I live next to a golf course (Butter Valley Golf Port) in Bally PA that has a paved single engine air strip that runs through a portion of the course. Off the end of the runway (in one direction) perpendicular to the end of the runway is a single lane public road that runs in both directions. I live on this road down the street from this same end of the runway. Currently on the opposite side of the road at this end of the runway is 80 acres of farmland. A developer has submitted plans to build 236 condos on this 80 acres directly across the street from the end of the runway. Are their regulations about building homes on the landing/take off flight path of a registered runway? Where could I find these regulations?

  • $\begingroup$ There are some requirements, I don’t have them to hand but I think you’re going to be disappointed and the condos be will be regulations. Look up runway run off area requirements. $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ The real question is how hard will it be to get insurance for those homes, and what deed restrictions will there be on noise complaints. Those who purchase will likely not prevail in any complaint about noise seeing as they knew they were living so near the runway. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ While the development is in the planning stages, it may be possible to design it in such a way that there is an open area such as a park, playing fields, or a wide central road with perhaps a grass medium for emergency landings extending from the runway end. This may improve insurance premiums and help the airport and new development get along much better. Bringing the issue to a town council could be part of a permitting deal. The pilots would appreciate it. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


The FAA has regulations on the maximum height of obstacles around a runway (page 22):

The runway Obstacle free zone (OFZ) is a defined volume of airspace centered above the runway airspace above a surface whose elevation at any point is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway centerline. The runway OFZ extends 200 feet (60 m) beyond each end of the runway.


The inner-approach OFZ is a defined volume of airspace centered on the approach area. ... Its width is the same as the runway OFZ and rises at a slope of 50 (horizontal) to 1 (vertical) from its beginning.

  • $\begingroup$ Does the inner-approach OFZ apply here? The FAA manual says it "only applies to runways with an approach lighting system", which I suspect the airstrip in question does not. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ There are several more zones, depending on airport size. That's for the OP to figure out; he just needed to know where to find the regs. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 19:27

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