The Airports Role in Aircraft Noise:
As a public service, the Santa Maria Public Airport District receives complaints regarding aircraft noise and altitude near the Santa Maria Public Airport. Although we are limited in our ability to directly address many complaints as detailed below, we strive to be a good neighbor and will coordinate with pilots and aviation operators when able, to encourage potential changes to reduce neighborhood impacts.
The “Airport Influence Area” is established by the Airport Land Use Commission which is a part of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and is fully disclosed in all real estate transactions for those within. This is the area in which current and projected future airport-related noise, safety, airspace protection, or overflight factors/layers may significantly affect land use or necessitate restrictions on land use. Areas located outside of the Airport Influence Area may have frequent overflight of aircraft, however the land use for those areas are not considered to have a significant impact on noise, safety, or airspace protection.
It’s important to know that aircraft noise complaints generally do not change how the airport operates and the airport has limited ability to prevent aircraft noise. The airport does not control or regulate airspace, aircraft operations, aircraft noise levels, airline schedules, or airline fleet mix.
The airport operations office is available to address aircraft noise concerns and to help residents understand the facts, science and regulations associated with aircraft noise from arrivals or departures in the immediate vicinity of the airport. In limited circumstances the airport staff can educate specific pilots or aircraft operators abouts concerns raised through a complaint to modify procedures and lessen the impact of future operations.
- Airlines are responsible for managing their individual flight schedules and aircraft fleet mix.
- The federal government has exclusive sovereignty of U.S. airspace.
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is solely responsible for managing the National Airspace System including all aircraft flight paths and altitudes.
- The Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 limits U.S. airports from imposing new noise-based operational restrictions on quieter (stage 3) aircraft, including airport hours of operation, number of aircraft operations or aircraft noise levels.
Military Aircraft Noise Impacts:
The FAA and the Airport do not have the authority to regulate or control military aircraft operations. Although we cannot control these operations, we will still log these noise complaints for data collection purposes and coordination when reviewing future proposed military aircraft operations.
The Santa Maria Public airport was originally built by the U.S. Military and converted to civilian use at no charge. Through that transfer agreement we cannot restrict or charge the military for normal operations. The Santa Maria Airport District encourages use by the military and thanks them for our current facility and their service.
Please see our FAQ page for more information.
- Comments for aircraft noise reported 5 days or more after the occurrence will not be logged.
- Comments that are threats to people, structures or aircraft are a violation of the Federal Aviation Administration rules and will be followed up by the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Comments containing vulgar or offensive language will not be logged.
Submit a Noise Comment Online:
Please use the online form to submit comments and provide as much detail as possible. Each submission is counted as a single comment. For additional information or concerns relating to aviation noise, please contact the FAA’s Noise Ombudsman