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The minimum altitude for airplanes is 1,000 feet above a populated area unless the aircraft is ascending after take-off or descending on approach to an airport. Exceptions exist for agricultural aircraft, which may operate at a somewhat lower altitude with a special exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration.
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The City of Fernandina Beach owns and operates the airport. Policy and funding decision are made by the Fernandina Beach City Commissions with recommendations provided by the members of the Fernandina Beach Airport Advisory Commission. The airport is a public airport that receives funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and Florida Department of Transportation, and is required to meet obligations set forth by these agencies to operate as a public airport.
Noise abatement guidelines are voluntary and no penalties can be imposed upon aircraft operators for not following noise abatement guidelines. However, most pilots strive to be good neighbors and understand the value of following noise abatement guidelines in an effort to reduce the impact of operations on the surrounding community.
Notices are published in aviation reference manuals. The airport also includes noise abatement information on the Automated Weather Observation System, a radio broadcast system for all arriving and departing pilots.
Three runways are available for use at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. These runways are Runway 4/22 (Northeast/Southwest runway), Runway 13/31 (Northwest/Southeast runway), and Runway 9/27 (East/West runway). Runway designations are established based upon the compass heading and direction of flight that an aircraft is flying For example, when Runway 9 is in use aircraft are flying on a compass heading of 090 degrees.
Wind direction determines which runway will be active. Aircraft will take off and land into the wind for safety purposes. The wind helps to slow the aircraft's ground speed on approach and landing, making it easier to control and reduces the landing roll distance. On take-off, the wind helps pilots attain flying speed more quickly, which allows pilots to clear obstacles and attain a higher altitude before passing over populated areas.
The airport has determined that use of Runway 22 creates the least noise impact to the surrounding community. The airport encourages pilots to use this runway when wind conditions permit and when wind conditions are calm in an effort to minimize noise to the surrounding community.
The following is a list of suggestions to consider during your home search:
1. When looking at a potential home, visit the home multiple times, on different days, at different times. This will increase your chances of experiencing aircraft flight activity overhead to see what the impact would have on daily life.
2. Review the Airport Master Plan on the City of Fernandina Beach Airport website to understand the operations and future plans of the airport. For further clarification of questions or information within the Master Plan please contact the Airport Administrative offices at 904-310-3437.
3. Ask your realtor for information regarding the airport and its operations.
4. The image below provides an overview of local flying patterns at the airport. While these patterns are not flown simultaneously, many of the patterns depicted are utilized on a daily basis dependent upon wind conditions.