Aviation Law

For incisive, informative news about the legal environment in which aviation operates, refer to Barbara Lichman’s (Ph.D., J.D.) Aviation and Airport Development News blog. You can subscribe for email updates.

The links below are to Howard Beckman’s excellent site Airport Noise Law. We strongly recommend a visit to this site for anyone interested.

Although there are California state laws related to airport noise, courts have held that control of airplanes in flight resides exclusively with the Federal government.

Airport and Airway Improvement Act (1982)

Aircraft Noise Abatement Act (1968) – Requires the FAA to establish noise standards through consultation with the EPA, and to apply them in connection with issuance of civil aircraft certificates.

Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) “It permits citizen suits against the FAA “where there is alleged a failure of [the FAA] to perform any act or duty under section 1431 of Title 49 which is not discretionary….”

Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act (1979) Grants authority to the Federal Aviation Administration to issue regulations on “air noise compatibility planning.

Noise Control Act (1972) 42 USCNoise Control Act (1972) 49 USC  This Act was passed after receiving a report from the newly created Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the Environmental Protection Agency (see Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1970). See Legislative History of the Noise Control Act of 1972, Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, July 1974. The NCA amended the Federal Aviation Act to specifically involve the EPA in the regulation of airport noise. It states in part:

“Each Federal agency shall consult with the Administrator in prescribing standards or regulations respecting noise. If at any time the Administrator has reason to believe that a standard or regulation, or any proposed standard or regulation, of any Federal agency respecting noise does not protect the public health and welfare to the extent he believes to be required and feasible, he may request such agency to review and report to him on the advisability of revising such standard or regulation to provide such protection.”