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Noise Abatement and Operational Control Procedures
The aircraft noise abatement program at RSW has continually evolved over the past twenty years. An initial noise abatement program was established five years before the opening of the new facility in 1983 and has evolved through updates to the program at various milestones in the airport's development. The current voluntary noise abatement procedures as approved by the FAA on May 30, 2006 in the 2005 Part 150 Noise Study include:
- Preferential Runway Use Program - Identifies Runway 6 (takeoffs and landings in a northeast direction) as the preferred runway when the wind, weather and activity permit.
- Visual approaches – Turbojet aircraft will normally be vectored to intercept the extended runway centerline seven miles or more from the end of the runway (as activity levels permit). Aircraft on the right downwind leg to Runway 6 or left downwind leg to Runway 24 will normally be kept above 5,000 feet until they are abeam the Airport. Aircraft arriving to Runway 6 and intercepting the extended runway centerline over the Gulf of Mexico west of Fort Myers Beach should remain above 3,000 feet, if able, to reduce the noise over Fort Myers Beach.
- “Keep 'em High” - RSW participates in the “Keep 'em High” program. Turbojet aircraft are encouraged to keep as high as possible.
- Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile - Commercial aircraft are directed to follow the Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile as defined by FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-53A.
- Engine Run-up Restrictions - At no time shall engines be run up for test or maintenance purposes at RSW between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. local time without the prior approval from the Executive Director or his/her representative.
- Published Procedures - Standard Instrument Departure Procedures (SID) and additional industry-wide approved landing and departure procedures designed to reduce aircraft noise are recommended to pilots.
These recommendations are followed to the greatest extent possible, subject to wind, weather, air traffic activity, and airspace safety and efficiency.
While it is the goal of the Port Authority to be a good neighbor in making every effort to reduce aircraft over-flights over residential areas, the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower has complete sovereignty over the operation of aircraft throughout the air space of the contiguous United States. The Port Authority will continue to work with the airlines and the FAA ATCT to ensure that our voluntary noise abatement procedures are followed without compromise to safety.