Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers quickly by typing key words into the search bar.

HISTORY & CONTEXT

About the Naples Airport (APF)

Home to nearly 400 aircraft and more in seasonal months, the Naples Airport ranks among the top 20 airports nationally for business aircraft activity and customer service. Connecting people to Naples through an exceptional airport experience, the Naples Airport accommodates more than 100,000 general aviation takeoffs and landings each year with nearly half of those by business jets.

Minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, downtown Naples and I-75, the airport provides world class service focused on the needs of pilots and passengers, including U.S. Customs clearing for international arrivals.

The airport is also home to sightseeing tours, air charter operators, flight schools and public services that provide critical services to the residents of Naples and Collier County, including:

  • Collier County Sheriff’s Office
  • Collier Mosquito Control District
  • Collier EMS MedFlight
  • Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Humane Society of Naples

How was the Naples Airport established?

The Naples Airport opened in 1943 as the Naples Airdrome (later the Naples Army Airfield), to train fighter pilots for service in WWII.

1942 – Construction of the airport begins on land jointly purchased by the Town of Naples and Collier County. The Town and County lease the airport to the federal government during World War II for use as a military airport and training base.

1943 – Naples Airdrome opens as an Army Air Corps base.

1948 – Federal government returns the airport to Town and County.

1958 – City purchases County’s interest to take complete ownership of the airport.

1969 – At the request of the City, a special act of the Florida Legislature, the “City of Naples Airport Authority Act,” establishes the Naples Airport Authority (NAA), and transfers operation of the airport to the NAA under a 99-year lease (through 2068).

What is the Naples Airport Authority and what does it do?

ESTABLISHMENT

The City of Naples Airport Authority (NAA) was created by Florida Legislature at the request of the City of Naples in 1969, to function as a separate governmental entity charged with the operation, development, and improvement of the Naples Airport.

The City of Naples, recognizing the benefits of the airport to the community, requested the creation of the Authority for the purpose of eliminating financial subsidies by city taxpayers while enhancing service to users and improving the community’s gateway image.

The Authority’s operates under a Strategic Plan with the primary goal of operating the airport in a safe and efficient manner.

GOVERNANCE

The Authority’s Board of Commissioners is composed of five members appointed by Naples City Council. Commissioners are appointed for a term of four years and are required to be residents of the City of Naples. The Board of Commissioners is responsible for the governance of the Airport Authority and selects the Executive Director, who hires all other NAA staff.

The NAA currently employs more than 130 local full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees.

FINANCES

The NAA oversees an annual budget of more than $55 million and carries no debt.

Since the Authority’s formation, the Naples Airport has operated in the “black,” making it a model for efficient government financial management and accountability.  All funds used for its operation and maintenance come from business-like activities on the airport such as fuel sales, hangar leasing and car rental.  Grants allocated from state and federal transportation funds are awarded for airfield improvements.  No local taxes directly support the NAA.

The Authority’s budget is adopted annually by the Board of Commissioners, as required by Florida law. The Authority’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.

READ MORE ABOUT THE NAA HERE

Is the City the “proprietor” of the Naples Airport?

The term “airport proprietor” has been tested and affirmed by several court cases.

The Florida Legislature created the Naples Airport Authority in 1969 at the request of the City of Naples.  After its creation, the City leased the airport property to the NAA through 2068. Since then, the NAA has been officially recognized as the airport sponsor, operator and also as the airport proprietor.

Both the prior City Attorney and the FAA have stated, in writing, that the City is not the proprietor nor the sponsor of the airport. Additionally, at the September 19th, 2022 City Council meeting the aviation attorney engaged by the City also indicated that regardless of who the airport sponsor or proprietor is that the Airport is still subject to the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) which prohibits any new local restrictions without FAA approval.

AIRPORT OPERATIONS

When does peak activity occur at the airport?

Activity generally increases between November and April.

Daily activity generally increases on Thursdays, Sundays and during holiday weekends.

How much has airport activity increased in the last few years?

While overall activity has only grown modestly, the Naples Airport has seen an increase in jet activity, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

FISCAL YEAR2005201120192020202120222023
TOTAL OPERATIONS91,60584,339112,800104,479113,137122,281119,075
JET OPERATIONS19,22419,24933,75633,19349,92052,65044,612

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a worldwide increase in the demand for private air travel.  This change in consumer patterns coupled with Naples’ demographics, high end development and the airlines struggles in recovering from the pandemic is expected to drive demand for private air travel for the foreseeable future.

Will filing a noise complaint change how the airport operates?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority in determining where aircraft will fly and how the airport operates. These decisions are made solely on standard air traffic control procedures. Noise complaints are not considered by the FAA when making these decisions.

However, aircraft noise and flight activity complaints are used in conjunction with flight tracking data to determine compliance with noise abatement procedures, corroborate specific events, or identify possible trends. The Naples Airport Noise Abatement staff can answer questions, provide data, and help residents understand aircraft operations.

It is important to know that aircraft noise complaints alone cannot change how the airport operates. Where aircraft fly, as well as their associated noise levels, depends on factors such as wind and weather, the number of arrivals and departures, the time of day, construction activity on airport grounds, and other conditions, all of which play a part in how an airport operates at any given time.

How many passengers fly through the airport?

In FY23 (October 2022 to September 2023) the airport served well over 200,000 passengers flying into or out of Naples.

