Noise Abatement FAQs
To view the Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance in its entirety, please click here.
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If a plane violates the Noise Ordinance, how much are they fined?
  • The initial phases of our violation process are educational: the first time an owner/operator violates, they will receive a complete packet including a copy of our Noise Ordinance, an outline of what the infraction was, a letter from GANC offering assistance with procedures, and a warning letter asking them to contact noise abatement staff.
  • The second violation involves a notification letter of infraction and a request for a written noise abatement program, where we ask the owner/operator to communicate how they plan to operate without violating our ordinance in the future.
  • The third violation is a fine of $100 dollars.
  • The fourth and every subsequent fine of $300 dollars.
  • Please note that Military aircraft are exempt from this policy.
  • Is it true that the airport has a maximum of 41 commercial flights per day?
  • No, that is not accurate. 41 commercial flights per day is the minimum allowed under the Noise Ordinance.
  • The maximum number of commercial flights is determined by measured noise levels. We encourage the airlines to operate as quietly as possible by permitting increases in the number of air carrier flights if, as a group, the air carriers are below the noise budget.
  • The noise budget was established based on noise data for the baseline year of 1989-1990. Additional flights can only be added if it is determined that the additional flights will not exceed the air carrier CNEL budget limits.
  • In December 2015, the most recent peer reviewed Airport Noise Budget Analysis, based on data from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, requires that an additional nine Supplemental Air Carrier flight slots be allocated in order to comply with the requirements set forth in the Noise Ordinance; however, noise levels will still be maintained at the baseline 1989-90 levels.
  • To view the presentation to City Council on the topic, please click here.
  • What does the airport do to mitigate aircraft noise in the community?
  • The airport has a multi-million dollar system called ANOMS (Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System) in place to monitor aircraft noise and to help enforce the Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance.
  • There are 18 noise monitors located throughout the City.
  • The airport has a budget of nearly half a million dollars a year devoted to maintaining monitoring, and reporting aircraft noise.
  • Come see how part of it works... WebTrak
  • What does the Noise Ordinance include?
    Maximum SENEL (Single Event Noise Exposure Limits) limits, prohibited activities, cumulative noise limits (CNEL, or Community Noise Equivalent Level) and noise budgets, compliance with noise budgets, violation enforcement, general exemptions, and flight limits among other things.
    What is the best way to make a noise complaint?
  • The best way to make a complaint is to call (562) 570-2665. This is our complaint hotline.
  • A staff noise specialist investigates every complaint.
  • The complaints are logged into our ANOMS complaint database.
  • The complaints are plotted on a map for the monthly Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) meeting, and for the quarterly GANC (GA Noise Committee) meetings.
  • Although violations are not issued because of complaints, complaints are studied for patterns, and to gauge community issues.
  • What is the noise budget, how does it work?
  • It is the goal of the City, pursuant to the Ordinance, to have no communities exposed to a community noise equivalent level (CNEL) of 65 dBA or greater. The 65dBA level is consistent with the State guidelines.
  • Noise of Military and Public Aircraft, for which the City bears no liability, is excluded.
  • Each user group is assigned a noise budget, based on the 1989-90 baseline, for takeoff and landing noise on Runway 30/12 (Noise Monitors #9 and #10).
  • In determining compliance with the noise budgets, a tolerance of 1.0 dBA CNEL (a multiplier of 1.2589) is applied.
  • Baseline noise budgets were established by the actual monitored noise levels of each group during the cumulative 12-month period from November 1, 1989 to October 31, 1990.
  • The budgets were selected to comply with the provisions of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.
  • There are 5 separate user groups defined in the budget; air carrier, charter, commuter, general aviation, and industrial.
  • Noise reports and noise contours are prepared quarterly to determine whether user groups are operating within their individual noise budgets, and the reports are submitted to the County of L.A., which monitors residential and other sensitive land uses in areas impacted by greater than 65 dBA CNEL.
  • City staff also meets with the General Aviation Noise Committee (GANC) quarterly to review the budget analysis. GANC is a user group which acts to encourage all Long Beach Airport users to fly quietly and comply with Ordinance Provisions.
  • What is the Noise Compatibility Ordinance?
  • The City began efforts to control noise through adoption of an ordinance more than 20 years ago. These efforts were groundbreaking and precedent setting—and they were continuously challenged in the courts. It took more than a dozen years and substantial legal fees to strike a reasonable balance between air commerce and community noise exposure. The resulting Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance (LBMC 16.43), passed in 1995, gives Long Beach one of the strictest noise-controlled airports in the United States.
  • Since 1991, no other airport operator has succeeded in enacting an airport noise related ordinance.
  • Our current Noise Ordinance was grandfathered under the Federal Aircraft Noise Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990. This act does not permit the enactment of airport flight/noise restrictions without federal approval, which has been withheld in all cases to-date.
  • No grandfathered airports have been able to change their noise ordinance and remain protected by their grandfathered status.
  • Why are planes allowed to arrive and depart at night?
  • The Long Beach Airport is open 24 hours, but within those 24 hours, there are different SENEL (Single Event Noise Exposure Level) limits.
  • All airline operations must be scheduled between 7am-10pm. Operations between 10pm-11pm are allowed if the delays were caused by weather, air traffic, or mechanical issues.
  • The 7am - 10pm SENEL limit on our main runway (30/12) is 101.5 SENEL dBA on arrival, and 102.5 SENEL dBA on departures.
  • The 6am to 7am and 10pm to 11pm limit is a more restrictive 90.0 SENEL dBA
  • The 11pm - 6am limits are the most restrictive at 79.0 SENEL dBA
  • Why does aircraft operate after 10 pm? Are these aircraft fined?
  • The Noise Ordinance states that Commercial Airlines must be scheduled to arrive or depart between the hours of 7 am - 10 pm, but the Noise Ordinance also states that violations occurring between the hours of 10 pm and 11 pm which are the result of unanticipated delays beyond the reasonable control of the aircraft Owner/Operator shall be waived upon the presentation of evidence satisfactory to the City that the delayed arrival or departure resulted from such circumstances.
  • If the airlines operate after 11 pm, they receive a monetary fine.
  • Please note that Military Aircraft are exempt from this policy.
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