Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150, titled "Airport Noise Compatibility Planning," defines standards for airport operators to use in documenting noise exposure in the airport environs and establishing programs to minimize noise-related land use incompatibilities.
Part 150 Overview
Part 150 sets forth a process for airport proprietors to follow in developing and obtaining FAA approval of programs to reduce or eliminate incompatibilities between aircraft noise and surrounding land uses. The regulation is formally codified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR Part 150). The Documents section of this website provides links to the regulation and related FAA guidance.
Part 150 prescribes specific standards and systems for:
- Measuring noise
- Estimating cumulative noise exposure
- Describing noise exposure (including instantaneous, single event, and cumulative levels)
- Identifying non-compatible land uses
- Coordinating Noise Compatibility Program development with airport users, the FAA, local land use officials, and all other stakeholders or otherwise interested parties
- Documenting the analytical process and development of the Noise Exposure Maps and Noise Compatibility Program
- Submitting documentation to the FAA
- Public consultation
- FAA and public review processes
- FAA approval or disapproval of the submission
A formal submission to the FAA under Part 150 includes documentation for two principal elements: (1) the Noise Exposure Map and (2) the Noise Compatibility Program, as summarized below.
Noise Exposure Map
The Noise Exposure Map documentation describes the airport layout and operation, aircraft-related noise exposure, land uses in the airport environs, and the resulting noise/land use compatibility situation. The Noise Exposure Map documentation must address two time frames: (1) data representing the year of submission (the "existing conditions") and (2) a forecast year that is at least five years following the year of submission (the "forecast conditions").
Part 150 requires more than simple "maps" to provide all the necessary information in a Noise Exposure Map. In addition to the graphics, requirements include extensive tabulated information and text discussion. The Noise Exposure Map documentation must describe the data collection and analysis undertaken in its development.
The anticipated year of submission for this update is 2014, with an existing conditions "map" for that year, and a five-year forecast case map for 2019.
Noise Compatibility Program
The Noise Compatibility Program is essentially a list of the actions the airport proprietor proposes to undertake to minimize existing and future noise/land use incompatibilities. The Noise Compatibility Program documentation must recount the development of the program, including a description of all measures considered, the reasons that individual measures were accepted or rejected, how measures will be implemented and funded, and the predicted effectiveness of individual measures and the overall program.
Official FAA acceptance of the Part 150 submission and approval of the Noise Compatibility Program does not eliminate requirements for formal environmental assessment of any proposed actions pursuant to requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However, acceptance of the submission is a prerequisite to application for funding of implementation actions.