Airfield Operations / Emergency Services
Operations Manager, Todd Emerick, can answer your questions regarding the Noise Abatement Program:
Welcome to Friedman Memorial Airport
Whether you are visiting the Wood River Valley, returning home to Idaho or leaving for other destinations, it is the Airport’s intent and desire that all Airport Patron experiences are beneficial and pleasant. The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority and community agree that airports and communities can co-exist in close proximity to one another through simple understanding, mutual consideration and cooperation.
In response to community concerns, Friedman Memorial Airport has a voluntary noise abatement program applicable to all aircraft types known as the “Good Neighbor Flying Program”. The program works extremely well through the agreement by aviation and community that just a few simple operating guidelines do, in fact, make the community and the airport “Good Neighbors.”
The FMA asks that:
- Aircraft above 12,500 lbs. never land from the north or depart to the north.
- Aircraft not be operated in any fashion between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Mountain Time. We further recommend, in the interest of your safety and operating efficiency, that aircraft not operate prior to 7:00 a.m., Mountain Time, as our air traffic control tower and emergency services are staffed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., Mountain Time.
- Instruct your flight crews to comply with noise abatement arrival and departure procedures as provided by air traffic control and which are available below.
The FMA Requires that:
Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) NEVER be operated in excess of 30 minutes. APUs must usually be activated approximately 20 minutes prior to jet departures. When jet departures are scheduled, please arrive for that departure at the scheduled time. If you are late for that departures time, aircraft crews will likely be forced to shut down APUs and your departure will be delayed when you do arrive at the airport.
By subscribing to these simple guidelines and requirements, the aviation community and local Wood River Valley communities will continue to appreciation and respect one another’s needs and requirements. The Airport Authority thanks you all pilots for their consideration and wishes everyone a wonderful stay in Idaho and pleasant journeys.
Noise Abatement Goals
The goals for the FMA Noise Abatement Program are as follows:
- Airport operations that are compatible with the surrounding communities.
- Educate, involve and engage the community and flying public about our ongoing dedication to addressing noise issues at the airport.
- Be committed to being a good neighbor.
- Respond to each concern and take action as appropriate.
- Strive for continued and increased success of the Noise Abatement Program.
FAQ About Noise
Aircraft altitude is established by Federal law. Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 91.119 of the General Operating and Flight Rules states that “Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitude: 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.”
It is important to be aware that most aircraft operating in the vicinity of the FMA are in the process of landing or taking off, thus this regulation does not apply. Helicopters are specifically exempted from this Federal regulation.
In 1990 Congress passed legislation that made it extremely difficult for airports to initiate curfews and access restrictions without qualifying scientific documentation. FMA did undergo FAA-approved scientific studies to determine if noise levels justified curfews or access restrictions. These studies did not result in a finding of noise levels that would support curfews or access restrictions. FMA has a Voluntary Noise Abatement Program which emphasizes noise abatement, flight tracks and pilot education.
FMA’s voluntary flights tracks are used by pilots under ideal conditions only. Factors such as climate conditions and the presence of other aircraft will often predicate local Air Traffic Control instructions directing a flight path that is different from the noise abatement flight tracks.
Noise abatement flight tracks are used only during periods of good weather. The voluntary flight tracks are used by pilots under ideal conditions only. During periods of reduced visibility (rain, fog, snow, smoke etc.) aircraft operators are obligated to conduct their operations in the safest visual manner determinable by them and local Air Traffic Control.
In 1990 Congress passed legislation that required commercial airlines to phase out the use of older, nosier aircraft (known as Stage II Aircraft). That same legislation exempted aircraft weighing less than 75,000 pounds. Thus, while the airlines have removed the older and noisier aircraft from service, the smaller noisier private aircraft and business jets have been allowed to stay in service. This exemption is cancelled effective December 31, 2015.
What good does it do to call-in or complete an online noise complaint form when the noise abatement program is voluntary?
Pilot education is a major part of our noise abatement program and the reporting of aircraft concerns assists the Airport in this effort. Each concern is reviewed for a determination. Staff attempts to follow up on each call-in an effort to respond to the concerns expressed. Often, there are justifiable circumstances which may not seem apparent to the party expressing a concern. Late night Medical Evacuations are a good example of this. The concerns are then compiled into a monthly report which allows the Airport to see trends which assist staff in enhancing the education program. The program includes mass mailings and individual contact with pilots.
The FAA prohibits the FMAA from pursuing punitive actions against a pilot who chooses not to use the Voluntary Noise Abatement procedures. This is why the FMAA promotes “Good Neighbor Flying” among all tenants and users of the airport so that they will choose to comply with the procedures voluntarily.
Most commonly, departures to, or arrivals from the north are dictated by prevailing winds at the airport, at that time. Most aircraft have operating criteria preventing them from safely departing or landing with “tail winds” in excess of 10 knots. In other words, if winds out of the south were in excess of 10 knots at the airport, aircraft would quite likely elect to arrive from the north. If winds at the airport were in excess of 10 knots out of the north, aircraft would likely elect to depart to the north. In fact, some light aircraft are restricted from operating with any tailwind component whatsoever.