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Aircraft Noise

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DFW’s Noise Compatibility Program Mission Statement:  
The DFW Noise Compatibility Office is the primary liaison between neighboring communities, residents, municipalities, airlines, FAA, universities, NASA and Board staff to demonstrate noise and land use compliance deliverables, meet, educate, research, assist and advise on aircraft noise, flight patterns, airspace and related actions.

noise 1 photo

DFW Airport has planned weekend and/or more extended closures in 2016 in order to fulfill necessary maintenance related to airfield lighting, equipment, markings, signage, and pavement work.  Weekend runway closures are typically scheduled from Friday at 10:00pm through Sunday at 4:00pm subject to favorable weather conditions.  A Go/No-Go decision is made prior to each affected closure as to whether the conditions are favorable for the planned closure.  If runways cannot close on a weekend as scheduled due to weather or other factors, additional weekend closures may be required.  The schedule for upcoming runway closures is noted below.  We will update this site as more information becomes available.

  • Runway 17C/35C:  Friday, April 1, 2016 from 9:00pm to Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 6:00am

During scheduled runway closures, aircraft flights that normally use the closed runway will be distributed to other runways.  This may require the diagonal runways (13R/31L and 13L/31R) as well as Runay 17L/35R to remain open for aircraft operations until 11pm.  Further, if winds are northerly, this could entail the need for the use of Runway 31L for jet departures..

 Runway closure photo


Aircraft normally will take off and land into the wind.  In the Metroplex, the winds are from the south about 70% of the time (South Flow) and are from the north about 30% of the time (North Flow).  DFW typically uses its north/south runways for most arrivals and departures.  Aircraft also arrive on the diagonal runways, that is, from the northwest on Runway 13R/31L in South Flow, and from the southeast on Runway 13L/31R in North Flow.  On occasion, DFW will experience high velocity cross winds from the west or northwest.  This condition is referred to as West or Northwest Flow.  Strong west cross winds limit the use of DFW's north/south oriented runways.  During West Flow,the FAA necessarily uses the diagonal runways for arrivals and departures in order to align the aircraft to the extent possible with the prevailing, high velocity winds.  This situation occurs rarely but when it does, you may notice jet aircraft departing to the northwest from both diagonal runways.  DFW and the FAA collaborate proactively on the possible use of the diagonals during the strong cross wind and use the diagonals when winds and safety warrant.
  • None known at this time.
The Airport provides a 24/7 Hot Line for inquiries and complaints that gives the caller an immediate response and, when requested, a callback with any additional information. Inquiries/complaints will be taken and forwarded to the Noise Compatibility Office (NCO). Those submitting an inquiry or complaint should include name, address and phone number with their voice mail or e-mail message.

For inquiries and complaints:
  • Noise Complaint Hotline: 972-973-3192.
  • Noise Complaint E-mail: dfwnoise@dfwairport.com.
  • General Noise Questions/Information: Harvey Holden, Noise Compatibility Planner, 972-973-5570
LAND USE COMPATIBILITY:  DFW and 10 surrounding cities entered into agreements between 1974 and 2004 to zone compatibly, that is, the cities agreed to limit development adjacent to the Airport to such activities as commercial, industrial, and retail, and to minimize incompatible land development , such as residential, schools, and child care centers, adjacent to the Airport thru their zoning regulations.  If a city finds that it is in its best interest to approve a proposed incompatible land use within the Airport’s noise overlay it typically requires the developer to architecturally mitigate (sound proof the facilities), to provide full disclosure to the first and all subsequent buyers thru the deed or plat, and to grant an avigation easement (like a city roadway easement, but for aircraft corridors).  As a result of this cooperative, regional program, is that nearly all of the few noise complaints received by DFW come from outside the noise overlay.
DFW noise contours are used for land use policy by DFW Airport and local city leaders.  The outer limits of DFW’s original noise overlay encompass approximately 50,000 acres, providing an immense area of mostly compatible land use.  

