Aircraft Noise, AIRSPACE, & UAS

The Airport belongs to the community

Central Colorado Regional Airport (CCRA) is 1 of almost 100 general aviation airports in Colorado and is owned and operated by the Town of Buena Vista. CCRA is not only an economic driver for the Town but functions as a vital transportation hub and provides access for essential air medical and emergency services for the region and the state. Finding a balance between providing safe aircraft operations and minimizing noise impact on the community is a high priority for airport staff.

Our airfield and FBO serve to relieve larger, commercial airports of smaller and slower aircraft operations in the region. There is no scheduled commercial service or regularly-scheduled flights which operate from CCRA.

FAA Airspace

Under federal law, aircraft in flight are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and cannot be controlled by the Town of Buena Vista or Central Colorado Regional Airport (CCRA). Restricted airspace does not exist within the Arkansas River Valley; however, federal air regulations prohibit flights under 1000 feet above populated areas with the exception of take-off and landing paths and air ambulance helicopters.

CCRA AIR TRAFFIC PATTERN

The airport and FBO are owned and operated by the Town of Buena Vista, but the Federal Aviation Administration manages aircraft in flight and establishes flight patterns. Please see the photo below for the established traffic pattern at CCRA:

For more information please refer to the Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B) Chapter 7

AIRCRAFT NOISE

Serving an ever-increasing aviation demand while managing aircraft noise within the airport’s vicinity is a challenge. The 2 mile proximity to downtown Buena Vista is convenient for airport users but the proximity to town also means noise over populated areas, as aircraft are lower when they are over and in the pattern over residential areas is more noticeable, especially during normal hours of operation at the airport.

Hours of Operation at Central Colorado Regional Airport

As a public airport, the CCRA airfield must be available for public use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week though the FBO is typically only staffed from the hours of 8 AM to 4 PM.

While the following hours cannot be enforced, the airport staff encourages operators to fly during daylight hours; typically after 6 AM and before 9 PM.

Outside of daylight hours, the FBO is not staffed and runway lighting is controlled via radio clicks by pilots, not by airport staff.

 NOISE ANALYSIS

As residential populations increase and land encroachment closer to airfields occur, airport noise has become more problematic for most airports. CCRA is no exception to this pattern of development. As a proactive measure, the Central Colorado Regional Airport has voluntarily developed a Noise Abatement Program to encourage aircraft operators to comply with noise abatement recommendations.

Land Encroachment at the Central Colorado Regional Airport

As residential populations increase and land encroachment closer to airfields occur, airport noise has become more problematic for most airports. CCRA is no exception to this pattern of development. As a proactive measure, the Central Colorado Regional Airport has voluntarily developed a Noise Abatement Program to encourage aircraft operators to comply with noise abatement recommendations.

Aircraft noise and noise surrounding airports are two of the most notorious issues related to the environment at airports. The FAA examines actions and development that may change runway configurations, airport / aircraft operation and / or movements, aircraft types, and flight patterns, all of which could ultimately alter the noise impacts on the communities near the airport.

A noise analysis for existing conditions was completed by KB Environmental Sciences, Inc. Figure 2-19 illustrates the 2015 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The noise contour was generated using the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT), Version 2b. As shown, the noise contour remains well within CCRA’s boundary with the exception of a small area west of the Runway 15 end. Land use (road right-of-way) within that area is compatible with the 65 DNL contour.

ZONING

Creating land use plans and encouraging compatible development via zoning designations is one of the ways federal, state, and municipal authorities manage potential noise impacts from airports. CCRA is zoned by both the Town of Buena Vista and Chaffee County. Buena Vista controls the portion of the airport that includes the buildings and hangars, while the County controls the remaining areas.

Town and County Zoning at the Central Colorado Regional Airport

The portion of the Airport controlled by Buena Vista is zoned as Industrial (I-1). The principal use of land zoned as I-1 is:

“for the fabrication, assembly and manufacture of goods and materials in conjunction with related retail and wholesale activities. It is the intention of these regulations to encourage the development and orderly expansion of the district with such uses and in such a manner as to avoid dangerous, noxious or unsightly land uses.”

The portion of the Airport controlled by Chaffee County is zoned as Industrial (IND). The intent of IND is:

“areas for industrial businesses in locations where conflicts with residential, commercial and other land uses can be minimized. It is the intent of this district to allow uses that are complementary to industrial uses. This land use district is intended to promote the development of local employment centers as well as to provide a location for uses that may be considered undesirable in other areas, such as concrete and asphalt plants, heavy equipment storage, and intensive manufacturing processes. These land uses should have easy access to the state highways or other transportation modes.”

