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Land Use
Land Use

Integral to the North Central Texas General Aviation and Heliport System Plan (System Plan) is the understanding of how lands around airports are being used and how they will be used in the future. It is not a question of whether an airport has encroachment issues but rather when an airport will face the conflicts spurred by adjacent development. Over the past 25 years, the region’s growth has created challenges as well as opportunities. General Aviation (GA) airports have increased in size to meet the demand of more and bigger airplanes. In-fill residential, commercial, and even industrial development has extended up to airport boundaries. What once were the more rural areas of the region are now bustling economic centers.

Deciding whether or not development is compatible with an airport’s operations must be an informed decision. Characteristics which must be studied include flight patterns, airport master plans, and local comprehensive plans. Height hazards, noise, and safety are critical elements.

Compatibility strategies include:

  • Avoid land uses that increase the severity of an accident on the ground or in the air.
  • Require open areas in key locations within the extended runway approach and departure areas.
  • Establish density and intensity limitations.
  • Encourage building construction standards that limit noise for residential, group living centers, hospitals, schools, etc.
  • Avoid noise-sensitive uses adjacent to airports that can precipitate complaints.
  • Require disclosure notices for new development to inform the public of an airport’s proximity and potential impacts.
  • Avoid obstructing airspace by encouraging limits on structure heights through development regulations.

Airport sponsors and the communities in which airports are located share responsibilities for protecting aviation facilities from encroachment and for the economic prosperity of their respective areas. Partnerships and cooperation are important for educating the public about aviation benefits and for securing funding for operations and capital investments.

NCTCOG has developed a technical guide for compatible land-use planning in North Texas.

North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 640-7806