The airport receives passenger details only on customs flights, this estimate is based on those numbers along with concessions made to account for pilots and ferry flights.

Does the Naples Airport have airline service, or plan to in the future?

No, the airport has no commercial airline service.

While the Naples Airport has had periodic commercial service in the past, there are no plans to restart commercial service in the future.  This is largely due to:

  • The airport’s decades-old 75,000-pound weight limit, which severely reduces the aircraft options available to commercial carriers.
  • The wide availability of commercial airlines at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).

Who has authority over the use of runways and flight activity at APF?

All matters of airspace including altitude, flight paths, runway use, timing, and frequency of arriving and departing aircraft are solely under FAA jurisdiction and outside of the NAA’s control.

Are there restrictions on the size of aircraft at APF?

Aircraft exceeding 75,000 pounds maximum gross weight are prohibited from operating at APF.

Rare exceptions may apply, such as aircraft operated by Federal or State government, law enforcement, or emergency services.

Does pricing affect aircraft activity at the Naples Airport?

In 2022, the industry saw fuel prices rise sharply as macroeconomic factors increased the price of oil, and it did not affect jet activity at Naples Airport. Fuel and other service prices at the airport are often higher than other local airports. For example, the Naples Airport’s ramp fee for a large jet (e.g., Gulfstream) is $1,250 nightly, whereas at Immokalee Airport, the fee is only $75. Despite this difference, large jets almost universally choose Naples Airport due to its location.

Residents have also asked if jets park in Naples because it’s cheaper than driving to Miami. No, those who fly on private aircraft land here because it’s nearest to their destination.  However, aircraft operators dropping off or picking up passengers may subsequently fly to Miami for their next customer.

Conversely, operators of small general aviation aircraft, such as the Cessna 172, are typically more price sensitive and may fly to other nearby airports for less expensive fuel and/or to visit a specific restaurant (i.e. the $100 hamburger).

Who pays for ongoing operations at Naples Airport?

The Naples Airport is financially self-sustaining. The Naples Airport Authority (NAA) receives no local tax dollars and generates revenues primarily from hangar rent and fuel sales.

The Naples Airport does receive occasional grants from the state and federal government for safety and environmental improvements, however those grants are primarily funded through a system of aviation user fees collected through taxes on fuel, airfare, etc.

What existing contractual obligations does the NAA hold?

The NAA currently has three existing sets of contractual obligations with various government agencies and customers:

State and federal obligations currently exist through 2043.

Contractual obligations with tenants through 2053.

Existing lease with the City of Naples through 2068.

Does the NAA need the FAA to make changes to flight procedures?

According to federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintains exclusive authority over all matters of airspace.  Any changes to aircraft altitudes, flight paths, runway use, or hours of operations require approval by the FAA.  Neither the NAA nor the City of Naples can enact any changes or restrictions without prior FAA approval.  See the enclosed memo, Federal Preemption of Local Regulation of Aeronautical Operations.’

If the Naples Airport was private, would you be able to limit the number of aircraft using the airport, or to limit what kind of aircraft use it?

An airport in the Town of East Hampton, NY, is pursuing this concept as a means of implementing restrictions on use. It’s difficult to establish because federal law expressly prohibits any new use restrictions put in place at an airport – whether by local governments or airport sponsors – without  prior FAA approval.

To date, this has been affirmed by multiple, ongoing lawsuits between the Town of East Hampton and its residents, businesses, airport users, and industry associations. Courts have found those actions illegal and have prohibited the restrictions from being enacted.  Despite this, the Town of East Hampton has spent nearly $7 million in legal fees since 2018 on these efforts.

Can the airport allow access to only citizens who use their privately owned aircraft, and not allow charter and fractional aircraft who are non-residents?

No, federal law prohibits discrimination in allowing certain types of aircraft or operators to use an airport while prohibiting others that are safely able to do so. These laws prohibit an airport from arbitrarily deciding that some aircraft may land, and others may not.

For example, an airport and a highway are both considered public transportation. Just as cars and trucks use an interstate highway system, aircraft are entitled to use any public airport they can safely land at. However, Naples Airport’s runways have a 75,000-pound weight limit, so aircraft heavier than that aren’t able to land here.

Notably, it’s not accurate to say that those who use fractional or charter services are not residents. In 2020 and 2021, the NAA hired an independent research firm to survey passengers using the airport. The studies found that more than 80 percent of jet passengers either lived in Naples or were here to purchase a home.

Can the NAA require those aircraft to use another airport, such as RSW?

No, federal law prohibits discrimination in allowing certain types of aircraft or operators to use an airport while prohibiting others that are safely able to do so. These laws prohibit an airport from arbitrarily deciding that some aircraft may land, and others may not.

In 2023, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Page Field (FMY) airports, which are operated by the Lee County Port Authority (LCPA), received nearly 2,600 noise comments, compared to 496 received by the Naples Airport.

In response to recent letters to the editor from Naples residents that suggest sending Naples jet traffic to RSW, Ft. Myers residents have begun responding with their own letters to the editor stating that they have enough air traffic and don’t want additional air traffic from Naples.

Does the Naples Airport have more flights than Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)?

In calendar year 2023 the Naples Airport had less than half of the 2021 jet traffic of RSW.  Below is a chart comparing operations at Naples, Southwest Florida International and Page Field Airports.

AirportTotal OperationsJet Operations
Naples (APF)119,92745,655
Southwest Florida International (RSW)101,408*97,096*

(large commercial jets)

Page Field (FMY)203,503Data not available

*Calendar year 2021data was the most updated information available for RSW.

