority to mandate specific flight paths. We are only allowed to ask pilots to abide by recommended and voluntary noise abatement procedures. Any change in departure or arrival flight paths must be approved and implemented by the FAA.
Which corridors do commercial airliners usually fly?
Can PGD impose a nighttime curfew?
No. The Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990 enacted by the FAA does not allow airports to limit timing of aircraft operations, however, it did require a substantial reduction in noise by aircraft manufacturers. As such, Charlotte County Airport Authority worked with Allegiant to become the first Airbus A320 base in 2018, a fleet of planes which is much quieter than the previous MD-80 aircraft.
Since the Airport is a landing location for many types of aircraft and it engages in Interstate commerce (commercial transportation between states), it falls into same category as Interstate I-75. The airport is not allowed to put time limits on when that traveling commerce will occur. Only six U.S. airports have pre-1990 curfews grandfathered by ANCA.
What does PGD's Noise Concerns Office do?
We advocate for the community, work with the FAA, and educate pilots who frequently operate out of the airport regarding our noise abatement program.
What noise abatement efforts have been made by the Noise Concerns Office?
- Obtained specialized flight tracking software to verify compliance to the recommended noise abatement procedures.
- Created mediums to communicate and advocate for the community.
- Created spreadsheets and analysis techniques to track filed concerns.
- Established “Engine Run” procedures, necessitating management approval if the engine runs are after hours.
- Built reflective “NOISE ABATEMENT PROCEDURES IN EFFECT” signage at the runway ends.
- Established preferred calm wind runway operations on runway 22 for landings and runway 04 for takeoffs.
- Worked with Allegiant Airlines to transition their based fleet from McDonald Douglas MD-80 to quieter Airbus 320. Allegiant has many of their newer A320s with upgraded noise abatement technology based at PGD.
- Met with the local general aviation pilots to brief on our noise abatement procedures.
- Communicates with flight crews that operate at PGD. Each verified non-compliance is tracked and logged and submitted to management for review.
How are pilots made aware that Punta Gorda is a noise sensitive community?
Abatement maps are posted in the pilot briefing room. To notify pilots of our noise abatement procedures, the signs are erected on the airfield before the entrance to our primary runway. Additionally, notices are published in aviation reference manuals and on our website. The FBO makes available handouts detailing the airports recommend noise abatement procedures to pilots obtaining fuel.
How do the pilots or controllers determine which runway to use?
Wind direction primarily determines which runway will be active. Aircraft will take off and land into the wind for safety purposes and aircraft limitations. Other factors include runway closures due to construction and conflicting aircraft traffic.
What are the rules regarding how long an aircraft can fly?
Aircraft altitude is established by Federal law. Stated in Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations § 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General
“Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface–
(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; ….”
It is important to be aware of three aspects of this regulation. Most aircraft operating in the vicinity of PGD are in the process of landing or taking off, thus this regulation does not apply.
What are engine run-ups and why are they conducted?
Engine run-ups are conducted to verify and adjust the engine and its components for maintenance purposes.
Nighttime maintenance engine run-ups are prohibited from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. unless prior approval from airport administration is given.
Can't the airplanes fly a few blocks down for me?
Airplane routes are not like driving on the highway. Planes fly in corridors; one aircraft may fly over your home, the next two blocks over. Both aircraft, however, will land on the same runway. Visually, an aircraft corridor is like a cone; the runway being the focus. The closer to the airport, the more consistent the flight paths are.
Why do airplanes fly out of the corridors?
The flight tracks and corridors are recommended voluntary procedures often used by pilots under ideal conditions. Factors such as weather, Air Traffic Control instructions, safety and the presence of other aircraft will often dictate a flight path that is different from the recommended modeled noise abatement flight tracks.
What is a stabilized approach?
The FAA requires pilots to be on a stabilized approach path when landing. To make a stabilized approach the pilot will minimize wing movement and obtain a steady rate of decent. In other words, a plane cannot make a significant turn just before landing, nor can it suddenly lose altitude just before touchdown.
Why do some aircraft seem louder than others?
The 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. Departures tend to be louder than arrivals since the pilot is forcing more power into the engine to achieve lift.
What makes a jet loud?
Airplane noise is comprised of both engine noise and airframe noise. Both noises are caused by rapid displacement of air interacting with calm external air.
Why does the airport seem noisier on some days more than others?
Weather plays an influential role in where aircraft noise travels. As the temperature heats up, the atmosphere becomes less dense. The low density enables sound waves to travel more horizontally through lower pressure air. This means an aircraft operating here in Florida during the winter will be heard further away than an aircraft operating in a much colder area like New York. Clouds and wind will also cause sound waves to be altered. Sound will be reflected from the clouds and back to earth, not allowing it to disperse in the atmosphere. Wind will redirect sound waves downwind from the aircraft it originated from.
Can aircraft engine emissions cause soot on my home?
Aircraft emissions have NOT been found to create soot on homes. There have been various research projects conducted at airports in which the researches collect samples from exhaust plumes behind aircraft. The studies have yet to conclude that the particulate matter emissions from aircraft are significant contributors to the material deposited on surrounding communities (Task 5: Investigating air emission impacts on the community, 2006). The black roof stains are classified as a black algae, called Gloeocapsa magma, a cyanobacteria (Clark, 2013).
The recent prevalence of the black algae may be due to the increased usage of limestone in shingles (“Black or Green Algae Stains on Asphalt Roof Shingles,” 2018). Blackened roofs are more common in warm, humid climates and are most often mistaken for dirt, moss, or granule loss (Algae discoloration of shingles, 2017).
In 2006, the Broward County Aviation Department conducted a study to analyze the air emissions impact on their community from their airport. The researchers were unable to identify any particulate matter that looked representative of known aircraft engine-generated particles. The material that were found did not include any petroleum hydrocarbons or similar compounds. The study noted that there is particle matter being deposited on homes and buildings, however; the particulate matter found is not aviation related (Task 5: Investigating air emission impacts on the community, 2006).
It is important to note that there are multiple sources of particulate matter that could potentially stain roofs in our community. The sources include fungi, pollen, industrial emissions, diesel and gasoline exhaust, dust (including rubber dust from I75 or US41), and ash. The ash is especially notable, as there are regular controlled burnings in our nearby conservation areas to prevent forest fires.
Algae discoloration of shingles (13). (2017). Retrieved from Canadian Asphalt Shingle
Manufacturers’ Association website: https://inspectapedia.com/roof/Algae-Discoloration-of-Shingles-CASMA.pdf
Black or Green Algae Stains on Asphalt Roof Shingles. (2018). Retrieved from https://inspectapedia.com/roof/Shingle_Algae_Stains.php#Cause
Clark, P. (2013, June 18). Roof algae: The prehistoric organism that streaks your shingles.
Reid, A. (2015, September 30). Beginning of sugar cane harvest reignites field burning debate.
Task 5: Investigating air emission impacts on the community. (2006). Retrieved from Broward County Aviation Department