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Training Tip: Let’s keep this quiet

But if there’s at least a shred of truth in most satire, the Geico spot centered on a young couple whose “dream house” turns out to be too close for comfort to a noisy (major) airport should remind all pilots that not everyone finds aviation’s auditory emanations amusing.

General aviation strives to be a good citizen of the communities our airports serve, a goal that depends on pilots doing their part—whether at the home airport or flying cross-country.

Do you make it standard practice to become fully informed about noise abatement procedures in effect at the airports where you fly? Can you identify any designated calm-wind runway to use, and any specific wind speed limits associated with using it?

This isn’t always “so easy a caveman can do it.” There’s no one template for publishing the information—as several examples illustrate—but referring to the airport’s chart supplement listing ensures a good start.

At Parlin Field, in Newport, New Hampshire, the noise note says, “Noise abatement procedures in effect. Avoid noise sensitive area 3000´ northwest of arpt.”

At a busy coastal Maine airport near popular Acadia National Park, the chart supplement entry’s noise note states specific wind conditions and other instructions for pilots opting to use the longer of the airport’s two runways: “Durg VFR conds when wind speed less than 5 kts as rprtd by AWOS or UNICOM, all acft using Rwy 04–22 are reqd to tkof and land on Rwy 22 for noise abatement procs.”

Additional research and even a phone call may be necessary to suss out an airport’s noise abatement procedure. Checking the chart supplement listing for Boire Field, the towered airport in Nashua, New Hampshire, you find only a note that the airport has “voluntary” noise abatement procedures. However, a pilots’ page on the airport’s own website expands on that information, noting the airport’s location “within a mixed residential and commercial area,” giving specific instructions for headings, climbs, and/or turns on departure from Runway 14 or Runway 32, and identifying a calm-wind runway.

Consider noise abatement awareness a critical component of your flight planning. It only takes one careless action to undo the efforts of local pilots who work hard every day to keep GA in the good graces of the surrounding area.

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