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Approval of Noise Compatibility Program for Buffalo Niagara International Airport, NY

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.




The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces its findings on the noise compatibility program submitted by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. (the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act, hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) and 14 CFR Part 150. These findings are made in recognition of the description of Federal and nonfederal responsibilities in Senate Report No. 96-52 (1980). On September 7, 2005 the FAA determined that the noise exposure maps submitted by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority under Part 150 were in compliance with applicable requirements. On March 3, 2006, the FAA approved Buffalo Niagara International Airport's noise compatibility program. Most of the recommendations of the program update were approved. Four measures were disapproved for Part 150 purposes.


Effective Date: The effective date of the FAA's approval of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport's noise compatibility program update is March 3, 2006.

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Maria Stanco, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Airports District Office, 600 Old Country Road, Suite 446, Garden City, NY 11530, Telephone 516 227-3808. Documents reflecting this FAA action may be reviewed at this same location.

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This notice announces that the FAA has given its overall approval to the noise compatibility program for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, effective March 3, 2006.

A. Under section 47504 of the Act, an airport operator who has previously submitted a noise exposure map may submit to the FAA a noise compatibility program which sets forth the measures taken or proposed by the airport operator for the reduction of existing non-compatible land uses and prevention of additional non-compatible land uses within the area covered by the noise exposure maps. The Act requires such programs to be developed in Start Printed Page 19922consultation with interested and affected parties including local communities, government agencies, airport users, and FAA personnel.

Each airport noise compatibility program developed in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 is a local program, not a Federal program. The FAA does not substitute its judgment for that of the airport proprietor with respect to which measures should be recommended for action. The FAA's approval or disapproval of FAR Part 150 program recommendations is measures according to the standards expressed in Part 150 and the Act and is limited to the following determinations:

1. The noise compatibility program was developed in accordance with the provisions and procedures of FAR Part 150;

2. Program measures are reasonably consistent with achieving the goals of reducing existing non-compatible land uses around the airport and preventing the introduction of additional non-compatible land uses;

3. Program measures would not create an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce, unjustly discriminate against types or classes of aeronautical uses, violate the terms of airport grant agreements, or intrude into areas preempted by the Federal Government; and

4. Program measures relating to the use of flight procedures can be implemented within the period covered by the program without derogating safety, adversely affecting the efficient use and management of the navigable airspace and air traffic control systems, or adversely affecting other powers and responsibilities of the Administrator prescribed by law.

Specific limitations with respect to FAA's approval of an airport noise compatibility program are delineated in FAR Part 150, section 150.5. Approval is not a determination concerning the acceptability of land uses under Federal, state, or local law. Approval does not by itself constitute an FAA implementing action. A request for Federal action or approval to implement specific noise compatibility measures may be required, and an FAA decision on the request may require an environmental assessment of the proposed action. Approval does not constitute a commitment by the FAA to financially assist in the implementation of the program nor a determination that all measures covered by the program are eligible for grant-in-aid funding from the FAA. Where Federal funding is sought, requests for project grants must be submitted to the FAA New York Airports District Office in Garden City, New York.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority submitted its noise exposure maps, descriptions, and other documentation produced during the noise compatibility study in 2003 to the FAA on March 7, 2005. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport's noise exposure maps were determined by FAA to be in compliance with applicable requirements on September 7, 2005. Notice of this determination was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2005.

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport study contains a proposed noise compatibility program comprised of actions designed for phased implementation by airport management and adjacent jurisdictions. It was requested that the FAA evaluate and approve this material as a noise compatibility program as described in Section 104(b) of the Act. The FAA began its review of the program on September 7, 2005 and was requested by a provision of the Act to approve or disapprove the program within 180 days (other than the use of new or modified flight procedures for noise control). Failure to approve or disapprove such program within the 180-day period shall be deemed to be an approval of such program.

The submitted noise compatibility program update contained sixteen proposed actions for noise mitigation. The FAA completed its review and determined that the procedural and substantive requirements of the Act and FAR Part 150 have been satisfied. The Acting Associate Administrator for Airports approved the overall program effective March 3, 2006.

Twelve of the sixteen program measures have been approved in whole or in part. Four measures were disapproved for Part 150 purposes.

Noise abatement element 1 (extension of Quiet Time designation), element 2 (preferential runway use), and element 4 (preferential arrival corridors) were disapproved for purposes of Part 150 due to a lack of demonstrated noise benefit to noncompatible land uses exposed to noise levels of DNL 65 dBA. FAA recognizes that these measures are being used on a voluntary basis; a disapproval due to lack of noise benefit information would not prohibit a continuation of this practice. Noise abatement measure 3 (preferential departure corridors) was disapproved for purposes of Part 150. This measure provides noise benefits to land uses exposed to noise levels less than DNL 65 dBA. The NFTA has not adopted standards more stringent than Table 1 of 14 CFR Part 150, which considers land uses exposed to noise levels less than DNL 65 dBA to be compatible. Measure 5 (restrict engine maintenance runups during quiet time) and measure 6 (restrict high speed and high power taxiing) were approved as voluntary measures only.

These determinations are set forth in detail in a Record of Approval signed by the Acting Associate Administrator for Airports on March 3, 2006. The Record of Approval, as well as other evaluation materials and the documents comprising the submittal, are available for review at the FAA office listed above and at the administrative offices of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The Record of Approval also will be available on-line at​arp/​environmental/​14cfr150/​index14.cfm.

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Issued in Garden City, New York, April 7, 2006.

Otto N. Suriani,

Acting Manager, New York Airports District Office.

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[FR Doc. 06-3659 Filed 4-17-06; 8:45 am]