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)
Terms & Acronyms
The following is an alphabetic list with definitions of terms/acronyms used in the FAQs with which you may not be familiar.AC - Advisory Circular: Information letters issued by FAA to inform the public in a systematic way of non-regulatory material.ANCA - Airport Noise and Capacity Act: This 1990 Federal Law established a "national policy on aviation noise". Its main feature is to require that by the year 2000 all jet aircraft used in commercial service at civilian airports be Stage-3 aircraft. Found under U.S. Code Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part B, Chapter 475, Subchapter II – National Aviation Noise Policy.AEDT – Aviation Environmental Design Tool: FAA’s newest standard tool for determining the predicted noise impact in the vicinity of airports. AEDT uses flight track information, aircraft fleet mix, standard and user defined aircraft profiles, and other inputs to produce noise exposure contours. The AEDT also allows for modeling aircraft on the ground, something the INM could not do.ANOMS – Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System: SAN’s computerized noise monitoring and flight tracking system. The ANOMS software is created by Brüel & Kjær.ASDI – Aircraft Situation Display to Industry. ASDI is a data stream service made available by the FAA. The stream consists of data elements which show the position and flight pan data of all aircraft in the U.S. This data includes the location, altitude, airspeed, destination, and ETA, and tail number or identifier of the aircraft. For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASDI.ATC - Air Traffic Control: that segment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responsible for controlling aircraft movement on the ground and in the air. For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_traffic_control.ATCT – Air Traffic Control Tower: FAA facility established at most larger airports to provide for a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of aircraft.AURs – Airport Use Regulations: SAN’s noise regulations or “Curfew”. Codified under SDCRAA Code 9.40.A-weighting – A-weighting is a noise curve defined by international standards. A-weighting is applied to measured noises in an effort to account for how humans perceive noise.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-weightingBeacon Code – See Transponder CodeCA PUC – California Public Utilities Commission: A California agency that oversees and regulates, among other things, all public use airports under the California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics.Class B Airspace – A FAA defined term where an aircraft operation is subject to ATC clearance and separated by ATC.For more information see; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspace_classesCNEL – Community Noise Equivalent Level: The noise metric used to measure cumulative aircraft noise impact in California"Contra-Flow" Operations: A local air traffic control procedure used at SAN during inclement weather conditions, which require arrival and departure operations in the same direction.CVRP – Curfew Violation Review Panel: SAN’s review panel for suspected violations of the Time of Day (Curfew) noise restrictions. dB (Decibel): the decibel is a logarithmic unit (metric) used to express the ratio between two values of a physical quantity, often power or intensity. In acoustics, the decibel is used as a unit of sound pressure level. Sound pressure level is a measure of the sound pressure of a given noise source relative to a standard reference value, where the reference value is set as typical threshold of perception of an average human.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DecibelFAA – Federal Aviation Administration: the national aviation authority of the United States of America. For more info visit:www.faa.gov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAAFAA TRACON – Terminal Radar Approach Control: An FAA facility that provides advisory service to aircraft during the departure and approach phases of flight.FAR – Federal Aviation Regulations: Implementing legislation for federal laws pertaining to aviation activities.GIS – Geographic Information System: SAN’s computerized geographic mapping and analysis system. The system currently uses ESRI’s ArcGIS. Grant Assurance: Specific obligations and certification required of airports to meet requirements of Federal grants for airport planning and development projects.ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization: is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency created in 1944 upon the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the “Chicago Convention”). ICAO works to develop international standards and best practices.IFR – Instrument Flight Rules: rules and regulations established by the FAA to govern flight under conditions in which flight by aircraft outside visual reference is not safe (i.e. not VFR).INM – Integrated Noise Model: FAA’s standard tool for determining the predicted noise impact in the vicinity of airports. INM uses flight track information, aircraft fleet mix, & standard and user defined aircraft profiles to produce noise exposure contours.Missed Approach: A climbing maneuver accomplished by a pilot of an airplane when a landing cannot be accomplished safely.NADP – Noise Abatement Departure Profile: A type of departure procedure where the end result is to reduce the noise on a jet aircraft’s departure. The FAA regulates NADPs under AC 91-53A.NASP – National Airspace System Plan: A management description of the FAA system framework that will allow for future growth in aircraft operations in a safe and expeditious manner.NIA – Noise Impact Area: under Title 21, the noise impact area is defined as the area within the noise impact boundary (65 dB CNEL noise contour) that is composed of incompatible land uses.QHP – Quieter Home Program: SAN’s Residential Sound Attenuation Program (RSAP).PASSUR – PASsive SUrveillance Radar. The means by which Noise Mitigation tracks aircraft.http://www.passur.com/Part 36 – FAA’s Noise Standards: Aircraft Type and Airworthiness Certification. (Currently Advisory Circular (AC) 36-4C).Part 150 – FAA’s Airport Noise and Compatibility Planning program. (Title 14 Part 150).Part 161 – FAA’s Airport Noise and Access Restrictions program. (Title 14 Part 161).PR/NPR – Preferred Runway/Night Preferred Runway: A local air traffic control procedure recommending use of a certain runway for arrivals and/or departures when specific conditions exist (i.e., for noise abatement purposes).Radar – Acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. Radar is an object detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. For more info, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar.RMS – Remote Monitoring Site/Station: Another name for an RMT.RMT - Remote Monitoring Terminal: the sites in the community where permanent microphones are placed to measure aircraft noise and define the areas most adversely affected by aircraft operations.SDCRAA – San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: the policy body for SAN since January 1, 2003. Prior to this date, the San Diego Unified Port District provided policy guidance for the airport. www.san.orgSAN - San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field)SEL – Sound Exposure Level: is a common measure of cumulative noise exposure for a single noise event. The SEL is a summation of the A-weighted sound energy over the duration of a noise event, where duration is defined as the time when the sound level first exceeds a threshold level (normally just above the background or ambient noise).SID – Standard Instrument Departures: Published Air Traffic Control procedures an aircraft must adhere to immediately after takeoff. Because of surrounding terrain or noise abatement restrictions, these procedures detail any turns or speed and altitude restrictions pilots must comply with unless amended or superseded by ATC.Stage 1/2/3/4 - Certification of aircraft according to their specific noise levels under Part 36 – Stage 4 is the latest technology, thus the quietest aircraft in the fleet.Title 21 – California Code of Regulations, Title 21, the “Airport Noise Standards”. CA State Regulations (CA PUC, Title 21, Subchapter 6) governing the operation of aircraft and aircraft engines for all airports operating under a valid permit issued by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans).Transponder – A transponder is an electronic device that produces a response when it receives a radio-frequency interrogation. Aircraft have transponders that identify themselves on FAA Air Traffic Control Radar. Transponder codes, also called Beacon codes, are 4-digit octal numbers (go from 0 to 7), therefore the lowest code is 0000 and the highest is 7777. For more info, see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transponder_(aviation)#Secondary_Surveillance_RadarVFR – Visual Flight Rules: a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow pilots to see where the aircraft is going.
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.