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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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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:

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