Additionally, the jets operating at RSW are considerably larger than anything operating at the Naples Airport.  The Naples Airport’s maintains a 75,000-pound weight limit, with aircraft that average 9 seats each while those at RSW average 150 seats per aircraft.

FY 2023 operations are also considerably lower than the number of flights that the Naples Airport experienced at its peak nearly 20 years ago.  In 2005, the Naples Airport had over 163,000 flights and for many years operated well above the current level of operations.

It has also been stated that during season a jet flies overhead every three minutes.  While true for certain periods of time on some days, especially around the holidays, a jet every three minutes during season would equate to more than double the jet operations the Naples Airport actually handles during that timeframe.

Do the City’s taxpayers subsidize the NAA since it only pays $1 per year on its lease?

The Florida Legislature created the Naples Airport Authority in 1969 at the request of the City of Naples because the airport was unprofitable and causing the City to fund the airport with taxpayer funds.  The City leased the Naples Airport to the NAA for 99 years for a rent of $1 per year.  This eliminated the financial burden on the City and its residents.  Since that time the airport has received no funds from the city, directly or indirectly and in fact the NAA paid for the construction of City Fire Station #3 and continues to pay for the equipment, salary and benefits of the firefighters that serve both the airport and surrounding community at a cost of nearly $1 million per year paid for by the NAA.  The NAA also provides land and maintenance for portions of the Greenway at no expense to the City.

Additionally, in 2022 the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) estimated that the airport has a $781 million economic impact on the local economy. This further underscores the importance of the airport to the area’s tourism and real estate based economy.

Is the Naples Airport one of the top ten busiest general aviation airports in the Country?

Naples is not one of the 10 busiest general aviation airports in the country, in fact it is not near the top 10. In 2020 the Naples Airport had 104,179 operations, far outside of the top 10 General Aviation airports in the US.

AirportNumber of Operations (2020)
1.                  Van Nuys Airport487,420
2.                  Phoenix Deer Valley373,961
3.                  Centennial Airport286,842
4.                  Long Beach Airport253,646
5.                  Ernest A. Love Field262,523
6.                  Portland-Hillsboro Airport243,642
7.                  Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport233,246
8.                  Falcon Field228,358
9.                  Grand Forks International Airport224,959
10.              Gillespie Field208,250

Source: Private Jet Card Comparisons

However, in 2021 during the peak of the pandemic, the Naples Airport was the 10th busiest airport for private jet activity in the US.  As of September 202, jet activity has decreased 15% compared to last year and is no longer among the top 10 busiest airports in the US for private jet activity.

Are aircraft currently violating the FAA’s minimum safe altitude by flying too low over downtown Naples?

FAA Code of Federal Regulation 91.119 requires aircraft to fly at a minimum safe altitude of 1,000’ over congested areas, however this does not apply to aircraft in the process of taking off and landing.

 

Can the airport enact restrictions on the type and volume of aircraft using the airport if it stops accepting grants?

Regardless of whether the NAA accepts grants, the airport is still subject to federal laws and regulations designed to protect air travel, including the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.  These laws and regulations explicitly prohibit an airport or local government from enacting restrictions without FAA approval regardless of any grant acceptances.  The FAA has never approved an access restriction.

The NAA last accepted a grant from the FAA in 2023 to construct runway drainage improvements and has received $51.9 million in federal and state grants over the past 20 years.  Those federal and state grant assurances extend through 2043.  Grant assurances pertaining to airport revenue use, exclusive rights and civil rights remain in perpetuity despite expiration of the 20-year period.

Additionally, when federal grant funds are used to purchase land as the NAA has previously done, grant assurances apply so long as the airport remains in operation.

In 2022, East Hampton Airport (NY) reached the end of their FAA grant assurances.  Despite this, the Town of East Hampton has lost numerous legal challenges to their attempts to privatize the airport and enact restrictions.  To date, all of their attempts to restrict airport operations have been deemed illegal in court.  The airport continues to operate today without restrictions.

Blue Ash Airport, Reid-Hillview Airport, Richards-Gebaur Airport, Santa Monica Airport and St. Claire Regional Airport have also declined federal funding. These airports did so as part of a long-term effort to close the airport entirely, and the process often did not result in the desired outcome. Read more here.

Since the NAA maintains a “monopoly” on fuel sales, can’t they increase prices to reduce the volume of traffic?

No, federal regulations limit a public airport to charge prices that are “fair and reasonable” with an emphasis on recovering the operating and capital expenses of the airport.

What would be the advantage of adding private fixed-based operators at Naples Airport?

If the airports fixed base operator (FBO), Naples Aviation, were replaced with privately owned businesses, it would likely result in a competitive environment where multiple businesses would take steps to increase their market share per their business plan. Private FBO’s compete and market themselves to attract more business, which could increase the number of flights at the airport.

Additionally, it would greatly limit the relationships and face-to-face conversations the airport’s staff has with pilots and customers to educate them about Fly Safe Fly Quiet initiatives.

Who has authority over flight activities and the use of runways at Naples Airport?

All matters of airspace – including altitudes, flight paths, runway use, timing, and frequency – are solely under the jurisdiction of the FAA. Simply put, they are outside of NAA’s control.

Why can’t the Naples Airport use its cash reserves to pay for capital improvements instead of accepting state and federal grants?

