AIRPORT NOISE AND CAPACITY ACT OF 1990
Sections of particular interest to Orange County have been excerpted on this page.
Click here for the full text of the Act.
Sec.9304. NOISE AND ACCESS RESTRICTION REVIEWS
(a) IN GENERAL.-
(1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM. - The national aviation noise policy to be established under this subtitle, shall require the establishment, by regulation, in accordance with the provisions of this section of a national program for reviewing airport noise and access restrictions on operations of Stage 2 and Stage 3 aircraft. Such program shall provide for adequate public notice and comment opportunities on such restrictions.
Comment: Stage 2 aircraft are being phased out and, with some exceptions, only Stage 3 aircraft will be operated after December 31, 1999.
(2) LIMITATIONS ON APPLICABILITY. -
(B) APPLICABILITY DATE FOR STAGE 3 AIRCRAFT. - With respect to Stage 3 aircraft, the requirements set forth in subsection (b) and (d) shall apply only to restrictions that first become effective after October 1, 1990.
(C) SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS. - Subsections (b), (c), and (d) shall not apply to -
(i) a local action to enforce a negotiated or executed airport aircraft noise or access agreement between the airport operator and the aircraft operator in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act;
(iv) a subsequent amendment to an airport aircraft noise or access agreement or restriction in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act that does not reduce or limit aircraft operations or affect aircraft safety;
Comment: This language exempts the 1985 Agreement that limits operations at John Wayne Airport. It may also exempt certain amendments to the John Wayne Agreement.
(b) LIMITATIONS ON STAGE 3 AIRCRAFT RESTRICTIONS. -
No aircraft noise or access restrictions on the operation of Stage 3 aircraft, including but not limited to -
(1) a restriction as to noise levels generated on either a single event or cumulative basis;
(2) a limit, direct or indirect, on the total number of Stage 3 aircraft operations;
(3) a noise budget or noise allocation program which would include Stage 3 aircraft;
(4) a restriction imposing limits on hours of operation; and
(5) any other limit on Stage 3 aircraft; shall be effective unless it has been agreed to by the aircraft proprietor and all aircraft operators or has been submitted to and approved by the Secretary pursuant to an airport or aircraft operatorís request or approval in accordance with the program established pursuant to this section.
Comment: Restrictions at El Toro Airport would have to be agreed to by all of the airlines serving the airport, which is unlikely, or be approved by the Secretary of Transportation.
(2) REQUIRED FINDINGS.- The Secretary shall not approve a noise or
access restriction applying to Stage 3 aircraft operations unless the Secretary
finds the following conditions to be supported by substantial evidence:
(A) The proposed restriction is reasonable, nonarbitrary and nondiscriminatory.
(B) The proposed restriction does not impose an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce.
(C) The proposed restriction is not inconsistent with maintaining the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace.
(D) The proposed restriction does not conflict with any existing Federal statute or regulation.
(E) There has been an adequate opportunity for public comment with respect to the restriction.
(F) The proposed restriction does not create an undue burden on the national aviation system.
Comment: the Secretary of Transportation could only allow restrictions at El Toro if they meet all of the above severe tests. It is unlikely that meaningful curfews or other restrictions would be found not to be ďan undue burdenĒ - in the face of the Air Transport Associationís already stated opposition to restrictions at El Toro. Click here to see ATA's statement.
Comment: It appears unlikely that meaningful curfews or restriction on operations will be instituted at an El Toro airport. County statements to the contrary are seen by airport opponents as an attempt to placate opposition with wishful thinking.
Click here for the full text of the Act.