Q. Who governs airspace over my property?
A. According to 49 U.S.C. section 40103:
“The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States and the FAA has the authority to prescribe air traffic regulations on the flight of aircraft, including UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems aka “drones”).”
Q. I live near a school/my neighborhood is restricted airspace why are aircraft flying above us?
A. Only the white house, active military bases, or areas controlled by a using agency (such as the Secret Service) are in restricted or prohibited special use airspace. You can see restricted or prohibited special use airspace on the FAA’s Know before you Fly website map at: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/air-space-map.
Q. There is an aircraft flying very low over my house/street/area. They are a nuisance/loud/etc… what can you do?
A. Airspace is the jurisdiction of the FAA, you can read about their regulations on low flying aircraft here. Please note, minimum altitude regulations DO NOT apply to helicopters and any aircraft associated with the military, State, local government, flight for life, or aircraft landings and takeoffs.
However, that being said:
- Military aircraft complaints may be filed through their hotline at 1-800-424-9098 or their hotline page.
- State Patrol complaints may be sent through their form on their complaint page or directly emailed to: email@example.com
- The three heliports in our area are MCR, 970-624-1050, Banner Fort Collins 970-810-6959, or McKee 970-820-6716
- To report non-compliant civilian aircraft operators call the FAA at 1-866-TELL-FAA (1-866-835-5322) or you can use their hotline page.
Please note the FAA’s minimums for reporting non-compliant aircraft:
- Identification – Can you identify the aircraft? Was it military or civil? Was it a high or low wing aircraft? What was the color? Did you record the registration number which appears on the fuselage or tail? (On U.S. registered aircraft, that number will be preceded with a capital “N” and it is required to be at least 12″ high unless it is an experimental aircraft).
If they are too high to see the “N” number this is a good indicator that they are in compliance with minimum altitude restrictions.
- Time and Place – Exactly when did the incident(s) occur? Where did this happen? What direction was the aircraft flying.
- Altitude – How high or low was the aircraft flying? On what do you base your estimate? Was the aircraft level with or below the elevation of a prominent object such as a tower or building?
If the aircraft operator is non-compliant with FAA regulations and also operating out of our Airport we will do our best to assist you in addressing the issue(s) that may be occurring. Please note, the FAA’s minimum reporting guidelines are critical in order to assist you.
Please keep in mind, there are a number of general aviation airports, privately owned airfields, and medical helipads around our Airport. We do not have any radar systems or tracking systems, as Airport staff are primarily tasked with the maintenance, safety, and security of the Airfield, where the FAA has oversight on aircraft movements. There are also 74 other public use airports within the state of Colorado including those located nearby in Boulder, Broomfield, Cheyenne WY, Erie, Greeley, Longmont, and Platte Valley. Saying this, not all aircraft flying in our area operate out of our Airport and there are many that have exemptions such as military & government aircraft, flight for life, medical helicopters, pipeline patrol, and wildfire operators.
There are also five helipads that are active around the airport, where many of the nighttime helicopter operations are operating from outside of the Airport. These locations include the Banner helipad in Fort Collins on Harmony Road, US Department of Energy located at the Western Power Authority just south of the Airport, Medical Center of the Rockies along I-25 and Rocky Mountain Boulevard, Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, and Century Helicopters at the old Downtown Fort Collins Airport.
Additionally, please note we are a public use facility and are open 24 hours 7 days a week, year wide and there are no restrictions on when aircraft may utilize the facility or when or where aircraft may operate in the air space.
Another resource to determine the N-number of a non-compliant operator is a public tool Denver International Airport makes available Symphony PublicVue; however, this tool only works if the plane is using VFR or IFR and you know the time and date of the occurrence: https://secure.symphonycdm.com/publicvue scroll up to our airport location and click on Replay. Input the date of the occurrence with approximate time and you should be able to identify the offending aircraft. From here you can report a complaint directly to the FAA if the aircraft is not in compliance with FAA regulations on height restrictions.