Aircraft Noise FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my neighbor eligible for sound insulation and I am not?
The MAC's residential sound mitigation program treats qualifying homes located within aircraft noise exposure areas of 60 dB DNL associated with flight activity at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). While the MAC's program is more expansive than any other U.S. airport's sound mitigation program, these types of mitigation programs are strictly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the MAC must adhere to legal limits regarding funding and eligibility requirements.
Home eligibility for the MAC's mitigation program is evaluated based on an Annual MSP Noise Contour Analysis. A single-family or multi-family home will be considered eligible for mitigation under the MAC's mitigation program when the following criteria are met:
(a) the community in which the home is located has adopted local land use controls and building performance standards that prohibit new residential construction or remodeling on the block on which the home is located, unless the construction or remodeling materials and practices are consistent with the noise impact levels and consistent with noise mitigation provided by this program, and
(b) the home is located, for a period of three consecutive years (the first of the three years cannot be later than calendar year 2020) in the actual 60-64 dB DNL noise contour prepared by the MAC and published in the Annual MSP Noise Contour Analysis report, and, within a higher noise exposure area when compared to the single-family home's status under the MAC's mitigation program prior to the amendment.
It is important to note that the MAC uses a "block-intersect" method when establishing program eligibility. This means that when any parcel on a city block is included in the noise contour, then the entire city block is included in the eligibility area. If your home is not eligible for the MAC's mitigation program, it is because your home is not located on a city block that meets the eligibility criteria.
Please click here to determine if your home meets the eligibility requirements: Do I Qualify
The MAC will offer mitigation to owners of eligible single-family and multi-family homes once their home fully qualifies for the MAC's program. There is no action for a homeowner to take to become eligible; however, once a home is eligible, the homeowner must respond to the MAC's correspondence as specified in the invitation.
What is sound monitoring?
Sound monitoring devices are used by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) for measuring and documenting aircraft sound levels for areas surrounding any of its seven airports. These devices include:
1. permanently-installed equipment used to capture sounds from aircraft inflight as they arrive and/or depart at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP); and
2. mobile equipment used for special projects related to MSP activity or activity related to the MAC's general aviation airports.
Placement of each mobile or permanently-installed equipment is strategic and placed to capture sound levels of aircraft with the least amount of community sounds (e.g., lawn mowers, freeways, buses, music, alarms, etc.), at the time of placement. It is important to note that an aircraft does not have to fly directly over a noise monitoring device in order to be measured.
Aircraft noise associated with MSP is recorded through the use of 39 permanently-installed Remote Monitoring Towers (RMTs) in neighborhoods surrounding the airport. The locations of these devices were determined in collaboration with each city where the devices were installed. More information about these RMTs, including a map of RMT locations may be found here: MACNOMS.
Mobile sound monitoring devices used for special projects are placed in areas that best meet the needs of the project. Anyone interested in requesting a mobile sound monitoring project must complete a form that details the project objective. Requests for mobile noise monitoring related to MSP activity are evaluated by the MSP Noise Oversight Committee and the MAC.
For more information about mobile sound monitoring, please click here: Mobile Sound Monitoring
Where are aircraft noise exposure maps for MAC Airports?
The updated aircraft noise exposure contour area map associated with Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is available here.
The process to update the MSP noise exposure area contours begins in January each year and is published on or before March 1. The results are used to determine eligibility for the MAC's Residential Sound Mitigation Program. To view the Residential Sound Mitigation Program eligibility criteria, please click here: Do I Qualify?
To get information about aircraft noise exposure maps for other MAC airports, click here: Other MAC Airport Contours
Who can I talk to about aircraft activity or noise?
Aircraft noise complaints associated with any MAC-owned airport may be reported to the MAC through this link or by calling the 24-hour hotline at 612-726-9411. Community Relations Office staff will respond to requests for callbacks within three business days, during regular business hours.
It’s important to know that aircraft noise complaints alone cannot change how any airport operates. The MAC cannot prevent aircraft noise; however, MAC staff can answer questions, provide data, and help residents understand aircraft activity.
