Noise Abatement and Operational Control Procedures

The aircraft overflight program at RSW has continually evolved over the past twenty years. An initial program was established five years before the opening of the new airport in 1983 and has been updated to reflect various milestones in the airport's development. Some of the current voluntary noise abatement procedures include:

  • Visual Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) to Runway 06 – Allows approved airline operators to fly a precise path over more compatible land uses when landing on Runway 06.
  • Charted Visual Approach to Runway 06 – Similar to the OPD, this procedure allows a greater variety of aircraft and pilots to fly shorter approaches over more compatible land uses when landing on Runway 06.
  • Preferential Runway Use Program - Identifies Runway 06 (takeoffs and landings in a northeast direction) as the preferred runway when the wind, weather and activity permit. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Runway 24 is preferred.
  • Visual approaches – Turbojet aircraft will normally be vectored to intercept the extended runway centerline seven miles or more from the end of the runway (as activity levels permit). Aircraft on the right downwind leg to Runway 06 or left downwind leg to Runway 24 will normally be kept above 5,000 feet until they are abeam RSW. Aircraft arriving to Runway 06 and intercepting the extended runway centerline over the Gulf of Mexico west of Fort Myers Beach should remain above 3,000 feet, if able, to reduce aircraft overflight over Fort Myers Beach.
  • “Keep 'em High” - RSW participates in the “Keep 'em High” program. Turbojet aircraft are encouraged to keep as high as possible.
  • Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile - Commercial aircraft are directed to follow the Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile as defined by FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-53A.
  • Engine Run-up Restrictions - At no time shall engines be run up for test or maintenance purposes at RSW between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. local time without prior approval from the executive director or his/her representative.

These recommendations are followed to the greatest extent possible, subject to wind, weather, air traffic activity, airspace safety and efficiency. 

While it is the goal of the Port Authority to be a good neighbor by making every effort to reduce aircraft overflights over residential areas, the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) has complete sovereignty of the operation of aircraft throughout the air space of the contiguous United States. The Port Authority will continue to work with the airlines and the FAA ATCT to ensure our voluntary aircraft overflight procedures are followed without compromise to safety.


For more information, click the links below:

 Roles and Responsibilities  Airport Noise Zones (PDF)
 Noise Abatement and Operational Controls  2013 Part 150 Study
 Tips for Homeowners/Real Estate  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
 Aircraft Overflight Glossary and Acronyms  FAA – Southern Region Airports Division
 Frequently Asked Questions  Aircraft Overflight Comment Line


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