Who regulates aircraft activity and noise?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates all aircraft activity and associated aircraft noise. The MAC owns seven airports in the twin cities' area, however the MAC has no jurisdiction over aircraft activity or aircraft noise regulations.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) is solely responsible for directing aircraft on the ground and in the air. ATC’s highest priority is the safe and efficient movement of aircraft. Air traffic control procedures help them maintain a systematic flow and keep planes at safe distances from one another.
The FAA also regulates the maximum noise levels aircraft are legally allowed to generate are defined in 14 CFR Part 36. The FAA also follows the model of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which sets global aircraft noise standards known as "Stages." Currently, aircraft flying into and out of any MAC airport must meet Stages 3, 4, and 5; Stage 5 is the quietest.
For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the FAA, the MAC, and aircraft operator (i.e.: airlines), check out our Aircraft Noise Basics video series: Aircraft Noise Basics.