Land-use Planning and Management


Land-use planning and management is an effective means to ensure that the activities nearby airports are compatible with aviation. Its main goal is to minimize the population affected by aircraft noise by introducing land-use zoning around airports.

Compatible land-use planning and management is also a vital instrument in ensuring that the gains achieved by the reduced noise of the latest generation of aircraft are not offset by further residential development around airports.

ICAO's main policies on land use planning and management are contained in Assembly Resolution A-41-20, Appendix F , which urges States, where the opportunity still exists to minimize aircraft noise problems through preventive measures, to:


a) locate new airports at an appropriate place, such as away from noise-sensitive areas;

b) take the appropriate measures so that land-use planning is taken fully into account at the initial stage of any new airport or of development at an existing airport;

c) define zones around airports associated with different noise levels taking into account population levels and growth as well as forecasts of traffic growth and establish criteria for the appropriate use of such land, taking account of ICAO guidance;

d) enact legislation, establish guidance or other appropriate means to achieve compliance with those criteria for land use; and

e) ensure that reader-friendly information on aircraft operations and their environmental effects is available to communities near airports;

ICAO guidance on this subject is contained in Annex 16, Volume I, Part IV and in the ICAO Doc 9184, Airport Planning Manual, Part 2 — Land Use and Environmental Control. The manual provides guidance on the use of various tools for the minimization, control or prevention of the impact of aircraft noise in the vicinity of airports and describes the practices adopted for land-use planning and management by some States.

In addition, with a view to promoting a uniform method of assessing noise around airports, ICAO recommends the use of the methodology contained in  ICAO Doc 9911 - Recommended Method for Computing Noise Contours around Airports.


Noise charges are also included as a possible noise management tool in the Balanced Approach. ICAO's policy with regard to noise charges was first developed in 1981 and is contained in ICAO's Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services (Doc 9082). The Council recognizes that, although reductions are being achieved in aircraft noise at source, many airports need to apply noise alleviation or prevention measures. The Council considers that the costs incurred may, at the discretion of States, be attributed to airports and recovered from the users. In the event that noise-related charges are levied, the Council recommends that they should be levied only at airports experiencing noise problems and should be designed to recover no more than the costs applied to their alleviation or prevention; and that they should be non-discriminatory between users and not be established at such levels as to be prohibitively high for the operation of certain aircraft.


Practical advice on determining the cost basis for noise-related charges and their collection is provided in the ICAO Airport Economics Manual (Doc 9562) and information on noise-related charges actually levied is provided in the ICAO Manual of Airport and Air Navigation Facility Tariffs (Doc 7100).


Good practices to address the challenges related to population encroachment into the noise contours at airports is provided in the Scoping Report on Review of Measures to Better Understand Encroachment around Airports


For more information on noise charges in use at airports globally, a comprehensive database is kept by Boeing. The information on this database has been developed for information purposes only, and it is no longer maintained by the company.


Boeing ​Database of Airports with noise and emissions restrictions

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