As a first priority step, all reasonable, economical, and practical measures will be taken to reduce and/or control the generation of noise from flying and flying related activities. Typical measures normally include siting of engine test and runup facilities in remote areas if practical, provision of sound suppression equipment where necessary, and may include additional measures such as adjustment of traffic patterns to avoid built-up areas where such can be accomplished with safety and without significant impairment of operational effectiveness. After all reasonable noise source control measures have been taken, there will usually remain significant land areas wherein the total noise exposure is such as to be incompatible with certain uses.
(b) Compatible use land—
DoD policy is to work toward achieving compatibility between air installations and neighboring civilian communities by means of a compatible land use planning and control process conducted by the local community.
Land use compatibility guidelines will be specified for each Clear Zone, Accident Potential Zone, Noise Zone and combination of these as appropriate.
The method of control and regulation of land usage within each zone will vary according to local conditions. In all instances the primary objective will be to identify planning areas and reasonable land use guidelines which will be recommended to appropriate agencies who are in control of the planning functions for the affected areas.
(2) Property rights acquisition—
While noise generated by aircraft at military air installations should be an integral element of land use compatibility efforts, the acquisition of property rights on the basis of noise by the Department of Defense may not be in the long term best interests of the United States. Therefore, while the complete requirement for individual installations should be defined prior to any programming actions, acquisition of interests should be programmed in accordance with the following priorities.
The first priority is the acquisition in fee and/or appropriate restrictive easements of lands within the clear zones whenever practicable.
Outside the clear zone, program for the acquisition of interests, first in Accident Potential Zones and secondly in high noise areas only when all possibilities of achieving compatible use zoning, or similar protection, have been exhausted and the operational integrity of the air installation is manifestly threatened. If programming actions are considered necessary, complete records of all discussions, negotiations, testimony, etc., with or before all local officials, boards, etc., must be maintained. This will ensure that documentation is available to indicate that all reasonable and prudent efforts were made to preclude incompatible land use through cooperation with local governmental officials and that all recourse to such action has been exhausted. Such records shall accompany programming actions and/or apportionment requests for items programmed prior to the date of this part. In addition, a complete economic analysis and assessment of the future of the installation must be included.
(1) Costs of establishing and maintaining compatible use zones must be weighed against other available options, such as changing the installation's mission and relocating the flying activities, closing the installation, or such other courses of action as may be available. In performing analyses of this type, exceptional care must be exercised to assure that a decision to change or relocate a mission is fully justified and that all aspects of the situation have been thoroughly considered.
(2) When, as a result of such analysis, it is determined that relocation or abandonment of a mission will be required, then no new construction shall be undertaken in support of such activities except as is absolutely necessary to maintain safety and operational readiness pending accomplishment of the changes required.
This part shall not be used as sole justification for either the acquisition or the retention of owned interests beyond the minimum required to protect the Government.
Necessary rights to land within the defined compatible use area may be obtained by purchase, exchange, or donation, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
If fee title is currently held or subsequently acquired in an area where compatible uses could be developed and no requirement for a fee interest in the land exists except to prevent incompatible use, disposal actions shall normally be instituted. Only those rights and interests necessary to establish and maintain compatible uses shall be retained. Where proceeds from disposal would be inconsequential, consideration may be given to retaining title.
If the cost of acquiring a required interest approaches closely the cost of fee title, consideration shall be given to whether acquisition of fee title would be to the advantage of the Government.
(c) Rights and interests which may be obtained.
When it is determined to be necessary for the Federal Government to acquire interests in land, a careful assessment of the type of interest to be acquired is mandatory. § 256.9 contains a listing of possible interests which should be examined for applicability.
(d) Environmental impact statements.
Any actions taken with respect to safety of flight, accident hazard, or noise which involve acquisition of interests in land must be examined to determine the necessity of preparing an environmental impact statement in accordance with DoD Directive 6050.1, “Environmental Considerations in DoD Actions,” March 19, 1974 ( 32 CFR part 214 ).
All such environmental impact statements must be forwarded to appropriate Federal and local agencies for review in accordance with DoD Directive 6050.1 ( 32 CFR part 214 ).
Coordination with local agencies will be in accordance with OMB Circular A-95.