Are pilots required to follow noise abatement procedures?
No. Noise abatement plans and procedures are voluntary measures that supplement the required measures pilots must adhere to for safe operation of their aircraft.
What are REQUIRED measures? Pilots are required by federal aviation regulations to adhere to air traffic control direction, airspace and weather considerations, as well as navigating, communicating, and operating their aircraft. Pilots have a lot to manage as they fly above us. It's no wonder that these required measures come first!
What are VOLUNTARY measures? Noise abatement plans and procedures were developed by the MAC through collaboration with pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration, and communities surrounding each airport. The idea is that when pilots have choices about the time they fly, the direction they fly, the runway they use or other flight options, they will consult the voluntary measures included in the noise abatment plan. Examples of noise abatement options are limited flights between 10 p.m.-7 a.m., use of a designated preferred runway, avoid overlying residential areas, etc. Each of these measures can help pilots reduce their noise impact over noise-sensitive areas only after all required measures are satisfied.
Noise abatement plans for MAC-owned airports can be found at: MAC Airports.