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Jet Noise and Crash Zone Information—Virginia Beach

NAS Oceana is the east coast’s largest airbase and the pride of our community.  Home to the F-18 Super Hornet and the F-16 Tomcat, training takes place continuously.  Night flights are integral to the training of our pilots who must land on aircraft carriers during night missions in modern warfare.  Considering the summer sunsets are later, training during these months occur late into the night at times.  Residents need to be aware of the noise and crash zones surrounding the airfield, and written acknowledgement of these areas is required for the purchase or lease of any residential properties in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, where the Fentress Outlying Airfield is.  AICUZ stands for the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone. The Department of Defense designed the AICUZ program to promote compatible land use around military airfields.  When urban development began to encroach around military airfields, the government recognized the need to help city governments identify appropriate land use to protect the health and safety of the residents as well as the operation of the air base.  The AICUZ program defines both the potential for noise and crash.

Accident Potential Zone (APZ):

Studies have shown that 75% of aircraft accidents occur at or adjacent to the runway. The Clear Zone runs 3000 feet from the center of the runway to 3000 feet beyond the end of the runway.  The APZ1 zone extends 5000 feet from the end of the Clear Zone. And APZ2 extends beyond APZ1 by 7000 feet.

Noise Contours:

The noise zone is defined in decibels (the measurement of sound) and is a forecast of the noise that is experienced as a result of the military airfield.  The average number of daily flights, time of day, use of runway, engine power, air speed, altitude, and local meteorological conditions are considered when determining the noise zones. The Day/Night Average Sound Levels (DNL) are then ascribed through a computer program and combined with a land use map to analyze the areas commonly exposed to noise levels.  The DNL is the average sound level, measured in decibels, over a 24 hour period, with an additional 10 decibel penalty added to flights occurring between 10pm and 7am.

 To View the NAS Oceana/NALF Fentress AICUZ map, please CLICK HERE. and to search an address use the City of Virginia Beach Info Map CLICK HERE.

For Norfolks AICUZ map, click here.

 Decibel range of common noises:

Decibel                                Sound Source

180                                      Aircraft at take-off

140                                      Artillery fire

130                                      Threshold for pain, decibels at or above 130 caause immediate ear damage.

120                                      Thunder, fireworks display

110                                      Train, ball mill, punch press

100                                      Passing truck, home lawn mower, car horn @ 5 meters, wood saw

90                                         Truck without muffler

80                                         Electric shaver, alarm clock, police whistle

70                                         Average radio, normal street noise

60                                        Conversational speech


How to reduce Noise in Your Home?

The structure of the house will provide 15-25 decibels of sound absorption from outdoor noise, with windows closed. Caulking and filling exterior openings, installing sound-insulating windows and doors, and adding thermal insulation to outer walls can help reduce the noise experienced indoors.

 24 Hour Noise Concern Line: (757) 433-2162


 Information compiled and presented by Windy Crutchfield, Realtor.