Frequently Asked Questions
The Noise Abatement Program staff regularly provides information to the surrounding communities about the Airport and the Noise Abatement Program. We have provided responses to some of the most frequently asked questions received in the last few weeks by area residents.
1. Why aren’t all aircraft flying up I-95?
Before the I-95 Turn was implemented in February 1994, all jets were directed to fly straight out to the east to the ocean, which at the time included a large number of much louder Stage 2 jets. The City of Fort Lauderdale, the community and the airport tenants worked with the FAA to implement the I-95 Turn. Today, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., the FAA directs jets, that are departing Runway 8 with destinations to the west and north, to turn to the left over the I-95 industrial corridor. This allows the jets to gain altitude before flying over residential areas. The FAA also turns all jets to the left up I-95 during the late night hours, regardless of destination, between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except for air ambulance flights, emergencies, and adverse weather conditions.
The City is continuing to work with the FAA to extend the hours of the I-95 Turn to the greatest extent possible and has asked for support from the federally elected officials regarding this issue was directed by the FAA to conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) before they would pursuing further considerations. The City is currently conducting an EA review.
2. Have the flight patterns or routes changed?
The FAA-established flight routes for arriving and departing aircraft have not changed. However, seasonal changes in wind direction occur at this time of year as cold fronts move into the area. These temporary changes in wind direction cause the flow of air traffic to shift from a predominately west-to-east flow to an east-to-west flow.
3. Is the number of aircraft operations increasing?
Overall, total traffic at Executive Airport has decreased over 30% since 2000. Economic conditions, such as the price of fuel, cost of insurance, and overall operating costs, have impacted the amount of sport and recreational activity that takes place. However, the Airport has experienced an increase in the amount of corporate jet activity over the same period, reflecting the business environment in South Florida. Fortunately, this increase has been by the quieter, Stage 3 jets, which currently represent 91% of the jet activity at the Airport.
In 2008, total traffic at the Airport decreased by nearly twenty-thousand takeoffs and landings, according to the FAA’s traffic count.
4. Do commercial airline flights fly into Executive Airport?
No. The FAA categorizes Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport as a General Aviation (GA) airport. General Aviation is non-airline aviation that includes business/ corporate aircraft, personally owned aircraft, and aviation businesses such as charter, sightseeing, or flight training. The FAA prohibits the operation of scheduled air carriers, such as regional or major airlines, at GA airports.
5. Why does the airport need a new Control Tower?
The existing Control Tower, built in 1972, is seventeen (17) years past it’s 20-year design life. The FAA needs to replace the current Tower with one that is constructed to meet the new FAA Tower Security requirements and to withstand hurricane storms. The new Tower would provide a better vantage point of our airport and is important to help ensure the safe operation of aircraft. The Control Tower is an integral part of the FXE Noise Abatement Program that relies on controllers to instruct jet aircraft to make the I-95 Turn and to take off to the west at night, when wind conditions are calm.
6. Will the Foreign-Trade Zone bring cargo aircraft? And why does the Executive Airport need a Foreign-Trade Zone?
The goal of the Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) is to offer manufacturing and distribution companies in the area cost-saving opportunities and economic incentives. The FTZ is also part of the City’s overall program to promote job retention and growth and to attract new businesses to the area.
The City’s FTZ designation does not change the character of the Airport or the types of airplanes that use FXE. Currently, no airport or industrial park tenant is using the FTZ designation. As a matter of fact, Customs does not allow cargo to be cleared at Executive Airport. The FXE Customs facility is only for clearing passengers. One company, located just south of the City, has activated in the City’s FTZ and this maritime company’s goods are transported through the seaport to and from their facility.
7. Where can I learn more about the Noise Abatement Program?
Go to http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/FXE/noise.htm.
For other questions about the Airport, contact the Executive Airport at 954-828-4955.