AIRPORT PROTECTION OVERLAY (APO) DISTRICT

In addition to the zoning designations by the Town of Buena Vista and Chaffee County, both entities have included an Airport Protection Overlay (APO) District in their municipal codes. The intent of Buena Vista’s APO is as a supplemental district that may overlay any standard zoning district. Any use by right or conditional use permitted in the underlying district is also permitted in an APO District so long as that use meets the special conditions required in an APO District. The APO District is established to minimize exposure of residential and other sensitive land uses to aircraft noise areas, to avoid danger from aircraft accidents, to reduce the possibility of such accidents, to discourage traffic congestion within the area of the district, and to restrict non-compatible land uses in proximity to and within airport influence areas.

The APO District shall be applied in the vicinity of all general aviation airports which would be significantly affected by air traffic, noise or any hazard related to the establishment, operation or maintenance of an airport.

The degree of protection provided by this overlay district is considered reasonable and prudent for land use regulatory purposes and is based on established parameters of control. Establishment of this district, however, does not imply that areas outside of the district will be totally free from airport and aircraft related hazards, or that all hazards within the APO District will be completely mitigated. Establishment of this district shall not create a liability on the part of or create or cause action against the Town or any officer, employee, or contractor thereof for any damages that may result directly or indirectly from reliance on the provisions contained herein.

“Good Neighbor” Voluntary Noise Abatement Program

The Central Colorado Regional Airport’s (CCRA) “Good Neighbor” Noise Abatement Program is based on the philosophy that good neighbors make every effort to understand the concerns of their neighbors, and take action to minimize aircraft influences experienced by residents.

CCRA has developed voluntary aircraft noise abatement recommendations and procedures in cooperation with pilots and aeronautical operators based at the airport. These voluntary procedures encourage pilots using CCRA to utilize the recommended FAA traffic pattern in a way to minimize impacts on adjacent residential areas while maintaining safety parameters. Because this policy is voluntary, it cannot be enforced.

The CCRA airfield is open 24/7 with no curfew or other prohibitions on aeronautical activity. Additionally, it has been found that a significant number of concerns from the community are caused by aircraft which do not operate from CCRA and are passing through the area.

As part of the program, the Town and Airport will continue to work with airport users to encourage compliance with voluntary procedures and to collaborate with nearby airports to mitigate regional aircraft overflight and noise concerns.

Noise Complaints Register

CCRA does maintain a noise complaints register with relevant information in order to identify both systemic, recurring and single incident problems and trends in order to identify key risk areas and to help eliminate the underlying causes of complaints through corrective actions, when possible.

Please fill out the form below to have your complaint added to our register. Please note: you will not receive any follow-up from us but we do appreciate your input for our archive.

3 + 1 =

LOW-FLYING AIRCRAFT

The Central Colorado Regional Airport (CCRA) is a non-towered airfield, is not responsible for “flight clearances,” and does not in any way “grant permission” to aircraft arriving and departing from our airfield. We do not “track” aircraft nor do we have the authority to take any corrective measures against pilots who may be operating aircraft which is not in compliance with FAA “Flight Standards.” As such, all comments and complaints regarding aircraft safety and low-flying aircraft should be made directly to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) at (800) 847-3808. To contact the FAA FSDO office to report low-flying aircraft, please reference the information in this document: FAA: Guide to Low Flying Aircraft.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) / DRONES

Drones operate under a separate federal air regulation and the airport has no jurisdiction over drone operation.

Drone Pilots: Please call CCRA at (719) 395-3496 and let us know if you are operating in the area so we can notify local aircraft when appropriate.

FAA: UAS Page

FAA Airspace 101: Rules of the Sky for UAS

B4UFLY Mobile App

The Town of Buena Vista has a Drone Park located adjacent to the Rodeo Grounds which is a cooperative endeavor of the Town’s Recreation Department and the local UAS club. This is a first-of-its kind facility in the country and will help drone pilots of all skills and abilities learn to fly legally and safely! Please contact the Central Colorado UAS Club to learn more.

Airfield Information & Flight Pattern

Runway 15/33 Elevation 7946 ft
8,300' x 75' Asphalt
Full-length taxiway

Medium Intensity Runway Lighting
(5 clicks on 122.8)

MIRL, VGSI
Runway 15, GPS Departure/traffic right-hand pattern
Runway 33, GPS Approach/traffic left-hand pattern

UNICOM
Freq. 122.800
AWOS Automated Weather Observation Station
Freq. 132.925  |  Phone (719) 395-2599

For more details (IAPs, NOTAMs, etc) visit:

AirNav.com: KAEJ or AOPA's page on KAEJ.