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    Welcome to the Ambassablog! We're the front-line employee bloggers of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and participants in the Airport Authority's Goodwill Ambassador Program.

    Here you'll find our continually updated posts about life at historic San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field).

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Sweet dreams


Moonrise over San Diego International Airport.

Tick tock … tick tock … tick tock. How often do you lay awake in the middle of the night? Counting sheep? Counting airplanes (what?!)?

Well at least one person working at San Diego International Airport has visions of 737’s at night: Garret in the airport’s Airport Noise Mitigation Department:

Garret of the Airport Authority's Airport Noise Mitigation Department points out a monitor used to trace aircraft noise curfew adherence at San Diego Internatiional Airport.

Garret of the Airport Authority's Airport Noise Mitigation Department points out a monitor used to trace aircraft noise curfew adherence at San Diego Internatiional Airport.

RYAN:  What time of the day does the curfew take effect?

  • GARRET:  All passenger aircraft operating at SDIA today are Stage 3.  That means they meet the most stringent noise levels set in Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 36, which cover aircraft noise standards.  For Stage 3 aircraft, there is a departure curfew from 11:30pm to 6:30am.  Arrivals are permitted 24 hours a day.

R:  Are there any exceptions?

  • G:  Yes, what we call “life-flights”—when patients or human tissue is being transported, and military flights of necessity. A real-world example is after 9/11, there were doctors flying to New York and Washington, DC, to assist with injuries, and they departed after curfew as a “mercy” flight.

R: How often do the airlines “break” curfew?

  • G:  About twice a month airlines break curfew. The aircraft operator may be assessed penalties for breaking curfew, based on a six-month period. The review of violations is done by a Curfew Violation Review Panel, consisting of representatives of the Airport Authority’s’ Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Vice President of Planning and Operations and Vice President of Development. There can be exceptions made to the penalties, such as for local weather concerns, air traffic control issues or mechanical problems with the aircraft.

      The Aircraft Noise Monitoring Room at San Diego International Airport.

      The Aircraft Noise Monitoring Room at San Diego International Airport.

    R: Is the curfew legally enforceable?

    G:  Yes, the curfew at SDIA is legally enforceable. Other airports that have legally enforceable noise restrictions are John Wayne (SNA), Washington National (DCA), Long Beach and San Jose (SJC). In 1990 the Airport Noise Capacity Act (ANCA) was passed, which restricts airports’ ability to enact noise ordinances. SDIA’s curfew was grandfathered in under this law.

    R: In the post-ANCA period, what airports have tried to put a curfew in place?

    R: As a member of the public, how can I learn more about the curfew or other noise issues?

    • G:  The best way is to check the airport noise mitigation section of Airport Authority’s website. The Airport Noise Mitigation Department also publishes a periodic  Noise Matters newsletter. And you can always call the Noise Complaint Hotline at 619-400-2799.

    R: Garret, what are the two most important points you’d like the public to know about the curfew?

    ryanG:  Simple: SDIA has arrivals 24 hours a day, and departures are mostly allowed only from 6:30am to 11:30pm.

    And if you live near the airport and those airplanes at night are still giving you grief, make sure to check out Ambassablogger Sjohnna’s Quieter Home Program, as well. Otherwise, sleep tight … and sweet dreams!


    4 Responses

    1. I know Blogger Ryan of Airport Planning. I am accessing the site from Cincinnati, Ohio.

    2. I know Ryan Hall (Airport Planning) originally from his airport presentation to the American Planning Association in El Centro, CA. He’s extremely energetic, smart, and a great asset to the Airport!!!

    3. Great, informative article – thanks Ryan. I’m honored to know Ryan from Airport Planning and think he’s a wonderful asset to SDIA! I’m writing from San Diego, CA!

    4. Ryan of Airport Planning: Thanks for always being there for my numerous air-travel related inquiries! I am writing from Portland, OR. Cheers!

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