AICUZ Program
     Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) is a program concerning people, safety, and protection through compatible land use. This page summarizes the 2019 AICUZ Study for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The AICUZ Program is an extensive analysis of the effects of military operational noise, aircraft accident potential, and land use development upon present and future neighbors of JBER. The AICUZ Program seeks a cooperative understanding and a reasonable solution to this intricate situation. The Air Force initiated the study to capture operational changes to the base since JBER was created as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 decision merging Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB) and Army Fort Richardson in 2010. As a joint base with an Air Force and Army mission, range operations were captured as well as changes to flight operations resulting from the “2018 Proposal to Improve F-22 Operational Efficiency at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)” and the associated proposed extension of Runway 16 to the north. It is a reevaluation of operational noise and accident potential related to military operations. The Air Force provides the AICUZ to aid in the development of local planning mechanisms that will protect public safety and health, as well as preserve the operational capabilities of JBER.

Noise Zones and Noise Metric 
     Under the AICUZ Program, the DoD provides noise zones as a planning tool for local agencies. Aircraft noise exposure is measured using the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The DNL metric is based on the number of annual average daily aircraft operations over a 24-hour period. The DNL includes a 10 decibel (dB) adjustment, or penalty, for aircraft noise occurring between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. because people are more sensitive to noise during that period. DNL has become the standard metric used by many government agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for addressing aircraft noise. The maps linked at "Review AICUZ Study" (below right) display the relevant contours over existing land use. Approximately 144 acres and 153 people would be exposed to a minimum of 65 dB DNL and all would be located within the 65-69 dB DNL noise zone.

     The C-weighted Day-night Average Noise Level (CDNL) is the metric used to describe the noise environment for ground training ranges involving the live fire of large caliber munitions and detonation of explosives.  Contours developed using the Blast Noise Model are averaged over 250 days. Approximately 256 acres and 402 people are located within the 57-62 dB CDNL noise zone.  

     The Peak Sound Pressure Level (Lpk) refers to the highest instantaneous pressure level measured during an individual event. The DoD uses Lpk to describe sounds that are impulsive, such as those that occur for impacts, explosions, gunfire, or sonic booms. The metric PK 15 (met) accounts for statistical variation in the received single-event peak noise level that is due to weather. It is the calculated peak noise level, without frequency weighting, expected to be exceeded by 15% of all events that might occur. Approximately 6,274 acres and 18,113 people are located within the 87-104 dB PK 15 (met) noise zone.

Accident Potential Zones
     The DoD provides Accident Potential Zones (APZs) as another planning tool for local agencies. APZs are where an aircraft accident is likely to occur, if one occurs. However, they do not reflect the probability of an accident. APZs extend 15,000 feet from the end of each runway along the runway’s extended centerline. It should be noted that flight tracks are not roadways in the sky. Weather conditions, wind, pilot technique, and other air traffic will cause some lateral deviation within the landing pattern around an airport. The map to the right displays the relevant APZs. Approximately 444 acres and 3,379 people are located within the Accident Potential Zones.

Hazards to Aircraft Flight Zone
     Certain land uses and activities can pose potential hazards to flight. To ensure land uses and activities are examined for compatibility, the Air Force has identified a Hazards to Aircraft Flight Zone (HAFZ). The HAFZ is defined as the area within the “Imaginary Surfaces” that are described in the UFC 3-260-01, and in 14 CFR Part 77.17. Unlike Noise and Safety Zones, the HAFZ does not have recommended land use compatibility tables. Instead, it is a consultation zone for the purposes of project applicants and local planning bodies to consult with the Air Force to ensure the project is built compatibly. Additional hazards to flight safety include:
• Uses that would attract birds, especially waterfowl;
• Towers, structures, and vegetation that penetrate navigable airspace or are to be
 constructed near the airfield;
• Lighting (direct or reflected) that would impair pilot vision;
• Uses that would generate smoke, steam, or dust; and
• Electromagnetic interference (EMI) with aircraft communication, navigation, or other electrical systems.

Land Use Compatibility
     In general, the Air Force land use compatibility guidelines recommend that noise-sensitive land uses be placed outside high-noise zones and people-intensive uses not be placed in APZs. Certain land uses are considered incompatible with APZs and high-noise zones, while other land uses may be considered compatible or compatible under certain conditions (compatible with restrictions). Land use development should be compatible with noise zones and APZs around a military airfield. Although the military can serve in an advisory capacity, local governments control the development beyond the boundaries of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

JBER will:

• Ensure that, wherever possible, air operations planners route flights over sparsely populated areas to reduce the exposure of lives and property to a potential accident.

• Periodically review existing range operations, traffic patterns, instrument approaches, weather conditions, and operating practices and evaluate these factors in relationship to populated areas and other local conditions. The purpose of this review is to limit, reduce, and control the impact of noise from flying and range operations on surrounding communities.

• Consider the reestablishment of a community forum between the installation and surrounding stakeholders to discuss land use and other issues of concern; the installation would hold these meetings on an annual basis. 

• Schedule land use planning meetings to provide a forum for agencies to meet and discuss future development and to address issues that may surface because of new proposals.

• Provide copies of the AICUZ Study to local, county, tribal, and regional planning departments and zoning administrators to aid in the planning process and provide copies of the AICUZ Study to appropriate state and federal agencies.