Quarterly MSP Listening Sessions are hosted by the MAC to interact with residents who seek to receive updates related to MSP and the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC). Everyone attending the Listening Sessions are offered an opportunity to provide comments, ask questions, and voice concerns related to aircraft noise issues. Dates and times of these meetings and NOC meetings are published on the MAC Community Relations Office calendar.
Why do some aircraft sound different than others?
There are many reasons why aircraft sound different from one another. The noise characteristics of an aircraft depend on aircraft type, weight, thrust, speed and airframe configuration, among other contributing factors such as ambient conditions like weather, proximity of structures/objects in the area, environment, and the aircraft angle relative to the person hearing it.
For example, different types of aircraft have variations in performance features, engine design, and aerodynamics. Some aircraft make more noise than others because of the type of engines they use. Newer aircraft and aircraft engines typically are quieter as a result of improved designs and technology. Many times, an aircraft will sound "deeper" or "throatier" (lower frequencies are more prevalent) when it is loaded heavily compared when it has a lighter load.
Additionally, where you are standing in reference to the aircraft and the aircraft's direction of travel matters. Many factors including reflecting surfaces, distance, aircraft type, aircraft engines, throttle position, aircraft speed, the aircraft's angle and position in relation to you and your own hearing can affect the sounds and frequencies you hear. Generally speaking aircraft sound levels are loudest the closer you are to the aircraft and when you are positioned behind the aircraft.
Proximity to an aircraft and the environment where you are standing affects the volume and frequency of aircraft sounds because the sound you hear could be reflecting from surfaces around you. Sounds from aircraft are greatest when you are behind the aircraft and off to the side slightly.
For more information about the science of sounds, check out this video: Sound Measurement 101
Why can other airports restrict noisy planes and MSP cannot?
Some airports, such as San Diego International Airport and John Wayne Airport have implemented customized aircraft operating rules and restrictions on certain aircraft activity based on noise. Rules and restrictions that were implemented prior to Congress' approval of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) are allowed to be enforced only at the airports that implemented them.
MSP is not one of the airports that had these types of restrictions in place prior to ANCA.
Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit airports, such as MSP, from creating and enforcing rules that are not federally-approved. New noise rules and airport access restrictions must be evaluated and proposed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in accordance with 14 CFR Part 161- Notice and Approval of Airport Noise and Access Restrictions (Part 161).
For more information about Part 161 and airports where noise rules were requested, including MSP, click here: Part 161.
Who regulates the airspace, aircraft activity and noise?
In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates airspace, aircraft, pilots, airports, flight procedures and aircraft noise. The information below briefly describes their authority.
Airspace and Aircraft Activity
While the MAC owns seven airports in the twin cities metro area, the MAC has no jurisdiction over aircraft activity, flight procedures, or aircraft noise regulations. Further, according to federal regulations, no individual may claim ownership of airspace over his or her property, including the MAC.
Airspace is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are employed by the U.S. government, or by private companies that are contracted by the U.S. government, with a responsibility for safe and efficient movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air. They use established standard operating procedures and a systematic flow to keep aircraft at safe distances from one another.
The FAA regulates the maximum noise levels aircraft are legally allowed to generate are defined in 14 CFR Part 36. It is important to note that global standards are established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), known as "Stages," and the FAA recognizes those standards when establishing it's policies.
Currently, aircraft flying into and out of any MAC airport must meet Stages 3, 4, and 5; Stage 5 is the quietest.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shares information on its website about on going efforts to manage aircraft noise (link is external), and members of the public may contact the FAA Aviation Noise Ombudsman for more detailed information about its programs: FAA Ombudsman.
For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the FAA, the MAC, and aircraft operators (i.e.: airlines), check out our Aircraft Noise Basics video series: Aircraft Noise Basics.
For more information about the FAA's jurisdiction, click here: FAA
What efforts are underway to reduce aircraft noise at MSP?
There are many measures and methods used to reduce aircraft noise for communities surrounding airports. Each airport operating environment is unique, and not all measures can be employed at each airport. Therefore, the MAC created a video series called Aircraft Noise Basics; Part 2-Efforts Underway to Reduce Aircraft Noise to share information about the aircraft noise reduction efforts taking place at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Access the video and fact sheet here: Efforts Underway to Reduce Aircraft Noise
To view the full Aircraft Noise Basics video series, click here: Aircraft Noise Basics.
