The San Diego International Airport is conveniently located to many San Diego residents and businesses. Even though the location is convenient it does create some inherent challenges for those who live and work near the Airport.
SAN along with the airlines, the FAA and Air Traffic Control (ATC) strive to balance the needs of the community with those of the passengers of SAN. Even though we do not dictate the flight path (that’s the responsibility of the FAA and ATC) or fly the planes (that’s the airlines), it is our job to act as an intermediary between all parties fostering transparency in airport operations over the communities surrounding the airport.
The following pages are meant to help explain Airport Noise Mitigation's role in these tasks and what we are doing to help reduce noise in the community.
“The Curfew” is a part of the Airport Use Regulations, formally adopted as SDCRAA Code 9.40, Airport Use Regulations. In the simplest of terms, “The Curfew” is the Time of Day Restrictions that limits nighttime aircraft departures.
The following text has been excerpted from the Airport Use Regulations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these regulations, please contact Airport Noise Mitigation at (619) 400-2789, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. During all other times, please call (619) 400-2799.
Additionally, a multiplier may be added to reflect the multiple number of violations during the previous compliance period. After the 3rd (or more) offense, the operating privileges of any operator may be terminated, or limited, on such terms and conditions, and for such period of time, as the Authority Board determines is appropriate.
Learn More about the Curfew Violation Review Panel (CVRP)
What type of operating restrictions may the Airport Authority impose?
Airport operating restrictions are generally regulatory restrictions which, for noise control or other environmental reasons: (1) limit the type of aircraft which may use the airport; (2) limit the time of day which certain aircraft can use the airport; or (3) limit the number of aircraft which can use the airport during a defined time period. Historically, this has been a complex legal area where the Federal government (principally the Federal Aviation Administration) and the local airport proprietor have had shared regulatory authority. State and local governments that are not airport proprietors, however, have generally been held by the courts not to have any regulatory authority over airport or aircraft operations for noise control purposes because of the preemptive effect of the "pervasive" scheme of federal regulation over such matters.
Although airport proprietors historically had some discretion to control and regulate the use of its airport for noise control and other limited purposes, that discretion has always been subject to substantial Federal oversight and influence by a variety of legal means, including the airport proprietor's obligations to the FAA under standard "grant assurances" given to the federal government under federal legislation dating back to 1946. In 1990, the Congress significantly limited the scope of the local airport proprietor's regulatory discretion for noise control purposes by adopting the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA). FAA has subsequently adopted regulations implementing ANCA under Part 161 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) (14 CFR Section 161.1). The practical effect of ANCA and implementing legislation (Part 161) is to make traditional aircraft operation regulations by local airport proprietors infeasible without the concurrence of the air carriers or other operators affected by the restriction. To implement the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA), the FAA amended FAR Part 91 and issued a new FAR Part 161. FAR Part 91 addresses the phase-out of large Stage 2 aircraft and the phase-in of Stage 3 aircraft. Part 161 establishes a stringent review and approval process governing the implementation of local airport use or access restrictions by airport proprietors.
FAR Part 150
14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 150, Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a final rule in January 1985. 14 CFR Part 150 sets forth the methodology and procedures to be followed when preparing aircraft noise exposure maps and developing airport /airport environs land use compatibility programs.
14 CFR Part 150 studies typically consist of two primary components: (1) the Noise Exposure Map (NEM) report which contains detailed information regarding existing and 5-year future airport/aircraft noise exposure patterns, and (2) the Noise Compatibility Program (NCP) report which includes descriptions and an evaluation of noise abatement and noise mitigation options/programs applicable to an airport.
The Airport Authority is in the process of updating the Part 150 including new NEMs and an update to the NCP. As part of this effort, a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have been established to review information and provide input on the study update.
Information from these meetings is provided below.
Citizen Advisory Committee Membership
Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting #1 – Presentation
Technical Advisory Committee Meeting #1 – Presentation
The Quarterly Noise Report details the noise activities at the San Diego International Airport. Information includes statistical summaries, aircraft noise measurements, information on airport operations, noise complaint statistics, enforcement actions, reports on the residential sound insulation program and information about the Airport Noise Advisory Committee.
A variance is required by the California Department of Transportation when there are areas surrounding the San Diego International Airport that are impacted by more than 65 dBs of noise. Therefore, in order to maintain operations the San Diego International Airport must have conditions in place in order to reduce noise impacts to those in areas above 65 dBs of noise.
Click here for the current San Diego International Airport’s Variance.
Variance Application Acceptance From Caltrans.