VOLUME 11 FLIGHT STANDARDS PROGRAMS
CHAPTER 6 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1 Background Information
11-197 THE PUBLIC LAW. The following congressional acts and executive orders
implemented through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and
orders require consideration and action by Flight Standards Service (AFS).
A. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This
public law establishes a broad national policy to promote efforts for improving
the relationship between human beings and their environment. NEPA sets certain
policies and goals concerning the environment and requires that, to the fullest
extent possible, the policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States
shall be interpreted and administrated in accordance with those policies and
goals. NEPA requires that all “major Federal actions” be evaluated for environmental
impact through multidisciplinary studies. Major Federal action includes actions with
effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control
and responsibility (i.e., an airport construction project (or other undertaking
having similar physical effects) which is a major Federal action significantly
affecting the quality of the human environment as referred to in NEPA).
B. Executive Order 11514. This order, issued in 1970, directs
all Federal agencies to monitor, evaluate, and control their activities to protect
and enhance the quality of the environment. This order also requires the review
of regulations, policies, and procedures relating to licenses and permits. It
also requires implementation of any corrective action necessary to ensure compliance
and consistency with NEPA.
C. Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Title 49 U.S.C.
§ 44715 (formerly § 611 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958) directs the FAA
to provide present and future relief and protection to the public health and
welfare by the control and abatement of aircraft noise. The FAA must consider
whether noise abatement regulations are economically reasonable, technologically
practicable, and appropriate for the particular type of aircraft.
11-198 ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER NEPA. The current edition of FAA
Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, contains the AFS
environmental responsibilities. Chapter 3 outlines the NEPA evaluation process.
In summary, there are three general levels of a NEPA review: Categorical Exclusion
(CATEX), Environmental Assessment (EA), and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Chapter 3 outlines the AFS Federal actions that are normally processed as CATEXs
and EAs. Chapter 4 provides guidance for how the district/field offices fulfill
their environmental responsibility; and Chapter 5 provides guidance for the
General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS‑800) Environmental Specialist
in the AFS‑830 Branch. Additionally, FAA employees are responsible for ensuring
compliance with regulations and procedures established to protect and enhance
the environment, such as 49 U.S.C. § 44715.
11-199 ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES. AFS regionally-assigned
noise abatement officers have the responsibility to review the flight safety
aspects of noise compatibility planning studies conducted under Title 14 of
the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
These studies are prepared by airports and administered
by Airports Divisions/Airports District Offices. They are typically multi-disciplinary
in that they involve noise abatement recommendations involving several FAA lines
of business (LOB). Recommendations requiring the review by AFS may include noise abatement departure
procedures and close-in turns after departure. (Refer to the current edition of Advisory Circular
Noise Abatement Departure Profile.) Apart from this, Regional
Noise Abatement Officers are important members of Regional Environmental Networks,
established under the aegis of the Office of Environment and Energy (AEE). These
groups participate in sharing environmental education opportunities and other
common environmental issues such as historic preservation, tribal affairs, and
environmental legal considerations.
11-200 AVAILABILITY OF ASSISTANCE.
A. Environmental Requirements. A thorough discussion on the subject of
environmental requirements is not possible within the framework of this order. Additional information is in
Assistance regarding AFS environmental responsibilities is available through the AFS-800 Environmental
NEPA reviewing official in the AFS-830 Branch, a Quality, Integration, and Process Division
(AQS-100) Environmental Specialist, and Washington Headquarters staff personnel
in AEE’s Noise Division (AEE‑100).
B. Performance and Aircraft Noise. Assistance on performance
and aircraft noise considerations is available through the appropriate Aircraft
Evaluation Groups (AEG) and AFS-830 following a NEPA review. Regional AFS personnel
can often provide assistance on departure and arrival procedures established
for noise abatement purposes. Questions concerning flightcrew operational procedures
should be directed to AFS‑830.
A. Approving Official. The FAA official with authority to approve
and sign EAs, Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or EISs. LOBs/Staff Offices
(SO) should designate approving officials consistent with the current edition of FAA Order
Delegations of Authority, and any other applicable FAA directives.
In addition, ensure this individual is familiar with the NEPA process and has
completed the approved and available AFS electronic Learning Management System
(eLMS) NEPA awareness training.elegations of Authority, and any other applicable
FAA directives. In addition, ensure this individual is familiar with the NEPA
process and has completed the approved and available AFS electronic Learning
Management System (eLMS) NEPA awareness training.
B. Extraordinary Circumstances. Factors or circumstances in which
a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental
impact that requires further analysis in an EA or an EIS (refer to Order
1050.1, paragraph 5-2).
C. Responsible FAA Official. The FAA employee designated with
overall responsibility to independently evaluate the environmental issues, furnish
guidance, participate in the preparation of NEPA documents, and evaluate and
take responsibility for the scope and content of the documents.
D. NEPA Lead. The FAA LOB/SO, regional operating division, center,
or service area that has primary responsibility for complying with NEPA, including
preparation and approval of NEPA documents.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 11-202 through 11-205.