If you are interested in learning about noise reduction efforts taking place at the other MAC-owned airports, click here to view the Noise Abatement Plans for the MAC reliever airports: MAC Reliever Airport NAPs
Why can't aircraft follow roadways?
Aircraft arriving to and departing from any airport are under the guidance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and established aircraft operating procedures. Under certain flight conditions, aircraft are unable to navigate using ground references because of weather or limited visibility, speed of aircraft, and/or other operating environment considerations.
For example, aircraft operating at MSP are directed by FAA Air Traffic Controllers continuously to ensure maximum safety and efficiency. The combination of fast-moving aircraft and multiple runway options at MSP contribute to a complex airspace and airport environment. A system of flight procedures are customized for MSP to keep aircraft separated from one another in good and poor weather conditions. The MSP operating environment requires that pilots follow the established flight procedures rather than ground references to ensure a safe and orderly flow of arriving and departing aircraft:
- Arriving aircraft use a long straight-in approach path, known as a final approach. An Instrument Landing System (ILS) is used for the final approach at MSP, which provides lateral and vertical guidance to the runway end. Signals are emitted by ground equipment and received by the aircraft at a precise angle and slope while descending. This is why there is little variation in the approach path.
- Departing aircraft at MSP are dispersed over a wide area, much like a "fan" in order to maintain safe and efficient use of the airspace. The fanning that takes place is a result of runway assignment, aircraft performance, destination airport and airspace congestion at the moment of departure.
These methods are FAA standards used at airports throughout the national airspace system. The FAA publishes flight procedures for all airports on its website here: Digital Flight Procedures.
Why file an aircraft noise complaint?
MAC staff can answer questions, provide data, and help residents understand aircraft operations. Aircraft noise and flight activity complaints are used in conjunction with flight tracking data to corroborate specific events or identify possible trends. Some city governments also use complaints to gauge the level of concern about aircraft noise in their communities.
It is important to know that aircraft noise complaints alone cannot change how the airport operates. Where aircraft fly, as well as their associated noise levels, depends on factors such as wind and weather, the number of arrivals and departures, the time of day, construction activity and other conditions, all which play a part in how an airport operates at any given time.
Methods to submit aircraft noise complaints include a website form or dedicated telephone hotline (612-726-9411).
To learn more about roles and responsibilities associated with aircraft noise and operations, please view our Aircraft Noise Basics video series: Part 1--Who Makes the Decisions?
What is the "Time Above" noise metric?
The "Time Above" noise metric measures the total time or percentage of time that the A-weighted aircraft noise level exceeds an indicated level. The MAC publishes Time Above data for MSP on a monthly basis. Click here to view the MSP Monthly Operations data. Time Above data are summarized for arrival and departure events based on one-second intervals.
What is the "Number Above" noise metric?
The "Number Above", also referred to as N-level sound metric or Count Above, is the total number of aircraft sound events that exceeded a specified sound level threshold (LAmax). The MAC publishes N-level information in the monthly MSP operations reports, including a count of departure events and arrival events when the maximum sound level of those events exceed 65, 80, 90, and 100 dB levels.
What is Performance-based Navigation (PBN/RNAV)?
Performance-based Navigation (PBN) flight procedures use global positioning systems and satellite technology for navigating aircraft to and from airports. PBN is a term that encompasses several types of precision navigation methods optimize airspace navigation and improve operational efficiencies for aircraft. Required-performance Navigation (RNP) and Area Navigation (RNAV) are two examples of PBN procedures that are being implemented under the Federal Aviaiton Administration's airspace modernization efforts called NextGen.
Visit the FAA's website to learn more about FAA's NextGen planning, please visit: www.faa.gov/nextgen.
Which PBN/RNAV Procedures are in use at MSP?
At the November 19, 2012 Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board meeting, the MAC voted to support partial implementation of PBN/RNAV procedures at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Specifically, the MAC board supported PBN/RNAV arrivals on Runways 12L, 12R, 30L, 30R, and 35 and departure procedures for MSP Runways 12L, 12R, and 17. The MAC board did not recommend PBN/RNAV departure procedures for MSP Runways 30L and 30R, which affects aircraft departures over the cities to the north and west of MSP. After that action, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted a Safety Management Study to establish if the MAC-supported partial PBN/RNAV implementation is possible without jeopardizing safety.
