The federal government regulates airport operations, airspace, and aircraft. The Grand Prairie Municipal Airport is owned and operated by the City of Grand Prairie; however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates virtually all aspects of airport operations.
The FAA also manages the airspace nationwide, controls aircraft in flight in most airspace, establishes flight patterns, and determines minimum flight altitudes for aircraft. Aircraft taking off and landing use flight paths established by the FAA, and generally must achieve and operate at a minimum altitude of 1,000 ft. above ground for aircraft and 500 ft. for helicopters.
The reduction of aircraft noise, through development of quieter engines, has been a key goal of the FAA. Aircraft are classified in different noise “Stages”, with Stage 1 being the noisiest and Stage 3 being the quietest. As of Dec. 31, 2015, the FAA prohibits airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less from operating within the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels. This includes all aircraft currently operating at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport.