Frequently Asked Questions
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.
No, the City cannot establish any type of curfew without FAA approval. The FAA requires that the Airport be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No airport curfews have been approved by the FAA in many years.
Listed below are the criteria used by the FAA for evaluation of curfew requests. Please note that the sponsor must justify or comply with all six elements:
- The restriction is reasonable, non-arbitrary, and nondiscriminatory;
- The restriction does not create an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce;
- The proposed restriction maintains safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace;
- The proposed restriction does not conflict with any existing federal statute or regulation;
- The applicant has provided adequate opportunity for public comment on the proposed restriction; and
- The proposed restriction does not create an undue burden on the national aviation system.
General Aircraft Traffic Pattern Rules: Aircraft should fly at approximately 1,000 feet above the ground while arriving or departing the airport environment. Please note aircraft do fly lower than 1,000 feet during takeoff and landing phases of flight.