DFW Airport Noise Tracker

Disclosure: Animated flight tracks are delayed by 10 minutes.

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Frequently asked questions

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What causes planes to take off in the direction of my home?

For safety reasons aircraft always land and take off into the wind.  A headwind decreases the amount of runway needed for an airplane to take off and land by increasing the amount of airflow over the wing, which increases lift, allowing the plane to land or take off at a slower airspeed.  As a general rule, when the wind speed at the airport is measured to be six knots or higher, the prevailing direction of the wind dictates which runways are used for landing and takeoff.


Can the operator of a loud aircraft be fined?

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport doesn't have the legal authority to levy a fine or otherwise penalize any aircraft operator for the amount of noise their aircraft make.  Only airports in the United States that had noise-based operating fines in place before the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) was enacted in 1990 are allowed to extract financial penalties from operators based on airplanes exceeding specific noise thresholds at their airport.


What are the criteria used by the FAA to evaluate an application for a curfew?

In 1990 in response to a proliferation of "uncoordinated and inconsistent" noise and access restrictions at airports, Congress enacted the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA). Airports with existing curfew programs before the legislation's enactment were allowed to continue these programs in perpetuity. To provide a formal path for all other airports that wished to enact future noise and access restrictions, ANCA established the Part 161 "Notice and Approval of Airport Noise and Access Restrictions process. The Part 161 process requires the airport to submit documentation to the FAA that establishes that the proposed noise and access restriction satisfies all six of the following criteria for consideration:


What is quieter - an arrival or departure?

Generally speaking, airplanes are louder during landing than takeoff. The difference can be especially noticeable with commercial jet aircraft when comparing the same aircraft type in the takeoff and landing phase of flight.  Landing aircraft usually overfly the community at lower altitudes as they line up with the runway and prepare to touchdown, bringing them closer to residents on the ground. Configuring the plane for landing requires the pilot to lower the landing gear and wing flaps which enables the airplane to slow down and the wings to generate greater lift. However, the noise generated by the turbulent airflow over the landing gear and flaps also creates substantial noise that can equal or exceed that produced by the jet engines.  The turbulent airflow also increases the drag on the airplane requiring the pilot to increase engine power to maintain a safe descent path to the runway, which also increases noise. 


Will filing a noise complaint change how the airport operates

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority to determine where aircraft fly and how Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is operated.  The FAA operates DFW's runways and controls the associated airspace to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the skies around DFW.  Noise complaints are not considered when Air Traffic Control (ATC) makes decisions about how to manage the airspace above the metroplex.  However, DFW continuously engages with the FAA and works to ensure that noise concerns are considered when the FAA considers modifying or introducing new flight procedures.


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