In February 2014, the FAA completed its Safety Management Study and determined that partial PBN/RNAV implementation is not possible without jeopardizing safety.
In March 2015, RNAV arrival procedures were published and implemented at MSP. These RNAV arrival procedures are currently being used by trained flight crews when operating aircraft equipped with the required navigation capabilities.
As new information becomes available about development and implementation of the proposed PBN/RNAV procedures, the MAC will communicate updates through the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC), the quarterly MSP NOC Listening Sessions, and by publishing the new information in the "News" section of the Community Relations Office website.
To learn more about PBN/RNAV, visit the FAA's website:www.faa.gov/nextgen/faqs/
What is a Wind Rose?
A Wind Rose is a method of displaying wind patterns that occurred over a period of time (i.e., hour, day, week, year, decade, etc.). During a typical day, wind direction and speed will fluctuate because of variations in atmospheric pressure and heating and cooling of the earth’s surface.
Dozens of weather stations around the twin cities metropolitan area, including at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), document wind measurements continuously. Those data may be displayed as a Wind Rose to graphically represent wind direction and speed.
Each Wind Rose is a circle that displays directional headings consistent with a compass. The top of the circle represents north and the bottom is south; east is the right side and west is the left side of the circle.
Bars or arrows, like spokes on a wheel, extend outward from the center of the circle and “point” to the compass heading representing the wind direction recorded during the selected time span. The length of the bars or arrows will represent the amount of time the wind blew from that direction. The color-coding on the bars show the wind speed.
Click here to view the Wind Rose for MSP for January 1-December 30, 2018: MSP Wind Rose Data
Wind data collected at MSP are used in various Wind Rose applications. The Wind Rose tool provided by the Iowa State University of Science and Technology is used by MAC Community Relations Office staff for analysis and reporting purposes; however, the list below includes other Wind Rose options for reference:
Natural Resources Conservation Service:
Western Regional Climate Center:
Are aircraft flying Noise Abatement Departure Profiles at MSP?
Yes. The standard protocol for airlines and cargo jet aircraft operators is to use the Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile (NADP-2).
According to a Delta Air Lines Chief Pilot, all Delta Air Lines aircraft fly the NADP-2 (Noise Abatement Departure Procedure –Two) procedure out of MSP. That procedure is their standard departure procedure as approved and requested by most airport authorities, including the MAC. Occasionally other procedures are used at other airports, but only when specifically requested by those airport authorities.
During its March 15, 2017 meeting, the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) re-evaluated the NADP effectiveness and found it to be appropriate for continued use at MSP. Click here to access the meeting packet, minutes and presentations: NOC Meetings
To learn more about Noise Abatement efforts at MSP, click here: MSP Noise Abatement Efforts
Who makes the decisions?
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in air transportation, including airports, airspace, aircraft, pilots, etc. In order to help build greater understanding about who is making the "decisions," the MAC created a video series called Aircraft Noise Basics; Part 1-Who Makes the Decisions will delve into the various roles affecting operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Access the video and fact sheet here: Who Makes the Decisions?
Are noisy planes charged fees or penalties when they fly at night?
No, federal regulations do not allow the MAC to charge different fees to aircraft operators on a basis of aircraft type or time of day.
All seven of the MAC-owned airports, including MSP, are public-use transportation facilities. As such, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits the MAC from charging differential fees for the purpose of controlling noise exposure without obtaining federal approval in accordance with 14 CFR Part 161-Notice and Approval of Airport Noise and Access Restrictions (link is external) (Part 161).
The Part 161 evaluation and approval process requires that the MAC conduct a cost versus benefit analysis and an analysis that supports, by substantial evidence, that six statutory conditions for approval have been met. The six statutory conditions are as follows:
- the restriction is reasonable, nonarbitrary, and nondiscriminatory;
- the restriction does not create an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce;
- the restriction is not inconsistent with maintaining the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace;
- the restriction does not conflict with a law or regulation of the United States;
- an adequate opportunity has been provided for public comment on the restriction; and
- the restriction does not create an undue burden on the national aviation system.
