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Resources – Noise Control – Love Field Environmental Advisory Committee (LFEAC)

An integral part of the overall approach to noise control at Dallas Love Field is communication between the various parties involved in developing, monitoring and improving the program. The Resources – Noise Control – Love Field Environmental Advisory Committee (LFEAC) was established to provide a forum for discussion among airport neighbors, airport operators, and Federal and City aviation representatives on issues related to aircraft noise and noise abatement at Love Field. Members of the committee meet monthly to review airport operations, propose changes in operations, effectiveness of the noise abatement program, incidents of non-compliance, records of noise complaints and potential adjustments and improvements to the noise control program.

The contributions of the Dallas Love Field Noise Abatement Advisory Committee and the continuing communication between the interests represented are two of the most important elements contributing to the success of the program.

A New Generation of Quieter Aircraft

In the late 1960's, the Federal Government established regulations, (FAR Part 36 and Part 91) which resulted in the phasing out of the older, noisier aircraft from the nation's fleet and replace them with newer, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft.

The Love Field Policies

Love Field is located in a noise-sensitive area of the city near residential neighborhoods, which are essential in their role of providing economic, social and cultural stability for the City. It is important that the airport be operated in a manner that allows it to fulfill its vital role of attracting business to Dallas, while protecting and preserving the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. In order to balance these needs, the City of Dallas has adopted policies, which not only recognize Love Field's importance to the Dallas community but also establish a noise reduction goal to reduce the impact of the airport's operations on the neighborhoods

Airport Operations :: Noise Information

Serving aviation demand, while managing aircraft noise within the airport’s environs, is a challenge for all airports. Annoyance by aircraft noise is a very personal issue. One individual can be greatly bothered an aircraft passing overhead, while another individual may hardly notice the same noise.  

The federal government regulates airport operations, airspace, and aircraft. 

The Airport is owned and operated by the City of Dallas; however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates virtually all aspects of airport operations.

  • The FAA requires that this Airport be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The City cannot ban any specific type or size of aircraft from operating at the airport, based on noise levels.
  • The City cannot establish any type of curfew without FAA approval. No airport curfews have been approved by the FAA in many years.

The FAA also manages the airspace nationwide, controls aircraft in flight, establishes flight patterns, and determines minimum flight altitudes for aircraft. Aircraft taking off and landing use flight paths established by the FAA, and generally must achieve and operate at a minimum altitude of 1,000 ft. for aircraft and 500 ft. for helicopters.

The reduction of aircraft noise, through development of quieter engines, has been a key goal of the FAA.  Aircraft are classified in different noise “Stages”, with Stage 1 being the noisiest and Stage 3 being the quietest. As of Dec. 31, 2015, the FAA prohibits airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less from operating within the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels. This includes all aircraft currently operating at Dallas Love Field.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do planes fly over my house?
The airspace over the Dallas area is very congested, with over a dozen airports in close proximity to our city.  The FAA establishes air traffic patterns throughout the Metroplex, to safely separate aircraft, both horizontally and vertically. Aircraft seen overhead can be using DFW (one of the busiest airports in the nation), but could be flying to, or from, Dallas Love Field, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Alliance, Meacham, Spinks, or other smaller airports. Military jets and helicopters generally operate from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. 

What is quieter – an arrival or a departure?
Arriving aircraft at low altitudes are generally quieter than departures of the same aircraft type because the landing requires much less engine power. However, close to the airport, the relative “quietness” of an arrival may be offset by the fact that aircraft are typically lower in altitude than departures over the same location.

What causes planes to take off in the direction of my home?
The prevailing wind at the runway determines the initial direction of flight. Obstructions such as buildings, fences, and trees will diminish wind effects in the surrounding neighborhoods; however, on the open area of the airport, wind at six knots or more usually make it necessary for aircraft to take off into the wind.

How does weather impact aircraft noise?
Just about everything an aircraft does, including the noise it makes, is affected by the weather. Aircraft climb more slowly in warm weather, making operations louder on the ground. On cloudy days, the noise from aircraft rebounds down to the earth’s surface from the bottom of the clouds, making it louder. On windy days, aircraft noise carries further at ground level.

Can a loud aircraft be fined?
No, the City does not have the legal authority to levy a fine or otherwise penalize an aircraft operator for the amount of noise an aircraft makes.

What are the criteria used by the FAA to evaluate an application for a curfew?
Listed below are the criteria used by the FAA for evaluation of curfew requests. Please note that the sponsor must “prove up” all six elements:

  1. The restriction is reasonable, non-arbitrary, and nondiscriminatory;
  2. The restriction does not create an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce;
  3. The proposed restriction maintains safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace;
  4. The proposed restriction does not conflict with any existing Federal statute or regulation;
  5. The applicant has provided adequate opportunity for public comment on the proposed restriction; and
  6. The proposed restriction does not create an undue burden on the national aviation system.

Why was I woken up last night by aircraft noise; what’s going on at the Airport?
Like most commercial airports in the US, Dallas Love Field operates 24 hours per day 365 days per year. There is no nighttime curfew at Dallas Love Field. However, the City of Dallas, in coordination with the FAA, airport users and community representatives, has developed preferred nighttime aircraft procedures that help mitigate aircraft noise over residential areas. Wind and weather permitting, these procedures are designed to keep aircraft over less populated areas as much as possible.

Who tells the pilots where and when to turn?
Commercial pilots fly prescribed routes and general aviation pilots also fly prescribed routes as well as visual flight procedures (VFR) to and from Dallas Love Field as instructed by air traffic controllers. The FAA is responsible for managing our airspace and for ensuring the safe and expeditious flow of traffic. The City of Dallas is responsible for operating and maintaining airport facilities and for ensuring that runways (and taxiways and other facilities) are in good working conditions, meet FAA regulations and are available for use.

Why are planes flying over this area, we're not under a flight path?
The FAA (Air Traffic Control (ATC)), not Dallas Love Field, has sole authority and responsibility for routing and separating aircraft throughout the national airspace system. ATC's first priority is always the safe and efficient separation and routing of aircraft throughout the national airspace system.

The Dallas region experiences many types of aircraft over flights that may or may not be related to Love Field. In the Dallas airspace, at any point in time, there could be long haul flights en route (e.g. from Los Angeles to Chicago) traveling at very high altitudes; general aviation aircraft traveling to and from other local airports, military aircraft, other commercial aircraft traveling to nearby commercial airports and helicopter traffic for medical or traffic reasons.

If you live anywhere within the Dallas metro area, you will likely experience aircraft over flights. How and to what frequency depends on the weather, the runways being used, the type of aircraft, aircraft engine characteristics and relative distance from the airport.

Will filing a noise complaint change how the airport operates?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority in determining where aircraft will fly and how the airport will operate. These decisions are made solely on standard air traffic control procedures. Noise complaints are not considered when making these decisions. However, considerable time and effort are spent on a quarterly basis in handling and analyzing complaints.

What are the guidelines for filing a noise complaint?

Only one complaint will be accepted; multiple complaints and ranges of times will not be accepted. Each complaint should include name, address, email address, phone number, date and time of disturbance, and a detailed description of the disturbance. One word statements will be recorded but not responded to. Obscene language and threats will result in the complaint not being accepted, plus possible legal action.

Additional Information:

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 North Texas 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). Also referred to as "Metroplex", 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. The North Texas Metroplex Plan is one of several being implemented across the US.  The North Texas Metroplex was implemented in September 2014. 

DFW RNAV DEPARTURE PROCEDURES: 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.  
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