Important Background Information
Regulatory Authority and Responsibilities
The Oregon Department of Aviation (ODAV) owns and operates 28 public-use airports throughout the State of Oregon. Because our airports are public use, it is our obligation to extend equitable treatment and not unreasonably restrict access to all of our aeronautical users. Any licensed pilot may operate in and out of Oregon’s state-owned airports in accordance with all applicable Federal Aviation Regulations. It is solely the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) authority to regulate and enforce rules with regards to airspace, aircraft, and piloting. The Oregon Department of Aviation does not have any authority over a pilot’s actions in the air, and we are limited in what we can enforce on the ground. If a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) is violated, the FAA is the agency responsible for investigating and enforcing the incident. ODAV does not own or operate crewed aircraft.
Community Outreach / Aurora State Airport Noise Abatement Program
Airport owners/operators like us are responsible for airport planning and implementing action such as airport improvements and noise abatement ground procedures which are designed to reduce the effect of noise on residents of the surrounding areas of our airports. We accomplish this through Airport Master Planning, community outreach, and evaluating noise complaints we receive from our neighboring communities.
In these efforts over the years, we have held public meetings, engaged in noise committees, and we have established noise abatement procedures for the Aurora State Airport. Aurora’s noise abatement procedures were developed with input from our local communities to inform pilots of procedures to mitigate noise impacts near key areas around the airport. These procedures ask pilots to “fly neighborly” and avoid noise sensitive areas. Departure headings, traffic pattern information, and other instructions are provided to assist with those efforts. These procedures are voluntary, we do not have any legal authority to enforce non-adherence with these procedures. However, we do strongly encourage all pilots to adhere to the procedures to the greatest extent possible. In addition to regular discussions with tenants and key stakeholders in public meetings, we have posted our noise abatement procedures on our website and utilize signage and other resources to communicate the procedures to pilots that use the airport.
Aircraft Operations Outside of Noise Abatement Procedures
There are many factors involved with any aircraft operation, and the Pilot In Command has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and regulatory compliance of their flight. There are also many factors that go into Air Traffic Controllers’ instructions to pilots operating within Aurora’s controlled Class D airspace. The number of aircraft in the traffic pattern, an aircraft’s equipment, the pilot’s ratings, weather conditions including visibility, wind, cloud ceiling, and other factors can all have an impact on the flight path an aircraft takes to or from the airport. While our aim is for all aircraft operators to utilize our noise abatement procedures, these factors may cause aircraft to occasionally operate outside of those procedures, bringing them in closer vicinity to, or over the noise sensitive areas. This does not mean that these aircraft operations are in violation of any Federal Aviation Regulations or rules.
What do we do with Noise Complaints?
Noise complaints help us understand how our local communities are impacted by aircraft operations, and how to plan and implement action in the future for our airports. When we receive noise complaints we look at all available information from the complaint, and what may be available in our flight tracking programs. This information can include the date, time, aircraft type/registration information, and proprietary flight tracking protocols including Multilateration and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast. Based on the information we find, we follow up asking aircraft operators to be aware of and adhere to our Noise Abatement Procedures in future operations at Aurora. Or, to avoid flying low over noise sensitive areas around our airports that may not have established procedures.
Submitting a Noise Complaint or Inquiry for a State-Owned Airport in Oregon
Noise complaints can be submitted to the Oregon Department of Aviation by using the links and instructions below. We have a dedicated inbox for the public to send noise complaints or inquiries to, we also accept submissions on the phone, by letter, or at our office building during regular business hours.
To submit a noise complaint or inquiry for a specific aircraft operation near a state-owned airport, please submit the following information to:
1. Date, time, and location of observation
2. Registration Number (N#) of observed aircraft
3. Description of aircraft if N# is not available
4. Nature of complaint or inquiry (please provide a detailed description of why you are reporting this noise event)
5. Attach photographs of aircraft and/or flight tracking information
6. Name and contact info (if your preference is other than email) for follow up
You may also submit the above information to us by:
• Phone – (503) 378-4880 (Please say you would like to submit a noise complaint)
• Fax – (503) 373-1688
• Sending a letter to, or stopping by our office at 3040 25th Street SE, Salem OR 97302 during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm)
For general noise or safety complaints, please contact the FAA’s Flight Standards District Offices:
• For noise complaints at a non-state-owned airport in Oregon, please contact the local airport owner/operator directly.