The use of a differential fee structure for noise control efforts would fail the first criteria because it would discriminate against an aircraft that is certificated, and thus can legally operate in the United States.
For more information about airports where noise rules were requested, including MSP, click here: Part 161.
What is a Converging Runway Operation (CRO)?
A Converging Runway Operation (CRO) describes a condition when the extended runway centerline intersects with another extended centerline at a distance of one mile or less.
At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the extended runway centerlines of Runways 30L and 30R intersect with the extended runway centerline of Runway 35 within one mile to the north of MSP. Click here to see a diagram of the CRO area: CRO Diagram.
The airspace within the red circle depicted on the CRO diagram must be protected to prevent a conflict between aircraft departing Runways 30L or 30R while an aircraft is arriving on Runway 35. Aircraft normally do not depart from Runway 35, but aircraft that attempt a landing on Runway 35 must have this airspace protected in case the aircraft aborts its landing.
How do I sound insulate my own home?
In order to help homeowners who are interested in taking steps to sound-insulate their own home, the MAC created a booklet called "Tips for Insulating Your Home against Aircraft Noise" A copy of these "Tips" can be found here: TIPS
What is DNL in Terms of Aircraft Noise?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established DNL as the primary metric for aircraft noise analysis and expressing aircraft noise exposure in the United States. "DNL" is the acronym for Day-Night Average Sound Level, which represents the total accumulation of all sound energy, but spread out uniformly over a 24-hour period.
DNL has been widely accepted as the best available method to describe aircraft noise exposure and is the noise descriptor required by the FAA for use in aircraft noise exposure analyses and noise compatibility planning. It also has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the principal metric for airport noise analyses.
The calculation for DNL considers the time of day an aircraft operated and applies a 10-decibel penalty on aircraft arriving or departing between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.; the output is a numeric value in decibels that represents a 24-hour average noise exposure value. The current federally-established threshold of significance is 65 dB DNL.
While DNL also may be used for non-aviation purposes, the FAA's use of DNL is specific to aircraft noise. The Metropolitan Airports Commission publishes Aircraft Day-Night Level values as "ADNL" to avoid confusion with other uses of "DNL."
How much noise qualifies my home for MAC noise mitigation?
According to federal regulation, the MAC's Residential Noise Mitigation Program does not rely on recorded aircraft noise levels measured at any of the 39 Remote Monitoring Towers. Rather, eligibility for noise mitigation relies on calculated aircraft noise exposure levels on an annual basis using a federally prescribed process and Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT). In the case of MSP, an Annual Noise Contour Analysis is produced and contains a description of the process and details related to the annual calculations. Also, residential areas surrounding MSP are mapped to show the levels of aircraft noise exposure illustrated using contour rings that represent 60 dB DNL, 65 dB DNL, and 70 dB DNL.
It is important to note that eligibility is considered on a block by block basis. This means that if even one home on a city block is included in a noise contour, the entire city block is included in the noise contour area.
Click here to view the most recent Annual Noise Contour Analysis Reports.
A legal agreement between the MAC and the cities of Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington and Eagan specify the terms of eligibility for noise mitigation found here: Amended Consent Decree. The terms of this agreement are binding without exception.
Click here to find our if you qualify.
If your home is not currently located within the Amended Program eligibility area map:
(1) your home may have qualified for mitigation in years 2017-2019 and the MAC is waiting to hear from you (check this list for your address), or
(2) your home is not eligible for noise mitigation under the MAC's Noise Mitigation Program at this time.
Where should I move to avoid aircraft activity?
The process of relocating can be overwhelming, but new residents usually want to know as much as they can about a property before they commit to living there. The MAC offers a multitude of tips and resources to help residents and their real estate professional get the answers they need about aircraft activity, nearby airports, and sound insulation on the Real Estate Professional and Homebuyer Information webpage.
If you need more help understanding how your prospective residence may or may not be affected by aircraft activity, please call the MAC Community Relations Office during business hours at 612-726-9411.
What is the difference between modeled versus measured noise?
Generally speaking, modeled noise is calculated using computer software, and measured noise is recorded using a sound level meter.
