DOD's Commendable Initial Efforts To Solve Land Use Problems Around Airfields

LCD-78-341: Published: Jan 22, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 1979.

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GAO evaluated the effectiveness of the air installation compatible use zones program by which the military services encourage compatible land use around airfields.

The air installations' studies have provided useful information for local governments to plan compatible land uses and for the Government to act on pending incompatible development. The air bases' efforts in cooperating with communities, reporting on the need for compatible land use, and making operational changes have, in most cases, been successful in lessening the impact of flight activities on base environs and in furthering land use needs. The approaches of both the Navy and the Air Force to acquiring property interests are sound in principle. Both policies must weigh the risks of dependence on local control of land use against the costs of purchasing land or land rights.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should (1) direct the Secretaries of the Navy and the Air Force to review the data used to establish noise zones to make the zones more accurate and credible, and to revise and to reissue individual studies where operations have changed; and (2) review the respective land acquisition policies of the Navy and the Air Force and the extent of their reliance on local zoning and other restrictions, to assure that services' plans and practices are consistent with Defense policy.

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