A provision in the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill will result in Stage 2 business jets weighing 75,000 pounds or less being phased out in the contiguous U.S. after Dec. 31, 2015. These aircraft were specifically exempted from stiffer noise rules enacted in 1990 “to limit the financial burden on private/corporate aircraft owners and operators.” Affected aircraft upgraded or modified to comply with Stage 3 noise levels will still be allowed to fly in the U.S., and the bill also contains exceptions for temporary operations related to moving aircraft for modification or sale.
“Sound Initiative: A Coalition for Quieter Skies,” a group of more than 20 airport managers and operators united against Stage 2 jet operations, hailed the measure. Bob Bogan, deputy executive director at Morristown (N.J.) municipal airport and a founding airport member of the coalition, said that while the number of these lighter Stage 2 aircraft operating in U.S. airspace has diminished since 1990, “The remaining aircraft account for a high percentage of noise complaints” at airports.
FAA records indicate that more than 850 U.S.-registered Stage 2 business jets are still being operated, but it is unclear how many are still flying in the U.S.