Class D airports, "air rights," and noise sensitive neighbors

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Stearman, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey y'all,

    I have an in-law that lives near Bowman Field (LOU) in Louisville. She is complaining about low-flying jets—she doesn't mind prop planes—that she claims fly directly over the house while arriving and departing.

    Usually, this is a "tough luck" situation being that the airport is a known thing and they bought the house with the knowledge that there was an airport there. However there's a catch.

    Apparently the airport paid her neighbors (not sure which ones exactly) as much as $30k/ea for "air rights to fly over their properties." Now I'm sure she's misunderstanding what exactly was being purchased, since I don't think I have any rights to the air over my property beyond, perhaps, the tops of my trees, but that's beside the point. She wants to know why she wasn't paid, why they're flying over her house, and how she can either get paid or stop the flights.

    I'm not sure how directly over her house they're flying, given that her house is at least 450ft off the extended centerline of runway 06 at Bowman. Looking at it as a pilot, I don't see how anyone would fly over her house, let alone regularly. Simultaneously, I don't see how she'd get paid anything given how far she is from the centerline. She's in the first row of houses outside the fence.

    I don't want this to turn into an issue for the airport, nor do I want her continually unhappy. She's a rational person, so if I could just point to a guideline, map, plan, schematic, etc that showed where and how airports decide to pay for "air rights" that would suffice. She asked me during a family get-together if "the pilots are personally liable if they fly over my house." o_O

    Anyone have any help on this? I've contacted the ASN volunteer for Louisville Int'l since Bowman doesn't have one.

    Many thanks.


    tl;dr: In-law is complaining about not being paid for "air rights" for a/c to fly over her house. She's 450' off the runway centerline at Bowman Field (LOU). She wants to either be paid, or stop the flights. What are air rights, and how can I defuse this? Anyone have info on what "air rights" are and why she might not have been paid?
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did she buy her house before OR after the airport was built?
     
  3. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ve heard of a major airport ,paying for new insulated windows for noise suppression. But never heard of cash payouts.
     
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  4. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After, but that's not really the point. She wants to know why she wasn't paid like her neighbors were. I'm sure there's a simple answer somewhere that probably references guidelines or standard practice. I want to point her to something like that.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tell her to grow up.

    She bought house next to a airport, and presuming it wasnt a classified hidden airport, she knew it, she didn't do her due diligence before or during the transaction. Tuff cookies, she needs to put her big girl pants on and take responsibility for her choices in life.
     
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  6. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Tell her those payments aren't for noise, it's so they can afford chem trail filter replacements for their houses.
     
  7. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You all are missing the point entirely.

    She's not complaining about the noise per se, she's complaining about the fact that her neighbors were paid and she was not. She wants to know why this is, since she has an idea that she somehow "owns" or otherwise has a right to the airspace over her house. In her view, they are trespassing on her air, if you will.

    She knows there's an airport there. She knew that before they bought the house. They knew there would be noise. They bought the house. That's not the issue.
     
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  8. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Air rights don't exist.

    Is she the first owner of the home? Perhaps a previous owner was given bucks to soundproof or something (ie "paid"). That's a one time deal...
     
  9. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When were her neighbors paid? Was it after she moved in or was it before? If before, the previous owner was possibly paid and in accepting payment, waived his air rights and that becomes binding on the future property owners.

    Is she possibly a little farther from the end of the runway than are her neighbors who received payment and thus assuming a given climb gradient her house is more than 365’ (or whatever figure was used) below the assumed flight paths? There comes a point in space in relation to the airport where air rights are not being infringed upon in a legal sense.

    Those would be my two SWAGs.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe it was a one time “bribe” to get the current residents to sign off on the construction of the airport or an improvement. There’s no such thing as rights to the air over your property.
     
  11. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    You’re missing the point entirely.

    Prove payments were made. Otherwise, pics or it didn’t happen.
     
  12. Vaflier

    Vaflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like just plain old GREED to me. She would not like to hear my thoughts on the matter.
     
  13. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It's called an "avigation easement". Was there a runway extension at the time her neighbors were paid? Where is she in reltion to the part 77 imaginary surface associated with the airport?

    Typically this easement prevents land owners from building into the imaginary surfaces so that approaches are not affected. Sounds like she's outside of that area.
     
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  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    This. :yeahthat:

    Tell her nobody owns the airspace above their property. It just doesn't happen for private citizens, never has.

    Tell her to go to her neighbors that were "paid off" and have them show her how it is done. That might get her off your back for a while.

    And if she finds something where everybody that goes over my house has to pay me, let me know. I see many jets every day flying wayyyy up there.
     
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  15. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Assume any of this is true for the sake of discussion- now assume payments were made to the previous owner. Does she and all future owners have to be paid? Let’s do this...have each one of the family buy then sell the house to the next family member for a dollar. Each collect the $30k then sell again. Ridiculous for any entity to agree to terms being suggested.
     
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  16. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It's like any other easement. Once it's agreed to, it's part of the property deed. If the previous owner granted the easement, it should already be recorded.
     
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  17. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    She’s doing it all wrong. Sell the house on contract for $20k, allow the new owner to collect $30k, have terms to allow repossession, then sell again. Rinse, repeat.
     
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  18. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Bingo!
     
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Air rights" don't mean an airplane can't fly over the house. Unless they are at very low altitude, she has no "rights."
     
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  20. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Okay so there is something called "air rights" or not? Seems there's contradictory info out there.

    I'll try to get an answer on when this happened. The easement explanation makes the most sense.
     
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  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If even true, and it’s a public airport, the payments and terms are part of the public record.

    Unless you’re incredibly bored, I’d exercise some boundaries and tell her to go the the county or municipality records and prove the whole thing isn’t just neighborhood folklore.

    Her house, her business. Stay out of it. If she’s too lazy to look it up, you certainly don’t need to waste your time on it.
     
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  22. Shawn

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    Sounds like she has some confused neighbors as to what they were actually paid for. No one owns any rights to airspace over your property.
     
  23. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Is there such a thing? Yes. In obscure legal terms, it means the space above the surface property you can reasonably use.

    In the US, the federal government ‘owns’ navigable airspace, generally 500’ AGL and above.

    Now, if the FAA is taking a portion of that airspace from SFC-500AGL of your property, there is such a thing known as an avigational easement.

    https://www.faa.gov/airports/central/airports_resources/media/RPZeasement.pdf
     
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  24. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now THAT is an answer. Thank you sir.

    I've emailed asking when this was paid. Now I just need to find out what the rules or procedure was for determining who they got an easement from. They have to draw the line somewhere.
     
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  25. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    I would not hold out high hopes that someone will be receiving payment for an easement for public use.

    In case you actually find an avigational easement filed, it’s probably a developer that granted the easement. Ain’t nobody getting paid for that. Except the developer, maybe.
     
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  26. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    So they are being ‘compensated’ because ‘zoning’ restrictions, so to speak, lowered the value of the property by not being able to build ‘up???
     
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  27. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This will all be moot in a couple of years anyway when we are all flying VTOL electric aircraft.
     
  28. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    We won't need to go anywhere in a couple years. everything will be VR and we'll live in cocoons.
     
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  29. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If the payments her neighbors were made during 2016, that was when LRAA was buying easements so that they could cut down trees that were encroaching on the approaches to all the runways. Being 450 ft off centerline, I doubt she would qualify. If she is in the proposed area, she may not have had trees that met the height restriction.

    Couple of links for you:

    July 2016 update:
    http://www.flylouisville.com/wp-content/uploads/LRAA-Letter-to-LOU-Neighbors-7-15-16-FINAL.pdf

    Original proposed affected area:
    http://www.flylouisville.com/wp-con...owman-Area-Safety-Program-Revised-1-19-12.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  30. Brad Z

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    Not zoning, but they are being compensated to agreeing to ensure the approach surfaces won't be encroached. For example, this prevents an owner from refusing to cut down a tree that penetrates the imaginary approach surface. Think of utility easement; they pay you money to ensure they have access and use of the easement. They didn't buy the property from you, but you agree to let them use it.
     
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  31. BigBadLou

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    FWIW, this payment is called "STFU money" and only the squeaky wheel gets it. So she needs to start writing threatening letters that she'll have the airport closed down etc. That's how you get paid off to be silent.
    It is cheaper for the airport to pay a few loud neighbors a few thousand than have a $5-million lawyer on retainer.

    Okay, all seriousness aside now, I wonder if her neighbors broke the STFU contract by telling others about the silence money. This incentive program just might not be renewed next year.

    Sorry, I feel whimsical tonight.
     
  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    How do you know we're not already doing that?
     
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  33. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    :eek:
     
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  34. hotprops

    hotprops Line Up and Wait

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    tell her not your problem and just because you are a pilot or a member of poa does not make it your problem .tell wife to have crazy mother stfu.you have better things to do than help /enable human greed .I have seen the destruction of many airports by nimby people over many years there motives are always with flaw and full of asshatchery.
     
  35. Clip4

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    Airports acquire avigation easements in the airspace over neighboring properties in order to (1) prevent construction of buildings and towers, planting of trees, installation of lighting, or any other development that might interfere with aircraft takeoff and landing, or (2) protect against liability for any nuisance caused by airplanes using the airport, i.e., the impact of noise, fumes, and vibration on the "use and enjoyment" of properties under the flight paths to and from the airport. The former is a type of "hazard easement" while the latter is a type of "nuisance easement" but in practice both are called avigation easements. The two types are not typically combined in one legal document, although they may be.

    Airports rarely take the trouble to acquire nuisance avigation easements by initiating condemnation proceedings. Nuisance easements are sometimes imposed on new developments near an airport, but only if the airport owner (a city or county) also has jurisdiction over the land surrounding the airport. An airport may also require a nuisance avigation easement as a condition for installing insulation against noise in homes and schools. When sued for nuisance by neighboring landowners, airports assert that they have a prescriptive avigation easement over the plaintiff's land and therefore are not liable for any nuisance due to aircraft noise, fumes, or vibration.
     
  36. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Ah. It would be an 'eminent domain' like thing, even if that's not the words used. No one could say, 'nah that's ok, I don't need the money.' It would be 'cut the tree down, end of discussion. Here's $30,000. If you want to give it away or flush it down the toilet, that's up to you.'
     
  37. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Leakers I tell ya, it's those damn Leakers. Someones gotta STLTFU
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They're just following the example of the Leaker-in-Chief! :devil:
     
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  39. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rights

    Usually, air rights refer to the ability to build up to a certain height. If she were in an urban area where she could build a tall building but the FAA said she could not, they'd have to compensate her.

    Odds are that someone who previously owned the property were compensated for the loss of air rights, and she's SOL.
     
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  40. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    I think you picked the wrong crowd to pitch your in-laws argument.

    Kinda like getting on a PETA forum and asking how to best cook a steak.