John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, California, is not your typical airport. At least it’s not the typical airport I come in contact with. Bracketed on both ends of two parallel runway by highways, and surrounded by densely packed commercial and residential neighbors, noise is the enemy of airport operations. As it must be. Because to lose control of the noise situation would unleash the power of the public who have every reason to expect a peaceful night’s sleep – even if they did move into a home that is within sight of a ramp area frequented by executive jets and a wide assortment of GA machinery.
So serious is John Wayne Airport’s battle against jangled nerves brought on by noisy aircraft, SNA has instituted and maintains some of the strictest noise rules in the United States. But don’t take my word for it — the airport management proudly proclaims their anti-noise position on their website.
So serious is their stance on this issue, John Wayne Airport maintains 10 permanent noise monitoring stations on the field. You only need to exceed the noise levels at one of those 10 reporting stations to run afoul of the decibel detail. And this is no toothless, feel-good policy, my friends. Violate the noise restrictions at SNA three times within three years and you will be denied use of the airport for the next three years! [Read more…]