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  • Chris Rozansky

Friendlier, quieter nighttime skies

How a voluntary airport curfew has made a difference in one year



It’s only taken a year for the Naples Airport Authority’s voluntary curfew – the “Fly Safe, Fly Quiet” program – to see better results with fewer nighttime flights in our noise-sensitive community, even as demand for private air travel is greater than ever. We bolstered the program in 2022 to minimize the impact of aircraft noise in our community by proactively encouraging the observance of a quiet time between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.


Besides late-night arrivals and early-morning departures, we also saw repetitive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-required nighttime “touch-and-go” operations by student pilots. When airport users were asked in 2022 if they were aware of the voluntary curfew, 22 percent of them indicated they didn’t know of it. Today, when users are surveyed, only two percent are unaware of the program.


We are keenly aware flight plans can change, though. Personal schedules, weather conditions, and delays caused by air traffic control issues during peak demand periods in the winter months can alter flight plans, thereby causing travelers to arrive – or depart – during those late night or early morning hours. When flights happen to occur during the voluntary curfew, we reach out to those pilots/travelers to determine the reasons they weren’t able to observe the airport’s quiet hours, and those reasons are documented.


The success of this program is attributed to numerous factors, particularly the willingness of courteous operators who have demonstrated their commitment to our community. This year, the Naples Airport Authority (NAA) is recognizing the top three operators for their notable observation of the Fly Safe, Fly Quiet program. These results are verified through flight data which is continuously collected on the airport’s departures and arrivals.


We’re happy to recognize NetJets, who decreased their flights during the quiet hours by 92 percent over the past 12 months. Elite Jets, a based charter operator, has decreased the number of their quiet-hour flights by 63 percent, and FlexJet has achieved a 43 percent reduction in overnight operations.


Our staff has diligently met with these companies, asking for their voluntary observation of the curfew. Additionally, staff continues to inform pilots and customers of the curfew in numerous ways, including face-to-face conversations in the lobby, providing literature with the program’s details, brief explanatory animations on vending machine screens in the lobby, and signage throughout the NAA grounds and lobby.


Plus, staff contacted more than 200 flight schools south of Orlando in the past year to explain the voluntary curfew, which has dramatically decreased the number of student pilots using the Naples Airport for their required nighttime landings and cross-country flights. To reach a much broader audience of pilots and those who enjoy private aviation, we’ve placed advertisements in industry publications. Throughout the year, many staff attend industry events which provide opportunities to explain the voluntary curfew to airport customers.


Adopting voluntary curfew hours is within the ability of the NAA to minimize noise impacts. Federal law prevents the airport from directly enforcing the curfew, but we can encourage observing the curfew through a variety of communication channels to pilots, operators, customers, and throughout the aviation industry.


To learn more about the Fly Safe, Fly Quiet program, go to flynaples.com. For a tour of the airport, or to arrange for an NAA speaker at your group’s next meeting, call 239.643.0733.

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