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Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities

The Aviation Noise Abatement Policy of 1976 summarized the key responsibilities of various entities to control aircraft noise.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the federal government agency that has the authority and responsibility: to reduce aircraft noise at the source, implement safe (and legal) noise abatement operational procedures which are recommended by the airport proprietor, and to encourage compatible land development.

Airport Proprietors

They are primarily responsible for planning and implementing actions that manage the effects of aircraft noise within the airport's environs. Such actions include noise abatement ground procedures; land acquisition; acoustical treatments; other controls which do not discriminate, create an unsafe situation, impede the management of the air navigation system, or interfere with interstate or foreign commerce; and suggesting noise abatement operational procedures.

State/Local Governments and Planning Agencies

These agencies are responsible for compatible land development through zoning, promulgating and enforcing building codes that incorporate acoustically attenuating materials into edifices (especially residences), and disclosing the noise impacts to their citizens.

Air Carriers

These private companies are responsible for retiring, replacing, and retrofitting older jets (per FAA regulations) and for flying aircraft in ways to minimize noise impacts on surrounding communities.

Residents and Prospective Residents

In areas surrounding airports, they should strive to understand the noise problem and measures which can be taken to minimize the effect of noise.


As the person in charge of operating the aircraft, the pilot has the ultimate responsibility. Although the airline sets the noise abatement departure profile, and the FAA assigns the flight track and altitude, the pilot still maintains the authority to make final judgments. Based on safety criteria, the pilot may alter these procedures. In general, it is up to the pilot to adhere to noise abatement procedures whether for departure or arrival