Establish a 3,000-Foot Minimum Height Requirement for All Aircraft Not Taking Off or Landing
As a general rule, noise decreases by 6 decibels for each doubling of the distance between source and receiver (although atmospheric conditions can significantly affect noise propagation). Therefore, aircraft that are nearer the ground are significantly louder than those at higher altitudes. A craft at 3,000 feet is about half as loud as the same craft at 1,000 feet.
The 3,000-foot minimum altitude rule primarily would reduce noise from helicopters, small aircraft, and air tourism, since commercial passenger aircraft fly about 10 times higher. The rule requires strict enforcement including monitoring of on board Global Positioning equipment that can record altitude and location of all craft to determine violations of the minimum height rule. Also, Visual Flight Rules should be eliminated and all aircraft and pilots to be able to fly by instruments by 2010 so that pilots need not fly below a lower cloud ceiling.
Please write to the FAA and ask them to include a 3,000-foot minimum height requirement for all aircraft not taking off or landing. Moreover, aircraft should maintain an elevation of at least 3,000 feet above the highest elevation within 5 miles of the craft (no more flying right down the middle of mountain valleys).
Send comments in triplicate to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Office of the Chief Counsel
Attention: Rules Docket (AGC-200)
Docket No. 
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591
You may also submit your comments via email.
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