Without grants, the Naples Airport would exhaust its reserves within five years, based on the current capital projects plan. Those projects, including runway rehabilitation for safety purposes, total more than $125 million, and it’s estimated that if grants are awarded, they will fund about half that amount.

MITIGATION EFFORTS

What is the NAA doing to address aircraft noise concerns?

In addition to the more than $10 million invested in noise abatement efforts since 2000, the NAA has adopted the following measures and efforts to address the community’s concern with aircraft noise:

  • Voluntary (due to federal law) flying curfews from 10 PM to 7 AM. Incentives are offered for pilots to change their travel plans outside of Quiet Hours.
  • Ban on Stage 1 and Stage 2 jet aircraft, which are the oldest and noisiest types of jet aircraft.
  • Redirection of approaching and departing aircraft over commercial areas to reduce noise over heavily populated residential developments.
  • Preferred routes for arriving and departing helicopters over major roadways, away from residential areas.
  • Departure turn headings to route northbound aircraft traffic over industrial areas and away from residential areas.
  • Engine maintenance run-ups are prohibited from 10 PM until 7 AM. Daytime run-ups restricted to the center of the airport to reduce noise in the residential areas closest to the airport.
  • Noise Abatement Hotline (239-643-1879) and Noise Comment Form to report excessive airport noise.
  • Letters mailed monthly to all operators flying during the voluntary curfew, reiterating the importance of flying as quietly as possible and observing the curfew.  Operators are also called by NAA staff.
  • The Noise Compatibility Committee, which holds regular meetings that are open to the public. Meeting notices are published on our website and officially posted in the General Aviation Terminal.
  • Submitted a nearly $2 million Part 150 Noise Study (the NAA’s 4th such effort) a voluntary but federally regulated process for determining noise impacts and evaluating possible mitigation techniques.
  • Posting of names and contact information for the top curfew violators at the top of the NAA’s home page flynaples.com
  • Live flight tracking available to the public for help in determining information about aircraft overflights.
  • Curfew information included in leasing and badging documents for airport tenants and users.
  • Publish information about the Fly Safe Fly Quiet program and curfew throughout the airport and on the NAA’s web site.
  • Created an Enhanced Fly Safe Fly Quiet Program to recognize the most noise conscious operators.

For more information on Noise Abatement at the Naples Airport, please contact Zachary Burch, Community Engagement/Communications Manager, at 239.643.0733 or email zburch@flynaples.com.

Why are pilots allowed to fly at all hours of the night?

FAA regulations prevent the airport from instituting a mandatory curfew. However, the NAA has made concerted efforts to establish and actively promote a voluntary “Quiet Hours” curfew program to deter pilots from flying between 10 PM and 7 AM.

Currently, the airport has over 98% compliance with the curfew, including a 22% year-over-year decrease in 2023, and continually looks for additional ways to improve that number.

What is the NAA doing to incentivize curfew compliance?

Airport staff is currently working on further outreach to aircraft owners about the importance of following the Quiet Hours curfew and the impact that nighttime flying has on the community.

The airport contacts aircraft operators that violate the curfew to explain the importance of abiding by the curfew.

Letters are mailed to all operators flying during the voluntary curfew to reiterate the importance of flying as quietly as possible and observing the curfew.  Staff also calls every curfew operator with contact information.

The NAA has also established a Fly Safe Fly Quiet campaign, which includes efforts such as:

  • Signage and flyers that communicate the importance of curfew compliance and other noise mitigation strategies.
  • Pilot incentives to adjust arrival or departure times
  • Posting of names and contact information for the top curfew violators at the top of the NAA’s home page.
  • Curfew information included in leasing and badging documents for airport tenants and users.
  • New landing pages for Wi-Fi and flight planning computer that direct users straight to information about the Fly Safe Fly Quiet program and curfew information.

What is the Noise Compatibility Committee?

The Noise Compatibility Committee (NCC) was formed in 1997 to help the airport maintain its rigorous Noise Abatement Program, represent the community, and make recommendations regarding noise mitigation and abatement.

The NCC is made up of 9 citizen volunteers representing different geographic and stakeholder groups around the airport.  Additional information about the NCC, including contact information, can be found here.

Is aircraft noise a Citywide issue?

The effects of aircraft noise largely impact a small swath of the City of Naples, predominately the southern portion of the Old Naples neighborhood.  Recommendations to disperse aircraft departures (and associated noise) have resulted in angst and opposition by other neighborhoods within the City including Port Royal, Royal Harbor, the Moorings, Aqualane Shores, Park Shore and the Gulfshore Association of Condos.  As a result, this has become a citywide issue.

The Fly Safe Fly Quiet Program has helped, but what else can be done?

The NAA has recently enhanced its Fly Safe Fly Quiet program to include a Top Operator Leaderboard, which rewards curfew compliance, aircraft altitudes on landing and the most modern/quietest fleet and will be publicized quarterly.

Has the NAA made efforts to change federal law related to noise mitigation?

Yes, in 2023 the NAA, along with the City of Naples, attempted to lobby Congress to adopt three changes to the FAA Reauthorization Bill that would have helped mitigate aircraft noise impacts.

  1. Allow the airport to levy charges on nighttime activity to promote compliance with the voluntary curfew between 10PM and 7AM.
  2. Allow the airport to limit the number of hourly arrivals.
  3. Allow the airport to ban stage 3 jets, the oldest and noisiest jets remining in the fleet today.

