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FAA Approval of Noise Compatibility Program; Westover Metropolitan Airport, Chicopee, Massachusetts

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Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.




The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces its findings on the Noise Compatibility Program submitted by the Westover Metropolitan Development Authority under the provisions of Title I of the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979. On September 25, 2014, the FAA determined the noise exposure maps submitted by the Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation under Part 150 were in compliance with applicable requirements. On February 6, 2015 the New England Region Airports Division Manager approved the Noise Compatibility Program.


The effective date of the FAA's approval of the Westover Metropolitan Airport noise compatibility program is February 6, 2015.

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Richard Doucette, Federal Aviation Administration, New England Region, Airports Division, ANE-600, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803, telephone (781) 238-7613.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 47501-47510; 14 CFR part 150.

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This notice announces that the FAA has given its overall approval to Westover Metropolitan Airport noise compatibility program, effective February 6, 2015.

Under Section 104 (a) of the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979 (hereinafter 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 consultation 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 Regulation (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 measured according to the standards expressed in Part 150 and the Act, and is limited to the following determinations:

(a) The noise compatibility program was developed in accordance with the provisions and procedures of FAR Part 150;

(b) 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;

(c) 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

(d) program measures relating to the use of flight procedures can be implemented within the period covered Start Printed Page 9847by 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 as 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 a 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 under the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982. Where Federal funding is sought, requests for project grants must be submitted to the FAA Regional Office in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation submitted to the FAA, on September 25, 2014, noise exposure maps, descriptions, and other documentation produced during the noise compatibility planning study conducted from 2013 to 2014. The Westover Metropolitan Airport noise exposure maps were determined by FAA to be in compliance with applicable requirements on September 25, 2014. Notice of this determination was published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2013.

The Westover Metropolitan Airport study contains a proposed noise compatibility program comprised of actions designed for implementation by airport. The Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation 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 25, 2014, and was required by a provision of the Act to approve or disapprove the program within 180 days (other than the use of new flight procedures for noise control). Failure to approve or disapprove such a program within the 180-day period shall be deemed to be an approval of such a program.

The submitted program contained a change to one noise mitigation measure in the Noise Compatibility Program. This change allows for voluntary acquisition of residential properties located in the 65DNL noise contour. The FAA completed its review and determined that the procedural and substantive requirements of the Act and FAR Part 150 have been satisfied. The New England Region Airports Division Manager therefore approved the overall program on February 6, 2015. 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 Westover Metropolitan Airport.

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Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts on February 6, 2015.

Mary T. Walsh,

Manager, Airports Division, FAA New England Region.

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[FR Doc. 2015-03777 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am]