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Information for Prospective Homebuyers

Moving to the area around SMF? Find out about the operation of the airport here.

Potential homebuyers should be aware of planned airport growth and the exposure to aircraft operations in the area near Sacramento International Airport - now and in the future.

Prospective homebuyers are encouraged to contact the Sacramento County Airport System at planenoiseinfo@saccounty.net and provide the address of the prospective home.  Noise Office staff can assist buyers in understanding the range and nature of airport/aircraft exposure to which a particular property may be subject. Prospective homebuyers concerned with aircraft overflight exposure should always spend sufficient time at their potential new location to gain a thorough understanding of the area and any disturbances they may encounter.

Sacramento International Airport currently has two runways that are oriented in a generally north/south direction.  These are Runways 16L/34R and 16R/34L.  The airport has room to expand as needed and can accommodate one additional runway as well as a 2,400 foot extension to Runway 16L/34R.  Commercial and residential development is actively occurring in the Natomas area and there is room for much more residential growth in North Sacramento and South Sutter Counties.

For a diagram depicting the location of the current runways, the proposed third runway and the extension to Runway 16L/34R click here. This is the All North Runway Extension Alternative from the Environmental Impact Report Sacramento International Airport Proposed Master Plan Improvements. For more information on the future of Sacramento International Airport, please visit our Planning site.

Exhibits 1 and 2 depict the general departure and arrival flows by altitude.  These exhibits are not meant to represent the level of noise but rather the general location and altitudes of aircraft by operation mode. It is important to note that noise from aircraft overflights may be experienced in areas beyond the extent of these exhibits. Prospective homebuyers are encouraged to contact the Sacramento County Airport System at planenoiseinfo@saccounty.net and provide the address of the prospective home.  Noise Office staff can assist buyers in understanding the range and nature of airport/aircraft exposure to which a particular property may be subject. Prospective homebuyers concerned with aircraft overflight exposure should always spend sufficient time at their potential new location to gain a thorough understanding of the area and any disturbances they may encounter.

Disclosure Statements and AviGation Easements

Prospective homebuyers may receive a disclosure notice or statement relating to airport noise exposure from current landowners, sales agents or government jurisdictions. These disclosure statements will inform prospective homebuyers that the location may be subject to aircraft noise exposure, overflights, and effects from current and future expansion of the airport. Disclosure statements provide prospective homebuyers notice of potential aircraft noise exposure and allow them to make informed decisions about the suitability of the home site for their individual needs. Disclosure statements may also identify if a home site contains an “avigation” easement (i.e., a grant of a property interest in land that has a right of unobstructed flight in the airspace above the property or a right to make aircraft noise).

Property owners and their agents may be required to include a disclosure statement for all future sales of the property in question with the property sales documents, contracts, or homeowners’ association documents. Statements may also be required to be included in subdivision plats and site plans, and within the Deed of Conveyance for those properties located within an airport influence area or overlay zone district.

The Sacramento County Airport System has available information on disclosures required for real estate transactions around the Airport, but it is not the responsibility of the Sacramento County Airport System to notify potential sellers or buyers of the existing regulations. Real estate professionals have a responsibility to be familiar with disclosure laws and discuss this with their clients, since they are most familiar with the transactions taking place. To aid the potential seller or buyer, the Sacramento County Airport System has provided links below to regulations that may be of importance and should be discussed with your real estate professional.

In addition, Sacramento County in 2006 adopted the Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Airport Planning Policy Area (APPA), which placed specific limitations on conditions on new residential development within certain proximity to SMF. Specifically, the APPA conditions:

  1. Prohibit new residential development inside the current Board approved 60 CNEL noise contour for SMF
  2. Condition new residential land uses within the APPA boundary but beyond the current Board approved 60 CNEL noise contour for SMF as follows:
    1. Minimum noise insulation to protect persons from excessive noise within new residential dwellings, including detached singe family dwellings, that limits noise to 45 dB CNEL, with windows closed, in any habitable room.
    2. Notification in the Public Report prepared by the California Department of Real Estate disclosing to prospective buyers that the parcel is located within the applicable Airport Planning Policy Area and that aircraft operations can be expected to overfly that area at varying altitudes less than 3,000 feet Above Ground Level (AGL)
    3. Execution and recordation with the Sacramento County Recorder of Avigation Easements prepared by the Sacramento County Counsel’s Office on each individual residential parcel contemplated in the development in favor of the County of Sacramento. All avigation easements recorded pursuant to this Policy shall, once recorded, be copied to the Director of Airports and shall acknowledge the property location within the appropriate Airport Planning Policy Area and shall grant the right of flight and unobstructed passage of all aircraft into and out of the appropriate airport.

Exceptions: New accessory residential dwellings on parcels zoned Agricultural, Agricultural Residential, Interim Agricultural, Interim General Agricultural, or Interim Limited Agricultural, shall be exempt from the Airport Planning Policy Areas prohibitions.

  • Sacramento International Airport Policy Planning Area and 60 CNEL Contour (PDF) – Download