I live in a residential area near the Providence Hospital. Several times a week, early morning planes from Medford Airport fly over this area. A flight is before 6 o'clock in the morning and two flights before 7 o'clock in the morning. Are they in violation of the Medford Noise Reduction Ordinance?
– Warren, Medford
Medford's Law governing unnecessary noise does not apply to the regular use of commercial vehicles such as planes and buses from the Rogue Valley Transportation District, according to Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton.
Mitton also heard the sound of planes as he lives under the flight path of planes leading to the Medford Airport.
"It's inherent in the nature of life near the airport," he said.
The planes generally take off to the north, away from the most populated areas of Medford. When they take off south to Providence Medford Medical Center and surrounding neighborhoods, this often generates complaints, according to an audit of Mail Tribune's archives.
Wind, fog, smoke and construction at the airport can all affect the direction taken by planes for take-off and landing.
We checked with the airport control tower to see if planes were flying south recently, but we did not receive a response.
Although the Medford Noise Ordinance does not cover commercial vehicles during their regular operations, there are certain caveats.
It is not legal to park a large vehicle and to let the engine or auxiliary equipment run between 10 pm and 7 am if the noise is clearly heard inside a home. Commercial construction equipment is exempt, as are large vehicles loaded and unloaded, according to the Medford Municipal Code.
Large vehicles can not operate with an engine braking device on, except in an emergency, to avoid imminent danger to a person or property.
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