What Should I Know About Aircraft Noise in Boulder?

Please note that aircraft in flight are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and cannot be controlled by the City of Boulder. Additionally, the airport is open 24/7 with no curfew or other restrictions on activity. No-fly airspace does not exist within the Boulder Valley though FAA regulations prohibit flights under 1000 feet above populated areas, except for take-offs and landings and air ambulance helicopters.

However, in an effort to reduce the impacts of aircraft noise, the city operates a Voluntary Noise Abatement Program that encourages operators at the airport to minimize noise.

Submit an Aircraft Noise Complaint

Call the hotline

Call 303-441-4000 to report air traffic noise to city staff. The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Or submit your complaint online

You can also submit a complaint anytime at Inquire Boulder Airport Noise Complaint Page.

Helpful tips

View the Boulder Air Traffic Map at the time of your complaint to identify the aircraft that is causing the noise:

The following information is helpful to include with your complaint, if possible:

  • 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)

If you are unable to find this information at the time the noise is heard, please note the date, time and location of the aircraft/noise, and airport staff will be able to identify the aircraft in question.

Voluntary Noise Abatement Program

  • 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.