It is recommended that local government:

• Local government planners consider AICUZ policies and guidelines when developing or revising city comprehensive plans and use AICUZ overlay maps and Air Force Land Use Compatibility Guidelines (see Appendix A) to evaluate existing and future land use proposals.

• Ensure that new development applications or “changed use of property” are submitted to JBER to afford the opportunity to assess those applications for potential impacts on defense missions. The JBER PA Office can provide a land use planning point of contact.

• Adopt or modify zoning ordinances to reflect the compatible land uses outlined in the AICUZ Study, including the creation of military airport overlay zones.

• Local governments review their capital improvement plan, infrastructure investments, and development policies to ensure they do not encourage incompatible land use patterns near JBER, with particular emphasis on utility extension and transportation planning.

• Local governments implement height and obstruction ordinances that reflect current Air Force and 14 CFR 77 requirements, presented in this study as HAFZs.

• Fair disclosure ordinances be enacted to require disclosure to the public for those AICUZ items that directly relate to military operations at JBER.

• Where allowed, local governments require real estate disclosure for individuals purchasing or leasing property within noise zones or CZs/APZs.

• Enact or modify building/residential codes to ensure that any new construction near JBER has the recommended noise level reduction measures incorporated into the design and construction of structures.

• Government planning bodies monitor proposals for tall structures, such as wind turbines and communication towers, to ensure that new construction does not pose a hazard to navigable airspace around JBER. Where appropriate, coordinate with the FAA on the height of structures.

• Local government land use plans and ordinances reflect AICUZ recommendations for development in CZs/APZs and noise zones.

• Local governments consult with JBER on planning and zoning actions that have the potential to affect installation operations.

• Invite Air Force leadership to be ex officio members on boards, commissions, and regional councils addressing long-range development and other planning policies.

• Encourage the development of a working group of city, county, and JBER representatives to discuss land use concerns and major development proposals that could affect military operations.

It is recommended that the community:

• Real Estate Professionals and Brokers:
   - Know where noise zones and CZs/APZs encumber land near the air installation and invite installation representatives to brokers’ meetings to discuss the AICUZ Program with real estate professionals.
   - Disclose noise impacts to all prospective buyers of properties within areas greater than 65 dB DNL, 87 dB PK 15 (met), 62 CDNL, or within the CZs/APZs.
   - Require the Multiple Listing Service to disclose noise zones and CZs/APZs for all listings.

• Developers:
    - Know where the noise zones and CZs/APZs encumber land near the air installation. Consult with JBER on proposed developments within the AICUZ footprint.
    - Participate in local discussions regarding existing zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations to support the compatible land use outlined in this AICUZ Study through implementation of a zoning overlay district based on noise contours and CZs/APZs.

• Local Citizens:
    - Participate in local forums with the installation to learn more about the installation’s missions.
    - Become informed about the AICUZ Program and learn about the program’s goals, objectives, and value in protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
    - When considering property purchases, ask local real estate professionals, city planners, and installation representatives about noise and accident potential.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has attempted to minimize noise disturbances through such actions as. quiet hours, planned extension of Runway 16, runway utilization practices, and proactive public notification of scheduled noise-generating activities. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has also demonstrated a spirit of cooperation by consulting with local communities in the area-wide planning process relating to land use near the base. Continued cooperation between JBER, the local authorities, and local populace around the base will further reduce potential land use conflicts. This action will also help to ensure that future land uses are compatible and beneficial.

In addition to protecting the public health and safety, other benefits provided by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson include protecting the taxpayer’s investment in national defense and protecting economic benefits to the surrounding communities. The local economy is enhanced by JBER’s expenditures for salaries, contracts, construction, retirement pay, tuition aid to schools, health insurance payments, and off-installation accommodations for travelers. In terms of total economic impact in the region, JBER employs more than 15,760 military and civilian personnel. These jobs have an estimated total economic impact of nearly $1.8 billion resulting from payroll expenditures, annual expenses, and the estimated value of indirect jobs in the local area. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is a strong partner in the economic future of the region.

Historically, citizens of the Municipality of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and personnel from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have cooperated to better serve the needs and desires of all concerned. The DoD has developed strategies intended to maximize the benefits of JBER while minimizing annoyances. If the future of JBER is to be as bright as its past, you, the citizens of this area, need to participate in the process of achieving a suitable resolution of our mutual concerns. We request your careful review of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson 2019 AICUZ Study recommendations.

Sound Insulation
Constructing a new building, structure, or an addition to an existing building must comply with the Alaska Building Code. The AICUZ Program has sound attenuation recommendations. Some local governments have adopted sound attenuation requirements consistent with Guidelines for Sound Insulation of Residences Exposed to Aircraft Operations (Ehrlich et al., April 2005). Local enforcement of these requirements helps to minimize the impact that noise has on building inhabitants.

Real Estate Disclosure
There is no formal disclosure of military operations required by law, but the Air Force recommends buyers be aware of noise zones and APZs near military airfields. For a full real estate brochure including noise zones, click here.

For more information on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson 2019 AICUZ Study, contact the JBER Public Affairs Office at 907-552-8151 or email

See the public brochure here, or see the realtor map brochure here.

You can also email or call toll free 1-800-538-6647. Please take note of the date, time, location, and type of aircraft (if known) to allow Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson personnel to best assist with noise concerns.