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Aircraft Noise

Aircraft Noise


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. Call the Noise Office at (972) 973 3192
 

Planned Runway Closures

 Runway closure photo


 

DFW would like to inform you of the upcoming runway rehabilitation project that could affect air traffic in your vicinity.  DFW will fully close Runway 18R/36L for extensive rehabilitation work beginning on June 1, 2020 and continuing until early March, 2021.  This project is part of DFW Airport’s 10-year Infrastructure Rehabilitation program to address runways and taxiways that will need significant rehabilitation work. Runway 18R/36L is DFW’s primary west-side arrival runway handling approximately 40% of DFW’s daily arrivals.  The 13,400 foot runway was built in 1984 and is in critical need of rehabilitation.  

As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, operations are at historic lows due to international travel restrictions and low demand for travel at the moment. As a result of the lower operations, DFW has decided to accelerate this project to begin June 1, 2020 to take advantage of the current situation. This will not only complete the project under less-than-normal operations, but will also continue to create jobs in the area. The accelerated schedule will also result in less impacts to communities due to the lower operational levels.

Runway 18R/36L Closure:

DFW is planning the closure of Runway 18R/36L from June 1, 2020 through Early March, 2021. This is to accommodate the rehabilitation of this runway, which entails the following: replacement of the center third of the runway including over 34 acres of damaged concrete, replacement of runway electrical including over 2000 airfield lights as well as reconstruction of shoulders, blast pads, and drainage.  Finally, the runway will be resurfaced with hot mix asphalt overlay.  A Fact Sheet about the Runway 18R/36L Project is attached, detailing the project, including its schedule and what to expect during the project.  We also outlined the anticipated effects on runway use below.

What to Expect: 

Surrounding communities may experience an increase in noise within their neighborhoods from the effects of the change in operations during the closure.  In general, because aircraft take off and land into the wind, when winds are southerly aircraft take off to the south and land from north to south.  When winds are northerly, aircraft take off to the north (or northwest in the case of the use of Runway 31L) and land from south to north.  Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction for which aircraft take off and land.

During the Full Closure of the project, the following runway utilization is anticipated:

Full Closure (June 1, 2020 – Early March, 2021)

  • Runway 18R/36L will be closed to all traffic
  • Air Traffic will shift to other runways increasing operations on those runways
  • Operational levels are significantly reduced thus impacts to communities will be less than expected.
  • Potential for increased use of all arrival runways during 10 PM – 7 AM
  • North Flow:  When the winds are out of the north (approximately 30% of the year):
    • Arrivals will shift frm Runway 36L (arrival runway) to other runways, resulting in increased operations on those runways:
      • Runway 35R and 31R (arrival runways) on the east side, primarily affecting Irving;
      • Runway 36L on the west side.
    • Departures will als shift to other runways, resulting in increased operations on those runways:
      • Runway 31L on the west side primarily affecting Southlake, western Grapevine, Trophy Club and Westlake;
      • Runway 36R on the west side (departure runway)
      • Runway 17R  on the east side (departure runway).
  • South Flow:  When the winds are out of the south (approximately 70% of the year):
    • Arrivals will shift frm Runway 18R (arrival runway) to other runways resulting in increased operations on those runways:
      • Runway 17L (arrival runway) on the east side, primarily affecting Coppell;
      • Runways 13R on the west side, primarily affecting Southlake, Trophy Club and Westlake
      • Runway 18L on the west side, primarily affecting Flower Mound and Lewisville
  • The shifts in aircraft operations to other runways during the closure may primarily affect the cities of Irving, Coppell, and Lewisville. Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Westlake, and Flower Mound.
  • Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction for which aircraft take off and land.

We have included graphics that provide a visual as to how air traffic will be redistributed during the full closure. 

DFW recently released a new flight tracking website that can be used to see near-live flight tracks, see the latest DFW news on the runway project, daily statistics as well as a feature that allows the public to input their address to view current and historical flights in their vicinity.  The website can be found from DFW Airport’s Noise Web page by clicking on “View DFW Airport Noise Info”:  Aircraft Noise Webpage.

Citizens with inquiries or comments should contact DFW Airport by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7).  Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided, when requested.  Additionally, please visit our Aircraft Noise Webpage, for more up-to-date information as well as links to our public-facing website.

2020 18R-36L Rehab Fact Sheet (PDF)

Briefing on Runway 18R 36L - All Cities (PDF)













NOTICE TEMPORARY FAA TOWER CONSOLIDATION:

 

We would like to make you aware of an upcoming modification in the use of runways at DFW Airport that could affect air traffic in your community.

 

The FAA has advised DFW Airport it is taking steps nationally to ensure the health and safety of employees while also ensuring continuity of operations is maintained to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  At DFW the FAA will be transitioning to a reduced staffing schedule and operating solely out of FAA’s East Tower to ensure essential air service is maintained.  As a result, the majority of air traffic will be directed to utilize the airport’s east runway complex.

 

By moving to a single tower, the West Tower will be reserved should an evacuation of the East Tower be required. This plan is intended to limit the number of air traffic controllers working in the same building while still maintaining DFW Airport operations as well as other operations in the Metroplex.

 

While most operations will be conducted on DFW’s east side runways, limited operations are still expected to occur on the west side during the day.

 

  • Given significant reductions in flights at DFW, east complex runways are not expected to see additional operations over normal levels. 
  • Departures will primarily use Runway 17R/35L, which is a normal procedure.
  • Arrivals will primarily use Runways 17C/35C and 17L/35R.
  • To minimize community impacts, FAA plans to consolidate operations to the main parallel runways at night, typically after 10pm depending on flight activity.

 

 

FAA has advised this temporary change is scheduled to take effect at 10 pm tonight, Saturday, March 28, 2020.  The duration is not yet known but expected to continue for the next two months.

 

What to Expect:

 

DFW operations have been significantly reduced given significant reductions in discretionary travel.  American Airlines has also reduced its early morning and late night flights as it works to consolidate flight operations.

 

For cities on DFW’s east side – Coppell, Irving, Lewisville, Grand Prairie:

  • The shift in aircraft operations is not expected to result in greater operations than normal due to the significant reduction in total daily operations.
  • Communities may experience some additional traffic, including normal to slightly increased numbers of arrivals to Runways 17C/35C and 17L/35R to accommodate irregular operations and unique flight schedules.

 

For cities on DFW’s west side – Grapevine, Euless, Flower Mound, Southlake, Arlington, Westlake:

 

  • As most operations are shifting to the east complex, cities on the west side are expected to experience reduced flight operations but will still experience typical aircraft overflights to and from destinations west of the airport.

 

As a reminder, aircraft take off and land into the wind. Thus, the direction of operations is primarily based on winds.  Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction for which aircraft take off and land.



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High Velocity Winds

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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
 
 
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