Residential Land-Use Statement of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

May 29, 2015


The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority opposes residential development of any kind in close proximity to, or on, Washington Dulles International Airport. This position follows policies of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the uses of land on or near federally obligated airports. Under these policies, for safety and noise reasons, residential development that is sited on or in close proximity to airports, particularly near runways and flight paths, is considered to be incompatible with airport uses and, as a result, should not be permitted by airport operators and local governments.

Loudoun County’s Zoning Ordinance reflects this policy by prohibiting residential development within areas near Dulles International Airport that are projected to be negatively affected by aircraft noise. These are areas falling within what is referred to as the “65 DNL Noise Contour,” a measurement of ground level noise used by the FAA in defining areas adjacent to airports in which residential development should not occur. The Airports Authority strongly supports this prohibition in the Loudoun Zoning Ordinance, and is committed to working with county zoning and other officials to prevent residential development in these areas.

In addition, the Airports Authority’s own land use policy and plans reflect this policy of the FAA, in that residential uses of any nature are not permitted on Dulles International Airport