F-16s Gone, Noise Laws Enacted

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In what looks like a case of shutting the barn door after the horses have left, Melbourne, Fla., authorities have enacted anti-noise rules for the local airport. You may recall that Melbourne Airport was (briefly) the headquarters of Aerogroup, an air-combat training company. Aerogroup had a contract to train pilots of the Royal Netherlands Air Force how to turn and burn in their F-16s. The nightly air shows caused such a ruckus among local residents, the company relocated to Jacksonville. Airport authority officials insist the new rules aren't aimed specifically at preventing Aerogroup (or anything like it) from returning to Melbourne, but they did include a ban on the use of afterburners. The rules also cover times for maintenance running of engines, restrict runway use and apply to any aircraft that don't meet current federal noise regulations. They would also apply to the U.S. military. Naturally, the folks who shouted Aerogroup out of town are delighted. "Obviously, the experience we've had with the F-16s has shown the airport that regulations need to be put in place to prevent that from happening again," Melbourne Village Mayor Rob Downey told Florida Today. And as one noise issue is seemingly resolved another is rearing its head out West. Neighbors of North Las Vegas Airport are banding together to fight the increasing traffic and noise from the facility. Although the residents say noise is definitely a factor in their complaints, they claim they're more concerned about safety in the increasingly crowded airspace over their homes. Stay tuned.