Unfortunately, despite numerous meetings and multiple trips to Washington, D.C., these efforts were unsuccessful.  However, the NAA remains committed to seeking changes to federal law that will allow the airport to make sensible changes to improve noise mitigation.

Can the airport enact restrictions on the type and volume of aircraft using the airport if it stops accepting federal grants?

Regardless of whether the NAA accepts grants, the airport is still subject to federal laws and regulations designed to protect air travel, including the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.  These laws and regulations explicitly prohibit an airport or local government from enacting restrictions without FAA approval regardless of any grant acceptances.  The FAA has never approved an access restriction.

The NAA last accepted a grant from the FAA in 2023 to construct runway drainage improvements, and during the past 20 years has received $51.9 million in federal and state grants. Those federal and state grant assurances extend through 2043. Grant assurances pertaining to airport revenue use, exclusive rights, and civil rights remain in perpetuity – beyond the end of the 20-year period.

Additionally, when federal grant funds are used to purchase land, as the NAA has previously done, grant assurances apply so long as the airport remains in operation.

For example, East Hampton Airport (NY) reached the end of their FAA grant assurances in 2020. Despite this, the Town of East Hampton has lost numerous legal challenges in their attempts to privatize the airport and enact restrictions. To date, each of their attempts to restrict airport operations has been deemed illegal in court, so that airport continues to operate today without restrictions.

Other airports which have also declined federal funding include Blue Ash Airport, Reid-Hillview Airport, Richards-Gebaur Airport, Santa Monica Airport, and St. Claire Regional Airport. They did so as part of a long-term effort to close the airport entirely, and the process often did not result in the desired outcome. Read more here.

PART 150 NOISE STUDY

What is a Part 150 Noise Study?

A Part 150 Airport Noise Study, is a voluntary process that an airport can undertake to evaluate opportunities to mitigate noise impacts to the surrounding community. It provides a federally regulated process for airport operators, pilots, neighboring communities, and the FAA to evaluate opportunities to address community concerns regarding aircraft noise while preserving safety and the operational capabilities of the airport.

Most importantly, the Part 150 Noise Study process provides the NAA with the opportunity to be an advocate for the community in addressing aircraft noise issues under the control of the FAA.

Additional information about the Part 150 Noise Study can be found here.

What are the goals of the Part 150 Noise Study?

Detailed analyses of aircraft noise.

Identify existing and future flight corridors.

Develop aircraft noise exposure maps to illustrate current and future conditions.

Evaluate air traffic control procedures that could be implemented to reduce noise exposure over residential areas.

Consider land use measures that could reduce future incompatible land uses within high noise areas.

Evaluate means to mitigate noise impacts within high noise exposure areas.

What is involved in the Part 150 Noise Study?

Part 150 studies typically consist of two primary components:

  1. Development of Noise Exposure Maps (NEMs)

Detailed information and maps showing existing and 5-year future airport/aircraft noise exposure patterns.

  1. Preparation of a Noise Compatibility Program (NCP)

During the NCP, the NAA will produce several supplemental analyses including seasonal contours, a detailed population study and runway use analysis. This data and analysis will then be used to develop noise abatement and noise mitigation options/programs for FAA review.

The Part 150 Noise Study must be prepared in accordance with guidance provided by the FAA and submitted to the FAA for their review and approval.

What will the results of the study look like?

As part of the Part 150 Noise Study, the NAA and its consultant mapped existing (2021) and future (2026) aircraft noise exposure levels in the vicinity of the Naples Airport as part of the NEM development. The NEM was submitted to the FAA in August 2021 and approved in December 2021. The full NEM report can be viewed here.

The NEM Report provides a set of noise maps that identify areas exposed to aircraft noise of Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) 65 decibels and higher.

After the completion of the NEMs, the NAA undertook the NCP process to examine potential measures for improving aircraft noise compatibility with the surrounding communities. During this stage of the study, a large number of feasible mitigation measures were considered and analyzed in collaboration with the community and other key stakeholders. These include operational, remedial, land use, preventative, and administrative measures.

The measures providing the greatest potential to improve compatibility were submitted to the FAA for review and approval in June 2023.

Measures approved by the FAA will be implemented and incorporated into the Naples Airport’s overall Noise Program.

What kinds of recommendations can be made to the FAA?

The Part 150 process will evaluate a number of potential operations recommendations that require FAA approval, including changes to flight paths, altitudes, arrival and departure procedures and more. Additionally, land use and programmatic recommendations will also be evaluated and submitted to the FAA.

While the FAA only approves recommendations in the NCP that would reduce noise impacts to noncompatible land uses, voluntary measures identified during the study may also be recommended for implementation or be investigated independently by the NAA and other key stakeholder groups.

However, because these voluntary measures are not recognized by the FAA as part of the Part 150 Noise Study process, they can be encouraged and promoted, but not enforced. Their success is ultimately dependent on cooperation of the aircraft operators.

Any restrictions on aircraft activity, as defined by the FAA, that result from the Part 150 process must go through a Part 161 Process to be enforced.

(See https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-14/chapter-I/subchapter-I/part-161)

How long will the study take to complete?

Part 150 Noise Studies vary in duration depending on several factors, including

  • The complexity of the airport operations and local airspace
  • Availability of data
  • Public outreach activity
  • Agency review periods

The NAA is committed to taking the time required to provide the FAA with best possible NEMs and an NCP that meets all federal requirements and are most likely to result in FAA approval.

