Section 1. General


Use the guidelines in Chapter 10 to evaluate the effects of objects on the airport proposal.


Traffic patterns must be established by the FAA only at those airports where the provisions of Part 91 do not meet aircraft airspace requirements. When the airspace review indicates the need, traffic patterns may be established by special rule in Part 93, or as outlined in this order when necessary to ensure compatibility of aircraft operations with adjacent airports, or for reasons of obstructions, terrain, traffic separation, or noise abatement. Use the guidelines in paragraph 10-3-2 to evaluate whether the traffic pattern associated with an airport proposal would conflict with operations at any other airport. Also, evaluate the traffic pattern effect on instrument approach procedures and the need for establishment of traffic pattern altitudes for aircraft separation. The service area office normally reviews proposals for traffic pattern conflicts.

  1. Existing and proposed structures or objects must be evaluated for their effect on the airport proposal in reference to instrument procedures. FPTs normally conduct this by applying the standards and criteria contained in the 8260 Order series to ascertain if the airport proposal would adversely affect existing or planned instrument approach procedures. Use the same guidelines to evaluate the compatibility of any existing or proposed instrument approach procedure with the airport proposal.
  2. Air traffic and Flight Procedures Team personnel must be especially alert to ensure aircraft separation when the traffic pattern associated with an airport proposal would overlap the airspace encompassed by a standard instrument approach procedure (IAP) for an adjacent airport. When this occurs, air traffic will recommend actions to ensure that there is at least 500 feet vertical separation between the traffic pattern altitude and the altitude associated with the affected portion of the adjacent instrument approach procedure. If heavy jets are involved, ensure at least 1,000 feet vertical separation. These same vertical separation guidelines must be applied when evaluating a proposed IAP when the airspace required would overlap the traffic pattern airspace at an adjacent airport.

The extent that an airport proposal or proposed instrument approach procedure may adversely affect air traffic control (ATC) procedures may be a sufficient reason to object to or disapprove a proposal. The proposal must be thoroughly examined to determine if it would adversely affect ATC procedures by requiring a restriction on the air traffic flow, or the proposal may limit the flexibility of entry or exit to or from affected traffic patterns or airport areas. The need for establishment of, or existing noise abatement procedures may amplify such problems. When a proposed instrument approach procedure would be adjacent to the area of an instrument approach procedure to another airport, determine whether simultaneous approaches would have an adverse effect on new IAP or ATC procedures and on the requirement for instrument approaches to the adjacent airport. Should a proposed instrument approach procedure be located in a radar environment, determine the radar coverage and ATC capability to provide radar air traffic control service.


In accordance with 40103(b)(2)(B), FAA personnel must evaluate the effect of a proposal on the safety of persons and property on the ground. Consideration must be given to the proximity of cities and towns, as well as flight patterns over heavily populated areas, schools, homes, hospitals, sports stadiums, outdoor theaters, and shopping centers. The evaluation must also include the effect of changes in flight operations required by the proposal and the need for special air traffic rules. In evaluating the compatibility of proposed airports and the surrounding terrain, consider the type of aircraft anticipated to use the airport, their operational performance capability, the effective runway lengths, and whether a reasonable level of safety of persons and property on the ground can be expected. Flight Standards and Airports normally conduct reviews to determine that the safety of persons and property on the ground are protected.


Part 157 does not specify that noise factors be considered, however, the FAA policy to evaluate noise factors in airport airspace analysis studies should be preserved where necessary in the public interest as part of the overall FAA noise abatement program.

  1. The air traffic office must identify potential noise problem areas based on existing and/or contemplated traffic patterns and procedures. When a noise problem is anticipated, advise the airports office accordingly with recommendations and/or alternatives, such as nonstandard traffic patterns or special departure and arrival procedures, etc.
  2. When an airport proposal is circularized, the Airports Office may receive comments concerning potential noise, environmental, or ecological problems.

The type of aeronautical activity expected at an airport is an important consideration in the airport analysis process. The following types of activity should be considered:

  1. Will the proposed operations be conducted in accordance with visual or instrument flight rules?
  2. What is the expected volume of operations?
  3. How many and what type aircraft will be based on the proposed airport? Be aware that a large number of aircraft may be based at a private-use airport that could generate a significant amount of traffic.
  4. What is the most demanding aircraft the airport will accommodate?
  1. Visual Flight Rules. Wind conditions affect aircraft in varying degrees. In landing and takeoff, the smaller aircraft are more affected by wind, particularly crosswind components. Therefore, when studying a runway proposal, evaluate the consistency between the proposed runway alignment and the wind rose data to determine whether operations can be conducted safely.
  2. Instrument Flight Rules. When evaluating a proposal to designate a single instrument landing runway at an airport, consider the consistency between this designation and the low visibility wind rose.

Proposed heliports require evaluation of ingress and egress information by Flight Standards. Information supplied by Technical Operations Aviation System Standards may be used for determining whether specific ingress-egress routes to and from heliports and helipads may be necessary to assure an adequate level of safety with respect to obstructions and/or congested areas.

Additionally, consider existing air traffic operations in proximity to a proposed heliport site and the need for specific ingress-egress routes.


Consideration should be given to displacing a proposed runway threshold when proposed and existing objects, and/or terrain obstruct the airspace necessary for landing on or taking off from the runway. Consider changing the location of the proposed runway end only when no feasible alternatives exist (see AC 150/5300-13, Appendix 2).


Evaluation on the effect of existing airports must be made in the same manner as for other non-Federally assisted airport proposals under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 44718. Such studies may be conducted on those airports for which there is no record of a previous aeronautical study, or on any airport when deemed necessary or appropriate.