A question I am often asked by Hampton Roads Home buyers is “ What does the term APZ stand for” ? I see it on every home listing in this area that is for sale or rent.
APZ is the acronym for Accident Potential Zone. Because we have some many flight paths from military and commercial aircraft this has to be defined in every home listing in Hampton Roads. The highest probability for a aircraft crash ( and the noisiest) is APZ-1 . Slightly lower and quieter is APZ-2, and both have lower potential than the clear zone.
DoD identifies APZ’s as a planning tool for local planning agencies. APZ’s are areas where an aircraft mishap is most likely to occur if one occurs. They do not reflect the probability of an accident. APZ’s follow arrival, departure and pattern flight tracks and are based upon analysis of historical data. For an area to be deemed an APZ, a minimum 5,000 flight operations- landing or takeoff- have to occur annually.
The clear zone, the area closest to the runway end, is the most hazardous. The overall risk is so high that DoD generally acquires the land through purchase or easement to prevent development. APZ I is an area beyond the clear zone that possesses a significant potential for accidents. APZ II is an area beyond APZ I having a lower, but still significant, potential for accidents.
In general, to be compatible with noise zones and APZs around a military airfield, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recommends that noise-sensitive uses (e.g., houses, churches, amphitheaters, etc.) be placed outside the highest noise zone; that people-intensive uses (e.g., regional shopping malls, theaters, etc.) not be placed in APZ-1 areas; and that sound-attenuating methods be incorporated into building design and construction. In general, the only uses deemed compatible in an APZ-1 area are wholesale and manufacturing (with conditions), agriculture and public rights-of-way.
In other words if a home is located in an APZ-1 zone you will have a hard time hearing each other at outdoor barbecues in the backyard of your new home !!
Here is a map indicating the APZ zones around Langley AFB in Hampton VA. In the chart below the beige area is APZ 2 , The Yellow is APZ 1 .
Air Installation Compatible Use Zones for Hampton Roads