  • Phase 1 of the two-part study, preparing the Noise Exposure Map (NEM) report, was completed in August 2021, and approved by the FAA in December 2021.
  • Phase 2, development of the Noise Compatibility Program (NCP), began in late 2021 and is expected was submitted to the FAA in June 2023.
  • A final FAA determination on the measures submitted is anticipated in 2024.

How is noise measured in the areas surrounding the airport?

The FAA has developed the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) for evaluating aircraft noise exposure in the vicinity of airports. The AEDT is a computer model which uses an entire year of flight data to develop aircraft Noise Exposure Maps.

AEDT uses a federal database of aircraft noise data to create DNL maps based on the types and number of aircraft operations, annual average airport operating conditions, aircraft performance, and aircraft flight patterns.

Use of AEDT also allows for prediction of future noise conditions resulting from changes in aircraft activity levels, aircraft types, flight procedures or other operational factors.

Sound measurements collected from external noise monitoring devices are not recognized by the FAA.

How is “Noncompatible Land Use” identified?

A noncompatible land use means that the sound exposure (DNL) at a given property is above the thresholds identified by the FAA.

The thresholds for determining the compatibility of land use vary depending on the current use of the land. For example, for residential land use, the threshold is DNL 65, but for commercial land use (offices, business and professional), the threshold is DNL 70.

The City of Naples and Collier County have both adopted the DNL 60 contour as their threshold for noncompatibility. As a result, the non-compatibility threshold for residential property in Collier County is the DNL 60.

Are airports obligated to conduct Noise Studies?

No, airports that choose to conduct a Part 150 Noise Study do so voluntarily with the goal of improving compatibility between the airport and the surrounding communities. In fact, airports must apply to the FAA for permission before undertaking a study.

Has a Part 150 Noise Study been prepared for the Naples Airport in the past?

This is the fourth Part 150 Noise Study Update for the Naples Airport.

The first Noise Study was completed in 1987 and approved by the FAA in 1989.

The most recently approved study, prior to the one currently underway, was completed in 1997. The approved 1997 NCP included six operational measures, four land use measures, and five program measures for improving compatibility.

An update was initiated in 2010, but the study findings determined that there was no basis for modifying the 1997 NCP, as no new measures were identified that would offer improved noise compatibility.

The current study began in early 2020 and was submitted to the FAA in June 2023.

What makes this study different than those conducted in the past?

The last FAA-approved Part 150 Noise Study was completed more than 20 years ago (1997). Changes in aircraft fleet mix, operational levels and land use warrant an updated evaluation of the airport noise environment and potential measures for addressing aircraft noise impacts.

The Part 150 Noise Study will be based on actual real-world operational data and will reflect the current operational characteristics at APF.

The NAA’s goals are to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acceptance of the NEMs and approval of the NCP, which will include noise mitigation and abatement measures to address community concerns regarding aircraft noise, while preserving safety and the operational capabilities of the Airport.

The NAA is also committed to conducting an extensive public outreach process that exceeds federal requirements. Opportunities for community and stakeholder input were robust throughout the study and helped to provide valuable insight from various stakeholders, including residents.

Who are the stakeholders of the study, and what are their roles?

The major stakeholders of the airport that provided input for the Part 150 Noise Study include the NAA, the FAA, elected officials, pilots, and residents.

NAPLES AIRPORT AUTHORITY

The NAA is the sponsor of this Part 150 Noise Study and is responsible for planning and assisting with the implementation of actions designed to reduce the effect of noise on residents of the surrounding area. Such actions, if approved by the FAA, may include noise abatement procedures, sound insulation, and other measures that do not discriminate among aircraft operators, create an unsafe situation, impede the management of the air system, or interfere with interstate or foreign commerce.

Any operational procedure recommended by NAA must first be approved by the FAA. To be approved, a measure must demonstrate that it provides a noise benefit for non-compatible land uses, while not impacting safety.

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

The FAA has the primary role to ensure safe and efficient use of the National Airspace System. FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC) is responsible for the movement of aircraft on the airfield and in the air, and the FAA has the sole authority to implement noise abatement operational procedures.

Any noise abatement procedures considered by the FAA must be consistent with air safety and all legal requirements and demonstrate a reduction in noise for non-compatible uses. The FAA makes the final determination on any new procedures resulting from a Part 150 Noise Study.

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Local elected officials (Collier County and the City of Naples) have the responsibility to provide for land use planning, zoning, and housing regulations that limit land use near airports to those compatible with airport operations.

PILOTS

In both commercial and general aviation, the pilot has the ultimate responsibility for the safe operation of their aircraft. Although ATC assigns the flight track and altitude, the pilot still maintains the authority to make the final judgment due to safety. In general, it is up to the pilot to adhere to noise abatement procedures.

RESIDENTS

The residents in areas surrounding an airport and throughout the City of Naples and Collier County are asked to attend meetings, provide input regarding noise concerns, and strive to understand actions that can and cannot be taken to minimize the effects of aircraft noise.

How can I stay updated on the study’s progress?

The Part 150 Noise Study website will be updated with information as it becomes available, and periodic updates will be posted.

NAPLES AIRPORT NOISE STUDY

Anyone interested in the current Noise Study and other activity at the airport are also encouraged to subscribe to receive email updates, which are distributed on a regular basis by the NAA.

SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE AIRPORT NEWSLETTERS

Is noise reduced 10-fold for every 1,000 feet of altitude?

For every doubling of altitude (e.g. increasing altitude from 1,000’ to 2,000’ or from 2,000’ to 4,000’) noise decreases by 6 decibels. People generally cannot notice a change of less than 3dB, whereas a reduction of 5-6 dB is readily noticeable. A reduction of 10 dB is generally perceived as being half as loud.

The benefits are reduced at higher altitudes as it becomes harder to distinguish noise from aircraft noise relative to noise from other sources.

Do pilots agree that flying at 2,000’ over the City is unsafe, and are bird strikes a major concern at those altitudes?

At the November 21, joint meeting of the Naples City Council and the NAA Board of Commissioners, a professional pilot explained that the safest place for aircraft to be is over a “wide open body of water”.  He further explained that “the current route is the best route for safety” and that “it helps to mitigate the risk to people on the ground, the pilots and passengers”.  Similar statements have been made by other pilots throughout the Noise Study.

Now that the Part 150 is complete, what’s next?

Several noise abatement recommendations were identified as a result of the Part 150 Study.  Since all flight procedures must be approved by the FAA, the NAA has hired two outside firms to proactively design these procedures for submission to the FAA for approval.  By hiring these outside firms, at a cost of over $2 million, the NAA will likely reduce the time for design and approval by several years, compared to waiting for the FAA to design them.

COMMUNITY ALIGNMENT & IMPACT

What economic impact does the airport have on the city?

In 2022, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) determined that the Naples Airport has a $781 million annual positive economic impact on the community. A 44% increase since the previous study conducted by FDOT in 2019.

The NAA pays the City of Naples for utility, police and fire fighting services and has also built, equipped, and maintained City Fire Station #3 at a benefit to the city of more than $1 million per year, as well as several stormwater and environmental facilities. It also builds and maintains internal roadways and utilities, and has constructed many of the external roadway improvements, including horticultural beautification and bicycle paths.  All of this is paid for by airport user fees, and without the use of any local tax dollars.

Is the NAA properly incentivized to be a committed partner to the community?

Our commitment is, and has always been, to minimize the adverse impacts of aircraft noise on the community to the extent feasible.

Multiple outside studies have also shown that over 80% of our passengers are local residents, meaning that the success of the airport largely relies on the attractiveness and livability of the community as a whole.

How does the airport impact the value of my property?

The Florida Department of Transportation estimates that the Naples Airport has an annual economic impact of $781 million on the local economy. The airport is an economic engine that positively impacts the local economy and in turn is partly responsible for the continued increase in local property values.

Additionally, data included in the chart below shows a corollary relationship between jet operations and city and county taxable value.

Is aircraft activity at Naples Airport causing air pollution?

Overall, transportation is responsible for 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data#Sector)

Aviation is responsible for 12% of transportation emissions compared to 74% from road transport. It is important to note that average daily aircraft activity at the Naples airport is 310 operations, compared to the following average annual daily traffic (AADT) counts for our nearby streets:

Airport road: 40,000

Golden Gate: 42,000 – 49,000

Pine Ridge: 48,000 – 52,000

I-75: 70,000 – 75,000

US-41: 31,000 – 34000

According to the Air Transport Action Group, the global aviation industry accounts for approximately 2.1% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

(Source: https://www.atag.org/facts-figures.html)

General aviation, including aircraft used for business, represents only .20% of global annual CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement making.

(Source: https://terrapass.com/blog/sustainability-35000-feet-business-aviation-climate-change)

In 2021, the American Lung Association rated Collier County an “A” for ambient air quality/ozone.

Do aircraft contribute to the “soot-like” material I have seen around the city?

Naples has both a high pollen count and high humidity. When pollen mildews, it turns black and sticky.  Throughout the years, the NAA and City of Naples have conducted a number of laboratory tests on suspected “soot”.

In 2008, the NAA commissioned an outside laboratory to conduct an independent analysis of material found at a home under the flight path approximately a half mile southeast of the airport.  The study concluded that the “substance appears to be pollen”.

(Source: 2008 Analysis Results)

In 2012, the City of Naples commissioned a study through a licensed engineering and geology firm to investigate and test the black soot that some Naples residents find outside on their terraces and cars. The study results showed that the material was pollen consistent with that of palm trees and was not petroleum-based.

(Sources: www.flynaples.com/NDN-6.2012 and City of Naples Analysis Report)

In 2018, the NAA commissioned a different firm to test a sample on a roof tile from a home under a flight path two miles northeast of the airport in the Wyndemere subdivision. That test showed the same results.

(Source: www.flynaples.com/DaaneLabsReport-4.2018)

In 2023, the NAA commissioned a licensed, outside laboratory to collect samples from 5 locations near the runway or in the flight paths of the Naples Airport.  Test results showed no traces of lead or TPH, the type of hydrocarbon most closely associated with aviation fuel, in any of the samples.

(Source: A summary may be found here or the full report may be viewed here.)

Additionally, according to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency, emissions from the Naples Airport account for only 0.6% of emissions in Collier County.

Do aircraft at the Naples Airport Use leaded fuel?

Small piston-engine aircraft do use 100 low-lead fuel, also known as avgas. This type of fuel makes up approximately 2% of fuel sales at the Naples Airport. Beginning in June 2023, Naples Airport began offering UL94 (94 octane unleaded fuel) for piston-engine aircraft, as an environmentally cleaner alternative to traditional aviation gasoline.  The NAA also subsidizes the cost of the UL94 for tenants so that cost will not be a prohibitive issue for pilots.

