The FAA & BMA

Under federal law, aircraft in flight are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and cannot be controlled by the City of Boulder.

Restricted or no-fly airspace does not exist within the Boulder Valley; however, federal air regulations prohibit flights under 1000 feet above populated areas with the exception of take-off and landing paths and air ambulance helicopters. Drones operate under a separate federal air regulation and the airport has no jurisdiction over drone operation.

Voluntary Noise Abatement Program

The Boulder Municipal Airport (BMA) has developed voluntary aircraft noise abatement recommendations and procedures in cooperation with pilots and aeronautical operators based at the airport. These voluntary procedures encourage pilots using the Boulder Municipal Airport to utilize an FAA traffic pattern in a way to minimize impacts on adjacent residential areas while maintaining safety parameters. Because this policy is voluntary, it cannot be enforced. The Boulder Municipal Airport is open 24/7 with no curfew or other prohibitions on aeronautical activity. Additionally, it has been found that a significant number of concerns from the community are caused by aircraft that do not operate from the Boulder Municipal Airport.

The city will continue to work with airport users to encourage compliance with voluntary procedures and to collaborate with nearby airports to mitigate regional aircraft overflight and noise concerns.

Submit an Airport Noise Complaint

Note the details

When submitting your complaint, please have the following information:

  • Aircraft Identification Number (the N-Number)
  • Aircraft Color
  • Aircraft Type (Propeller, Jet, Tow or Helicopter)
  • Engine (Single or Twin)
  • Structure ( Bi-wing, High-wing or low-wing)
  • Tail (High-tail or Low-tail)

Submit your complaint

BMA Voluntary Noise Abatement Program

All traffic pattern entries should be conducted in conformity with the City of Boulder Voluntary Airport Noise Abatement procedures.

  • All aircraft should be flown at or above 7,500 feet mean sea level (MSL) over noise-sensitive areas (outside of the traffic pattern) and at reduced power settings. Avoid these areas when possible.
  • All downwind legs should be over Jay Road, and base legs should be east of 30th Street for landings on Runway 8.
  • Operate aircraft at the most reduced power settings (that are safely possible) in the airport traffic pattern or while entering the pattern. This reduces the number of extended final approaches.
  • Climb to at least 500 feet above ground level (AGL) after takeoff before turning crosswind. All Runway 8 departures should be straight out to the east. Avoid the Gunbarrel area on departure.
  • Use Runway 8 for most operations (except night landings) and when the wind is less than five knots from the west and expected to remain at less than five knots.
  • Avoid making touch-and-go landings at the Boulder Municipal Airport before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Avoid flight operations between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. For early morning departures (before 7 a.m.), please depart straight out to the east and reduce power settings, consistent with safe operating procedures.
  • Straight-in approaches to Runway 26 are recommended for night landings (wind and weather permitting).
  • Do not fly over the raptor nesting areas of the Flatirons (mountains southwest of town) from Feb. 1 through July 31. This is a protected area for peregrine falcons.