Airport Hazards

Introduction

Some types of development are incompatible for locations in the immediate vicinity of airports and airfields. Potential aircraft accident problems pose a hazard to end users of these development projects. If the proposed project is located near an airport or in the immediate area of the landing and approach zones, additional information is necessary to determine whether this issue is a concern and if so, how to mitigate it.

It is HUD’s policy to apply standards to prevent incompatible development around civil airports and military airfields. See 24 CFR 51, Subpart D. The policies do not apply to research or demonstration projects which do not result in new construction or reconstruction, to interstate land sales registration, or to any action or emergency assistance which is provided to save lives, protect property, protect public health and safety, or remove debris and wreckage.

HUD Guidance

  1. To ensure compatible land use development, you must determine your site’s proximity to civil and military airports. Is your project within 15,000 feet of a military airport or 2,500 feet of a civilian airport?

  2. If so, is your project located within an Accident Potential Zone (APZ) or Runway Protection Zone/Clear Zone (RPZ/CZ)?

Accident Potential Zone (APZ)

Does your project involve any of the following: new construction; substantial rehabilitation; acquisition of undeveloped land; activities that would significantly prolong the physical or economic life of existing facilities or change the use of the facility to a use that is not consistent with the recommendations of the Department of Defense (DOD)’s Land Use Compatibility Guidelines; activities that would significantly increase the density or number of people at the site; or activities that would introduce explosive, flammable, or toxic materials to the area? 

If so, is the project in conformance with DOD guidelines?

Runway Protection Zone/Clear Zone (RPZ/CZ)

Will this project involve any facilities that will be frequently used or occupied by people?

If so, were written assurances from the airport operator obtained?


If this project involves the acquisition or sale of an existing property that will be frequently used or occupied by people, you must provide written notice to the prospective buyer to inform them of the potential hazards from airplane accidents as well as the potential for the property to be purchased as part of an airport expansion project in accordance with 24 CFR 51.303(a)(3). (See Sample Notice to Prospective Buyers.) The written notice should inform the prospective property buyer of: (i) the potential hazards from airplane accidents, which are more likely to occur within clear zones than in other areas around the airport/airfield; and (ii) the potential acquisition by airport or airfield operators, who may wish to purchase the property at some point in the future as part of a clear zone acquisition program.

HUD assistance may not be used at this location if project involves new construction, substantial rehabilitation, acquisition of undeveloped land, or activities that would significantly prolong the physical or economic life of existing facilities that will be frequently used or occupied by people.

Compliance and Documentation

The environmental review record should contain one of the following:

  • Documentation that the rule is not applicable to the proposed project (i.e., acquisition of an existing building, “minor” rehabilitation, or emergency action)
  • A map showing the site is not within 15,000 feet of a military airport or within 2,500 feet of a civilian airport
  • If within 15,000 feet of a military airport, a map showing the site is not within a designated APZ or a letter from the airport operator stating so
  • If within 2,500 feet of a civilian airport, a map showing the site is not within a designated RPZ/CZ or a letter from the airport operator stating so
  • If the site is in a designated APZ, documentation of consistency with DOD Land Use Compatibility Guidelines
  • If the site is in a designated RPZ/CZ and the project does not involve any facilities that will be frequently used or occupied by people, and a determination of such and a written assurance from the airport operator that there are no plans to purchase the land as part of a RPZ/CZ program
  • If the site is in a designated RPZ/CZ and the project involves the acquisition or sale of an existing property that will be frequently used or occupied by people, a copy of the notice to prospective buyers signed by the prospective buyer

View Airport Hazards - Worksheet.

View Airport Hazards - Partner Worksheet.

View Airport Runway Clear Zones - Partner Worksheet.