Modeled aircraft noise is the result of a computerized process that uses a federally-prescribed software program to calculate noise exposure. The current software used for modeling aircraft noise is called the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT). AEDT uses inputs, such as aircraft type, time of operation, weather, terrain, weight of aircraft, runway use and many more details that contribute to noise output overall. AEDT is able to calculate noise exposure using many different metrics, but the most common metric is the Day-night level (DNL) which applies a 10-decibel penalty for aircraft operations that occur during the nighttime hours of 10 p.m.-7 a.m. to account for the increased sensitivity to noise during "sleeping" hours.
The modeling process is beneficial for calculating aircraft noise exposure because the process is flexible and may be used to calculate aircraft noise exposure for various aircraft operating scenarios, such as current runway use versus future runway use, etc. Additionally, the MAC is obligated to use AEDT modeling results to assess aircraft noise exposure related to actual MSP activity each year. The assessment is used to determine eligibility for its Residential Noise Mitigation Program. Results of the annual calculations are found in the Annual MSP Noise Contour Analysis Report.
Aircraft noise measurements are recorded using noise monitoring equipment placed within areas where aircraft overfly, typically near airports. The MAC installed permanent noise monitoring equipment in 39 locations, called Remote Monitoring Towers (RMTs), surrounding Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Additionally, the MAC uses portable noise monitoring equipment for special studies.
Each permanent RMT operates continuously and records aircraft and community sounds that occur within a defined listening radius, which typically ranges from 1-2 miles. An aircraft does not have to fly directly over an RMT to be recorded. Each month, the MAC uses customized processing, called MACNOMS, to match aircraft sound events recorded at RMTs with MSP aircraft arrivals and departures. These data are published here: Interactive Reports
Measured aircraft noise events are not used to determine eligibility for the MAC's Residential Noise Mitigation Program.
For more information about mobile noise monitoring studies, click here: Mobile Noise Monitoring
Which altitude are aircraft supposed to be flying?
Actual altitude levels of aircraft in flight vary based on several factors such as aircraft type and performance, weather and weight of the aircraft. It is difficult for people standing on the ground to gauge aircraft altitude visually. Large size aircraft may appear to be lower than smaller aircraft because their size makes them look closer to us. Smaller aircraft may seem higher when following a larger size aircraft at the same altitude. The MAC FlightTracker tool takes the guesswork out of gauging aircraft altitude because the animated flight track replay offers an option to display altitudes for each aircraft as it navigates through the airspace above us.
Aircraft climb rates are affected by engine performance, airframe aerodynamics, air temperature, air density, and wind speed:
- Climb profiles vary considerably among aircraft types, but modern aircraft typically have improved wing and airframe designs compared to older model aircraft.
- Air temperature and air density affect climb rates because as the temperature increases, air density decreases which reduces aircraft performance and results in a longer takeoff distance and a lower climb rate.
- Wind speed is important because a strong headwind (coming toward the front of the aircraft) increases lift as a result of the faster airflow over an aircraft's wings. This increased lift results in increased climb rates and reduced takeoff and landing distance on the runway.
Federal Aviation Regulations 14. C.F.R. Part 91.119 Minimum Safe Altitudes states that, except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
- (a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
- (b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
- (c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
- (d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.
For information about reporting low flying aircraft, please visit: Contact FAA for Low Flying Aircraft Safety Concerns
How are runway decisions made at MSP?
There are many considerations involved in choosing which runway(s) to use for takeoffs and landings at any airport. In order to help build greater understanding about runway-use decisions at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the MAC created a video series called Aircraft Noise Basics; Part 4-How Are Runway Decisions Made? will delve into the various considerations used by air traffic controllers and pilots. Access the video and fact sheet here: How are Runway Decisions Made?
What collaboration efforts are at work at MSP?
Collaboration efforts at MSP involve regular and dedicated communication between the communities surrounding the airport, airport users, and policy-makers, including the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) is an advisory board that cultivates the collaboration efforts and brings together the important voices that are essential for meaningful dialogue about aircraft noise. In order to help build greater understanding about NOC's collaboration efforts, the MAC created a video series called Aircraft Noise Basics; Part 3-Collaboration At Work will provide a deeper look at the efforts of the NOC. Access the video and fact sheet here: Collaboration at Work
To view the full Aircraft Noise Basics video series, click here: Aircraft Noise Basics.