Noise Complaints

The Erie Regional Airport Authority provides residents needed transportation and brings economic strength and vitality to the region. The Erie Regional Airport Authority understands that aircraft noise and low-flying aircraft can be a concern. In order to be a good neighbor in the community, the Airport Authority works with the Federal Aviation Administration and others to maintain a compatible environment.

The Erie Regional Airport Authority documents noise complaints/low-flying aircraft to assist in land use planning, as well as to help identify emerging concerns and facilitate communication between pilots and community members. Aircraft noise/low-flying complaints do not directly influence aircraft flight paths and do not result in "warnings" or "violations" against specific pilots or aircraft in most cases.

Noise/Low-flying Aircraft Complaints

Aircraft can legally fly at altitudes that some residents find annoying or believe to be unsafe, however, only the FAA has regulatory authority over aircraft in flight. While some aircraft in flight can be bothersome to some residents, most complaints of low-flying aircraft are regarding operations that area completely within the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) for aircraft altitude. And, unfortunately the FAA does not have a simple process for lodging low-flying aircraft complaints as they require a written complaint to take formal enforcement action.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Airport operators have no legal authority over aircraft in flight. The Erie Regional Airport Authority has established noise abatement procedures; however, low flying aircraft complaints should be directed to the Allegheny FSDO office.  The limits establishing how much noise an aircraft can emit are set by Federal Law. Aircraft that operate at Erie International Airport comply with existing Federal noise standards.

While some aircraft in flight can be bothersome to some residents, most complaints of low-flying aircraft are regarding operations that area completely within the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) for aircraft altitude. For more information, the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office (FAA-FSDO) can be reached at (412) 886-2580 or online at: Allegheny FSDO office.

Aircraft Identification/Recognition
When submitting aircraft noise complaints to the airport or low-flying aircraft complaints to the FAA, it is important to identify the offending aircraft as accurately as possible. There are several books available for aircraft identification that may be helpful to the interested user and may be found through an internet search for "civil aircraft recognition guide".  When identifying aircraft, the observer should try to identify several items:

  • Aircraft Type - Jet or Propeller engines
  • Number of engines - Single engine or multiple engines
  • Engine locations - On the wings or body of the plane (fuselage), at the tail or at the front.
  • Type of wing - Straight wing or swept back
  • Wing mounting - High Wing (on top of the fuselage) or Low Wing (on the bottom of the fuselage)
  • Landing Gear - Retractable Gear (typically only visible during takeoff or landing) or Fixed Gear (visible at all times)
  • Color and Paint Scheme
  • Registration Number - can sometimes be visible on the tail
  • ERI flight tracking can be found here.

Aircraft Registration Number Research

Most aircraft display the aircraft registration or "N number" ("N" for North America) in one-foot height on the aircraft tail. However, some aircraft still retain the smaller numbers that were permitted in the past.

The FAA maintains an Aircraft Inquiry Website to research the aircraft owners by aircraft registration number to assist aircraft observers. Additionally, aircraft registered in foreign countries have different numbering schemes and start with letters other than "N". Canadian aircraft registration databases may be searched at the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register.

FAA Complaint Procedures
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has procedures to respond to the public about aircraft noise questions or complaints within the United States. You can find information below to contact an FAA official if you have a question, concern, or complaint:

If you think FAA officials are not responsive to your inquiry, you can contact FAA’s Aviation Noise Ombudsman. The Noise Ombudsman serves as a public liaison for issues about aircraft noise questions or complaints.

Contact information

Federal Aviation Administration,
Aviation Noise Ombudsman, AEE-2
800 Independence Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20591


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