Filing a Complaint

The City of Cottonwood is committed to monitoring airport-related noise in the surrounding community and is dedicated to helping stakeholders understand regulations associated with airport flight operations and noise in a transparent, clear, and accessible way.

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Reporting 

  • To submit an aircraft complaint, you may file via email at airport.noise@cottonwoodaz.gov or call the Airport at 928-340-2722.  
  • All complaints submitted by email or by phone are compiled and cumulatively reported in a Monthly Airport Operations and Noise Complaint Report.
  • If you request a call back, airport staff will respond during normal business hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday. 
  • All information submitted will become part of the City’s public records.  Arizona Public Records Law, A.R.S. §39-121, et. seq. requires the City to disclose such information upon a request for public records.

Filing a Report with FAA about Low-Flying Aircraft/Helicopter, Safety Concerns, or Noise

The City of Cottonwood has no regulatory authority over aircraft/helicopters in flight; that is restricted solely to the federal government.

The FAA Office of Flight Standards monitors aircraft operations.  Locally, the Scottsdale Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) services the Cottonwood area and may be contacted at SDL FSDO or (480) 284-4450. For safety concerns or to report low-flying aircraft, contact Scottsdale FSDO.   Although low-flying aircraft often raise concerns about both safety and noise, safety takes priority, so the FSDO is your best resource. For more information on filing a Low Flying Aircraft complaint with the FAA, please visit the FAA website at FAA - No Low Fly.  

The most efficient way to reach the FAA with your noise concern is to submit your complaint through the link Contact Western-Pacific Region for Aircraft Noise Concerns, selecting "File a noise complaint or inquiry" and providing the information that is required in the form. This is to ensure FAA have all the information required for their specialists to investigate your issue further.  

Guidelines and Standards

  • Complaints will only be logged when they contain accurate and complete information, including the first and last name, physical address, date and time of the occurrence, and means of contact (telephone number and/or email address).  Anonymous or incomplete complaints will not be accepted.
  • Individuals may submit one general complaint or an individual complaint for each occurrence; However, the Airport will not typically respond to the same general complaint or inquiry from the same individual more than once per day. 
  • The same general complaint or inquiry is one that does not differ in general principal from a previous complaint and that would generate the same airport response.

Abusive Callers or Emails; Threats

Complaints submitted by phone calls, voicemail messages, written communication, or in person with abusive language will not be tolerated (i.e., vulgar or offensive language that goes beyond expressing anger about a problem and begins attacking the city staff member handling or receiving the complaint).  An abusive caller is considered one who engages in swearing or uses other offensive language, and personal attacks or derogatory comments towards staff. 

  • Any complaint from an abusive caller will not be logged as a complaint.
  • Staff members communicating with someone who has become abusive or is using vulgar or offensive language will give one warning to the complainant before discontinuing the exchange. If the communication was to register a complaint, that complaint will not be logged.
  • Complainants who communicate repeatedly while using vulgar or offensive language will not be responded to or acknowledged.
  • Any threats made against people, structures, or aircraft (whether intentional or not (i.e., venting frustration) will be forwarded to the appropriate local or federal law enforcement officials for review and possible response.

Virtual Tower (Virtower) system

The installation of the Virtual Tower (Virtower) system provides accurate aircraft flight information and is intended to assist airport staff with basic ability to review information including:

  • Aircraft Altitude & Airspeed
  • Aircraft flight path to/from Cottonwood Airport or the general area
  • Aircraft registration number

The airport operates as a non-towered airport where pilots are responsible for communicating with each other and coordinating takeoffs, landing, and entry into/out of the general traffic pattern.  The safe operation of an aircraft is the primary responsibility of each pilot and is the reason why noise abatement practices are never allowed to take precedence over safety.

The Virtower system is not designed nor intended for the airport to act as air traffic controllers or to interpret aircraft flight operations with regards to safety.  The City of Cottonwood has no legal authority over aircraft in flight; that rests solely with the FAA.  If a pilot or citizen believes a situation was not consistent with Federal Aviation Regulations, they are responsible for contacting FAA for further review and potential action.