Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 11.03.05 “Obstructions to Air Navigation” and 11.03.06 “Airport Zoning Regulations” require that proposed development plans and construction activity in communities near Maryland airports be coordinated with the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA). The geographic areas proximal to Maryland airports subject to COMAR are specifically referred to as Airport Zoning Districts or Airport Obstruction Zones and are delineated as follows:
Airport Zoning Districts
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall) Airport Zoning District – the land area within a 4-statute mile radius of the Airport Reference Point
- Martin State Airport (MTN) Airport Zoning District – the land area within a 3.3-statute mile radius of the Airport Reference Point
Airport Obstruction Zones
- Maryland airports other than BWI Marshall or MTN – the land area within a 3-nautical mile radius of the Airport Reference Point
COMAR requires that the MAA evaluate proposed development plans and/or construction activity within any Airport Zoning District or Airport Obstruction Zone to ensure land use compatibility, safeguard against existing/future airspace encroachment, to protect the community, and to protect future airport development plans.
Tall Structures (Other than BWI and MTN)
Use the following map/address locator to determine if your development project or construction equipment is proposed within any Airport Zoning District or Airport Obstruction Zone.
Directions for Use:
- Enter the proposed structure height in feet (measured above ground level) in the Enter Structure Height textbox (in the upper left corner of the map below).
- Find the site location in one of two ways:
- Enter a street address or place of interest into the Find Site by Address textbox (in the upper left corner of the map below).
- Enable map clicks by toggling the switch in the lower left corner of the map below. Zoom to the location in the map and click on the location of the project site.
- Confirm the site location in the result pop-up. If the site is incorrect, restart.
- Follow the instructions in the result dialog.
An approved Airport Zoning Permit (AZP) application must be issued by MAA’s Office of Planning prior to securing an Anne Arundel, Baltimore or Howard County permit for development and/or construction activity proposed within either the BWI Marshall Airport Zoning District, MTN Airport Zoning District, or BWI Marshall/MTN Airport Noise Zone. The purpose of the AZP is to protect against land uses, obstructions, and wildlife attractants that may be incompatible with aircraft operations at BWI Marshall and MTN Airport.
- Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 11.03.01.12 “Certified Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Noise Zone”
- Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 11.03.02.10 “Certified Martin State Airport (MTN) Noise Zone”
- Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 11.03.03.05. “Permits for Construction Within the Noise Zone Surrounding a State-Owned Airport”
- Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 11.03.06, “Airport Zoning Regulations”
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-33C, Hazardous Wildlife Attractants on or Near Airports
- FAA AC 150/5300-13A (Change 1), Airport Design
To ensure the most complete AZP submittal, the following shall be detailed in the application:
- Exact location of the property, including address and zip code
- Intended use including all planned structures and associated construction equipment (i.e. crane, backhoe, bucket truck, etc.)
- Height of proposed structures and associated construction equipment in terms of above ground level (AGL) elevation
- Dimensions of all proposed structures
- Printed name, address, telephone and email address/facsimile number of the applicant and/or point of contact
- Printed name, address and telephone number of the property owner
In addition, the following documents should accompany each application:
- A map depicting the project location in relationship to the Airport
- A project site plan displaying the property boundaries, location of proposed structure(s)/crane(s) property elevation above mean sea level (AMSL), and latitude/longitude (NAD 83).
- Stormwater management plans and a stormwater management report for ponds that are existing and/or proposed
- Project landscaping plans, complete with species list
Access above Project Locator to determine whether your project is sited within the BWI Marshall/MTN Airport Zoning District or BWI Marshall/MTN Airport Noise Zone. If your project is located within either of these Zones the Project Locator application will prompt you to complete and submit an AZP.
Alternatively, applicants may download an AZP and submit a completed application and other necessary documents to MAA’s Office of Planning by:
- Email: email@example.com
- Standard Mail:
Attention: Zoning Permits
MAA Office of Planning
P.O. Box 8766
BWI Marshall Airport, MD 21240
- Overnight Deliveries ONLY:
Attention: Zoning Permits
MAA Office of Planning
991 Corporate Drive
Linthicum, MD 21090
Note: The electronic AZP submittals (online or by email are limited in size 25MB). You may therefore need to coordinate directly with the Office of Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-859-7692 or 410-859-7070 to successfully transmit all documents.
The AZP applications are reviewed for the following:
- Noise Zone Land Use Compatibility – Per COMAR Title 11.03.03 “Airport Noise Control Program”, properties located within an Airport Noise Zone are required to conform to the land uses permitted in that zone.
- Airport/Airspace Compatibility – Any construction or equipment use within the BWI Marshall or MTN Airport Zoning Districts requires an obstruction analysis to safeguard airspace supporting these airports. This evaluation is completed for proposed structures and construction equipment in accordance with federal and state height guidelines. In the review of the AZP, MAA’s Office of Planning will notify applicants of any supplemental requirements to file with the Federal Aviation Administration for Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration (FAA Form 7460-1) https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/portal.jsp.
Do not file with FAA prior to consulting with MAA’s Office of Planning email@example.com.
If an FAA review is required, their evaluation is completed independent of, but concurrently with MAA’s review and may take 30-60 days to process. If an FAA review is required, the MAA will not issue an approved AZP until a favorable FAA Determination has been received.
- Stormwater Management & Landscape – For any development within a BWI Marshall or MTN Airport Zoning District, the MAA is required by COMAR to evaluate storm water management facilities and project landscaping for their potential to attract wildlife that may pose a strike hazard to aircraft.
COMAR dictates that an applicant be denied approval if the proposed land use is found to be incompatible with the Airport Noise Zone or if the proposed structure or construction equipment poses a possible hazard to aircraft. In the event of a denial, the applicant will be notified that they may petition the Board of Airport Zoning Appeals (BAZA, or Board) for a variance from the regulations. The Board meets approximately once a month in accordance with a published schedule. There are deadlines for petition submittals for each meeting. The deadlines are determined by requirements to publish the meeting agenda in the Maryland Register in advance of each meeting. Once an applicant has submitted a petition to MAA’s Office of Planning, it may take 60-90 days before the case is presented before BAZA.
Airport Noise Zone Regulations
Applicants requesting a variance from the Airport Noise Zone Regulations will be provided MAA Form 176A, which must be completed to formally petition for a variance.
Applicants requesting a variance from the Obstruction Regulations will be provided MAA Form 176B, which must be completed to formally petition for a variance.
If an applicant is required to file FAA Form 7460-1 and MAA Form 176B, Petition to BAZA, these filings may be done concurrently. However, if the applicant has not received the FAA Determination one week prior to the scheduled BAZA hearing date, the case will be postponed until the next scheduled BAZA hearing after receiving the FAA Determination. The MAA staff shall notify the applicant if any additional documents are required.
Applications are processed in the order in which they are received and can generally be completed within two (2) weeks. However, during heavy application periods, processing may warrant additional time.
Exceptions: Permits requiring review and coordination of stormwater management plans, landscaping plans, FAA Determinations and/or a variance from BAZA may take up to 90 days.
Once the evaluation process has been completed and the AZP can be approved, the applicant will receive an email copy or facsimile of the approval letter, which will also be sent via email or facsimile to the appropriate county Planning and Zoning office. Original copies of the approval letter are no longer sent to the applicant or County via standard mail.
In some cases, BAZA may issue conditions in granting of a variance by requiring additional items such as the addition of sound insulation components to buildings within the Certified Noise Zone. BAZA variances for obstructions may condition contractors to mark/light construction equipment and/or permanent structures, and/or dictate unique requirements of equipment operators to safeguard BWI Marshall or MTN airspace during construction.