noise 2 photo

MONITORING NOISE:  DFW monitors sounds from aircraft operations and from local community activities via 35 permanently-mounted noise monitor sites strategically located in nine cities, and three counties over a 110-square mile area.  The noise data is correlated with FAA radar data to determine the sound attributable to aircraft operations (arrivals and departures).  The correlated noise data confirms compliance with federal stipulations from the 1992 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and provides local communities and builders with baseline aircraft and community sound exposure levels for building design and planning. 

noise 3 photo 

 DFW’s Noise Compatibility Office is responsible for monitoring aircraft flight tracks, via FAA radar data feed.  The flight tracks are retained by DFW’s tracking system and can be superimposed on a street base map to evaluate flights in the DFW Metroplex.  DFW’s flight tracking system stores information on individual flights such as Flight ID, aircraft type and operation, as well as, aggregate information regarding volume and frequent of flights, average altitude, etc over any geographic point in Metroplex.  For example, DFW’s flight tracking system can help a potential home buyer understand the type of operations that could occur over a home of interest  prior to their decision to purchase.  
FAA NEXTGEN:  The movement to the next generation of aviation is being enabled by a shift to smarter, satellite-based, digital technologies and new procedures.  Combined, these elements make air travel safer, more convenient, predictable and environmentally friendly.  As the nation’s largest airports continue to experience congestion, NextGen efficiency improvements are enabling FAA to guide and track aircraft more precisely on more direct routes, reducing congestion, delays, fuel burn emissions and noise. NextGen is also vital to preserving aviation’s significant contributions to our national economy.  For more information on FAA’s NextGen Initiative and how it relates to DFW:  http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/
FAA Optimization of Airspace & Procedures in the (Dallas/Fort Worth) Metroplex (OAPM):  One of the first phases of NextGen implementation is an initiative called the Optimization of the Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM).  A Metroplex is a geographic area that includes several commercial and general aviation airports in close proximity serving a major metropolitan area and a diversity of aviation stakeholders.  By optimizing airspace and procedures in the metroplex, the FAA provides solutions on a regional scale, rather than focusing on a single airport and set of procedures.  Redesigning the congested airspace above major centers of operations such as metroplexes creates a more integrated, efficient and predictable system.  FAA currently has seven OAPM studies underway including North Texas: http://oapmenvironmental.com/ntx_metroplex/ntx_introduction.html

FAA, airlines and the Airport worked together to implement Area Navigation (RNAV) departure procedures in September 2005.  RNAV is an FAA NextGen initiative that transitions navigation from ground-based navigational aids to satellite based aids.  The results include consolidated flight tracks, reduced noise over surrounding communities, and reduced air emissions by shortening the amount of time an aircraft is inside Metroplex airspace.  

noise 4 photo
REDUCTION OF NOISE AT THE SOURCE:  All of DFW’s aircraft fleet meets the FAA’s most stringent quiet requirements (Stage IV).  American Airlines is currently transitioning its principle type of aircraft, the MD80 series to quieter, new Boeing 737’s and Airbus 319’s.  Tremendous strides in reducing noise at the source have occurred over the past three decades. Technologies to reduce aircraft noise have evolved over time through efforts of NASA, FAA, and aircraft and engine manufacturers.  NASA continually researches and sponsors development of concepts and technologies for enabling dramatic improvements in the noise, emissions, and performance characteristics of subsonic commercial aircraft:  (insert link to NASA pdf document on noise and website).  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/fs03grc.html
NOISE & AIRSPACE EDUCATION & OUTREACH:   DFW’s Noise Compatibility Center, with its impressive noise and flight monitoring display capability, provides a venue for community forums to discuss airport-related topics. The large displays enable a clear view of the Metroplex and the complex strata of aviation activity above it.  If you would like to visit the DFW Noise Center, please contact Harvey Holden at 972-973-5570.

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