The FAA along with the aviation and fueling industries are committed to finding an unleaded replacement for avgas by 2030 or sooner. As a member of the EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions) Initiative the NAA is working with counterparts from across the country to develop an alternative that will be safe for all piston aircraft, however a federal ban on the sale of avgas before a viable alternative is developed would have drastic economic and safety ramifications for communities across Florida and the US. Additional information on the EAGLE Initiative may be found here.

How much does the Naples Airport contribute to emissions in Collier County?

According to the Environemtal Protection Agency, the Naples Airport contributes just 0.6% of overall emissions in Collier County.

Emissions Source (Collier County)Percent Total
Naples Municipal Airport0.6%
Other Collier County Airports0.6%
Highway Vehicles68.5%
Off-Highway Vehicles14.4%
Marine Vessels1.8%
Waste Disposal0.9%
Other Sources13.3%
Total100%

 

Source: Enivronmental Protection Agency National Emissions Inventory Data

What has the NAA done to be a good partner to the surrounding Naples communities?

The Naples Airport is proud of the number of public services that are based at the airport, including:

  • City of Naples Fire Station #3
  • Collier Mosquito Control District
  • Collier County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Aviation Teams
  • Collier EMS MedFlight
  • Angel Flight Southeast
  • Civil Air Patrol, a US Air Force auxiliary
  • Humane Society of Collier County

Each of these agencies provide critical services when the community needs them most.

The Naples Airport was the recipient of the 2015 J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award for its water-management system upgrade to remove an open water canal and create a water-management pond on airport property. This work improves the quality of water by treating runoff from the industrial park before it leaves airport property and removes a major wildlife attractant from the immediate airside area.

The Naples Airport also received the 2022 J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award for its Comprehensive Wildlife Management Program, aimed at increasing safety for both aircraft and wildlife around the airport.

The NAA is also a proud partner of the Gordon River Greenway, and has developed 2 miles of trails, boardwalks, and bridges on airport property. The Greenway is dog-friendly and contains fishing and look-out piers, a kayak/canoe launch with storage rack, bike racks, restrooms with water fountains, a playground with a treehouse, and picnic pavilions.  The NAA continues to maintain the Greenway and pathways at no cost to City or County residents.

The airport also provides an observation deck that is open to the public, with a small exercise area as well as a pavilion situated to watch aircraft arrivals and departures, with Air Traffic Control communications broadcast through a speaker.

Is the Naples Airport relocating?

In November 2023 the NAA Board of Commissioners approved a feasibility study to outline the process, identify potential sites, prepare a preliminary cost estimate and summarize other key considerations pertaining to the potential relocation of the Naples Airport.  The study will not include analysis or a recommendation on whether or not to move.  The study is estimated to be complete in 2024.

RESIDENT RESOURCES

Where can I read about the history of the Naples Airport?

The Naples Airport has a fascinating history dating back to its founding as a WW II Army Air Base.  Additional information about the airport can be found at the following links.

https://www.flynaples.com/about/

https://www.flynaples.com/noise-program-milestones/

Airport staff also leads free tours of the airport and gives presentations to groups that include information on the history of the airport and its development alongside the City.

How can I schedule a presentation from airport staff?

Naples Airport Authority representatives are available to speak with the community to educate and inform the public about Naples Airport. To learn more or to schedule a presentation for your group visit Airport – Speakers Bureau

What are the best methods for sending feedback on airport-related activity?

For general questions of comments residents and the public can contact the airport at 239-643-0733 or NAA@flynaples.com.

The Noise Abatement Hotline was created to enable community residents to call and leave a report about aircraft related noise events. Upon receipt of a report, airport staff will initiate an investigation into the event and provide a response (if requested).

NOISE ABATEMENT HOTLINE:

(239) 643-1879

NOISE COMMENT FORM:

www.planenoise.com/kapf.

How can I stay informed on airport activity, upcoming meetings, and other APF updates?

SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:

https://www.flynaples.com/ (scroll to the bottom of the page)

READ THE NAA COMMUNITY BLOG:

https://www.flynaples.com/category/news/blog-community/

FOLLOW NAA ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Naples-Airport-104714542110947

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naplesairportapf/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/naples-airport-authority/

Presentations to groups and organizations are also available. Contact Zac Burch to set up a presentation: 239-643-0733 or zburch@flynaples.com.

How do I make inquiries about airport operations and how they impact my prospective real estate decisions?

Prospective residents are encouraged to acquaint themselves with noise and flight paths in the vicinity of a prospective home by visiting the property several times during peak seasonal activity (between January – April on Thursdays, Sundays and during holiday weekends).

The maps below show heat maps of the jet arrivals and departures in 2021.

Jet Arrivals

Jet Departures

Additionally, the NAA invites current and prospective residents to inquire about aircraft operations and meet with airport staff before making a home purchasing decision.

Contact the NAA Communications Office at 239-643-0733 for more information.

How can we measure aircraft noise in the community?

In 2023 the NAA purchased two portable noise monitors.  The monitors can be placed throughout the community to measure both aircraft and community (vehicle, lawnmower, etc) noise.  If you are interested in having one of the monitors at your home or business, please contact Zachary Burch at zburch@flynaples.com or 239-643-0733.