FFA Site

Fly Friendly Program

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Purpose

The Falcon Field Airport Fly Friendly Program was created to establish and maintain a partnership between airport and community stakeholders. The goal of the program is to minimize the effects of flight operations at Falcon Field on the surrounding community while also ensuring the long-term success of the airport, its customers, and businesses.

Fly Friendly Program Stakeholders

  • Pilots and airport users
  • Airport businesses
  • Citizens of Mesa
  • City of Mesa (City)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

General Background 

The Airport is owned and operated by the City of Mesa. However, FAA rules and regulations prohibit the City from imposing flight restrictions that limit access to the airport, such as restrictions on the hours of flight operations and bans on specific aviation businesses and aircraft types. The FAA is the only government agency with the authority to direct and control aircraft in flight.

Ultimately, the pilot of an aircraft is in control of his/her aircraft and has the authority to make decisions about that aircraft for safety reasons. Since safety always comes first, these decisions may, at times, conflict with recommended aircraft noise abatement practices and procedures.

Brief History of the Fly Friendly Program

In 2007, the City began recommending that pilots voluntarily comply with nationally-recognized noise abatement guidelines published by the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) when flying to and from Falcon Field. The City also invited stakeholders to participate on a Falcon Field Noise Committee for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an open dialogue regarding aircraft noise issues. The committee met on a quarterly basis. Representatives from the following stakeholder groups were invited to participate on the committee:

  • FAA Air Traffic Control Tower at Falcon Field (ATCT)
  • AOPA
  • Arizona Pilots Association (APA)
  • Falcon Field Tenants and Users Association (FFTUA)
  • Local citizens with an interest in aircraft noise abatement at Falcon Field
  • City of Mesa

In April 2009, the City convened a Falcon Field Ad-Hoc Task Force to evaluate and suggest reasonable solutions to concerns about aircraft noise and safety that balance and respond to the varying interests of the stakeholders. Task Force members included community members, and airport tenants and businesses, including the airport’s largest flight training academy. In August 2009, the Task Force presented to the City a list of recommended strategies for reducing aircraft noise and safety concerns.

Fly Friendly Program Today

Since 2009, most of the strategies outlined in the Task Force Mission, Goals & Recommended Strategies have been implemented, along with other subsequent strategies that have been developed. Efforts are ongoing to continue to find ways to maintain a balance between the various stakeholders’ interests.

The City holds community check-in meetings throughout the year that are open to pilots, airport tenants/users, and the general public. The purpose of these meetings is to give stakeholders an opportunity to express their comments and concerns about how the Fly Friendly Program is working and to provide a public forum for offering reasonable solutions to concerns that still exist. For information about upcoming meetings, visit the Events Calendar or contact the Falcon Field Airport Administration Office at 480-644-2450 or airport.info@mesaaz.gov

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