Airport Land Use Commission

The Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) was formed on May 19, 1981 and is the entity responsible for ensuring that land uses adjacent to public airports are compatible with airports. In Humboldt County the Board of Supervisors act in the capacity as the ALUC. Typically the ALUC meets on a as-needed basis during regular Board of Supervisor Meetings. The decisions made by the ALUC are guided by the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan.

The current Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP) was prepared in 2021 and was adopted by the ALUC on 04/13/2021. The 2021 ALUCP replaces the 1993 ALUCP for all airports; except for Hoopa Airport which is still covered by the 1993 ALUCP.  Links to the ALUCPs are shown below.  More documentation on the 2021 ALUCP including the Initial Study and Negative Declaration can be found in the Document Center (under the Aviation => ALUC folder). 

County Code 333 (Building Height Restrictions)

In June, 2020, the Board of Supervisors repealed and replaced the Airport Approach Zone Building Height Regulations (Humboldt County Code Section 333-1 et seq.). Links to the Board of Supervisor Agenda Item are shown below. The updated 2020 County Code addressed three specific issues:

Issue 1: The County Code sections adopted on Aug. 29, 1955 do not align with the current Federal Aviation Administration's airspace protection standards set forth in Code of Federal Regulation Title 14 Part 77, Safe, Efficient Use and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace. The 2020 Ordinance made County Code consistent with the airspace surfaces defined in federal code. The differences in the horizontal layout between the 1955 County Code and 14 CFR 77 are shown in Attachment 2.

Issue 2: The 1955 County Code Section 333-8 has a requirement that any penetration of the airspace surfaces required a variance to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. In many areas of the county, the existing ground surrounding the airports penetrates the 1995 County Code and 14 CFR 77 surfaces. This is particularly noticeable at the Shelter Cove Airport, Dinsmore Airport, and somewhat noticeable at the California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport. See Attachment 3 for diagrams showing the areas of terrain that penetrate 14 CFR 77 surfaces. Unlike the 1955 County Code which requires all variances to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, the 2020 Ordinance allows for a variance to be administratively approved for proposed structures that penetrate the airport protected airspace if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determines that the proposed structure does not pose a hazard to flight. This requires an applicant to file FAA Form 7460-1 with the FAA. This greatly reduces the quantity of variances that the Board of Supervisors will need to consider. Any project that proposes penetrating the airport protected airspace where the FAA objects requires a variance to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Issue 3: The 2020 Ordinance moves responsibility from the Department of Public Works to the Department of Aviation.

In addition, on May 19, 2020, the Airport Land Use Commission determined that the 2020 Ordinance is consistent with the 1993 Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan.

Links to the 2020 Ordinance are shown below:

06/16/2020 Board of Supervisors Staff Report for Agenda Item H-3

Attachment 1 - County Code 333 Ordinance page

Attachment 1 - Proposed County Code 333.pdf    (Use this link to access both the 1955 code and 2020 code)

Attachment 2 - Pre-Adoption Summary.pdf

Attachment 3 - Post-Adoption Summary.pdf

Attachment 4 - FAR-CC Comparisons.pdf

Attachment 5 - Airspace surface penetrations.pdf

Attachment 6 - CEQA.pdf

Useful FAA Links

The following are links to external FAA websites. Report broken links to the Airports Department.

FAA Obstruction Evaluation / Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) website

FAA Form 7460-1 Notice of Proposed Construction

Interactive Mapping Tools

Due to the scale of maps in the 1993 and 2021 ALUCPs it may be difficult to ascertain how the ALUCPs affects various properties. To aid in interpreting how both the existing and draft ALUCPs affects property, an interactive web-based Geographic Information Systems tool was created. The following information can be viewed as layers within these interactive maps:

  • ALUCP Compatibility Zones (1993) superseded; except for Hoopa Airport
  • ALUCP Airport Noise Contours (2021)
  • ALUCP Compatibility Zones (2021)
  • ALUCP Airport Overflight Notification Area (2021)
  • ALUCP Airport Influence Area (2021) 
  • County Code 333 Airport Approach Zone Building Height Restrictions [14 CFR Part 77 surfaces]