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Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) is a program concerning people, safety, and protection. This brochure summarizes the 2020 AICUZ Study for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The Department of Defense (DoD) established the AICUZ program to promote proactive, collaborative planning for compatible development to sustain mission and community goals. This AICUZ study provides an analysis of the operational noise footprint, aircraft accident potential zones (APZs), hazards to aircraft flight, and land use development surrounding JBLE. This AICUZ study identifies land use-related concerns and contains recommendations for compatible development. The 2020 AICUZ study provides an update to the previous 2007 AICUZ Study to include new aircraft, changes in flight operations, planning contours, and updated land use recommendations for areas within the APZs and noise (planning) contours.
Planning Contours and the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL)
Under the AICUZ program, the DoD models the anticipated operational tempo to provide noise contours to assist local communities in planning several years into the future. These planning contours provide stability to communities to allow for long term planning within the operational noise footprint. Noise exposure is measured using the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The DNL metric is based on the number of annual average daily aircraft operations over a 24-hour period. The DNL includes a 10 decibel (dB) adjustment, or penalty, for aircraft noise occurring between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. because people are more sensitive to noise during that period. DNL has become the standard metric used by many government agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for addressing aircraft noise. Within the 65 dB noise contours there are 678 acres of land use that is incompatible with the DoD land use guidelines. While noise attenuation is recommended for noise sensitive land uses within the noise footprint – measures to achieve noise reduction do not necessarily solve noise difficulties outside the structure. Therefore, the DoD does not recommend placing residential units within the 65 dB or greater noise footprint.
Accident Potential Zones
While the chances of an accident are remote, mishaps do occur and proper land use planning can reduce risk to persons on the ground. APZs are where an aircraft accident is likely to occur, if one occurs. However, they do not reflect the probability of an accident. APZs extend 15,000 feet from the end of each runway along the runway’s extended centerline. It should be noted that flight tracks are not roadways in the sky. Weather conditions, wind, pilot technique, and other air traffic will cause some lateral deviation within the landing pattern around an airport. Under existing land use, there is 293 acres of incompatible land development within the APZs. Under the future land use planning, incompatible land development within the APZs may decrease as cities redevelop property with compatible uses.
Hazards to Aircraft Flight Zone
Certain land uses and activities can pose potential hazards to flight. To ensure land uses and activities are examined for compatibility, the Air Force has identified a Hazards to Aircraft Flight Zone (HAFZ). The HAFZ is defined as the area within the “Imaginary Surfaces” that are described in the UFC 3-260-01, and in 14 CFR Part 77.17. Unlike Noise and Safety Zones, the HAFZ does not have recommended land use compatibility tables. Instead, it is a consultation zone for the purposes of project applicants and local planning bodies to consult with the Air Force to ensure the project is built compatibly. These land uses and activities include:
• Uses that would attract birds, especially waterfowl;
• Towers, structures, and vegetation that penetrate navigable airspace or are to be
constructed near the airfield;
• Lighting (direct or reflected) that would impair pilot vision;
• Uses that would generate smoke, steam, or dust; and
• Electromagnetic interference (EMI) with aircraft communication, navigation, or other electrical systems.
Land Use Compatibility
In general, the DoD land use compatibility guidelines recommend that noise-sensitive land uses be placed outside high-noise zones and people-intensive uses placed outside of the APZs. Certain land uses are considered incompatible with APZs and high-noise zones, while other land uses may be considered compatible with restrictions (limits to density or size). The DoD encourages compatible development within communities – compatible uses can be found within the DoD land use compatibility tables. These land use recommendations are advisory in nature and are designed to support compatible growth. Recommendations found within this AICUZ study are nonbinding, local communities have ultimate responsibility for land use development within their jurisdiction.
• Continue to incorporate AlCUZ policies and guidelines into the comprehensive plans of the Hampton Roads region. Use overlay maps of the AICUZ noise contours and Air Force Land Use Compatibility Guidelines to evaluate existing and future land use proposals.
• Monitor any subdivision regulations in Hampton Roads related to noise level reduction based on current noise contours and update the regulations if necessary.
• Continue to inform JBLE personnel of planning and zoning actions that have the potential of affecting JBLE operations. Maintain the working group of city/county planners and base planners that regularly meets to discuss AICUZ concerns and major development proposals that could affect airfield operations.
• Modify existing zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations in the Hampton Roads region to support the compatible land uses outlined in this study.
• Modify building codes within the Hampton Roads region to ensure new construction within the AICUZ area has the recommended noise level reductions incorporated into its design and construction.
• Continue to implement height and obstruction ordinances that reflect current Air Force Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 77 requirements.
JBLE has placed restrictions on flying activities that could adversely affect its neighbors in an effort to reduce noise impacts while maintaining safe operations. JBLE has also demonstrated a spirit of cooperation by consulting with local communities in the area-wide planning process relating to land use near the base. Hampton Roads has also played a major role by supporting the JBLE AICUZ Program in its ongoing planning and zoning decisions. Continued cooperation between JBLE, the local authorities, and local populace around the base will further reduce potential land use conflicts. This action will also help to ensure that future land uses are compatible and beneficial.