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Home > Flying the Plane > The planes are awfully noisy over my house!
The planes are awfully noisy over my house!
Flying - Flying the Plane
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 14:49

Noise Abatement Procedure during Take-off from John Wayne Airport
Hello Capt Lim,

We live (unfortunately) under the approach path to John Wayne Airport in Southern California. The planes turn either from the east or west right over our house in order to get in line for their final approach. The noise is awful.

Someone told us yesterday that the planes are likely noisier in part because they have to accelerate in order to make a sharp turn. Is that correct?

Are all the engines' power turned up? How much? These planes are making fairly sharp U-turns.

Forgive me for the semi-illiterate question, but I know nothing about flying.

Thank you,

Kathleen Romer

Hi Kathleen,

The planes are noisiest during the take-off rather than the arrival. So your house over the approach path is affected by noise during the take-off as well as the landing based on the runway in use on a particular day. It depends on the direction of the wind.

As John Wayne Airport is in close proximity to nearby communities, the airport has one of the most stringent aircraft access and noise monitoring programs in the United States, if not the world.

Taking off from the airport requires a special noise abatement procedure. After a maximum power take-off, the plane has to climb quickly to a specific point, where the nose is lowered and power is reduced to a minimum setting. There are noise sensors along the flight path to measure each flight's noise profile. By lowering the nose and reducing the power, the flight can stay below the maximum noise level allowed.

The airport maintains 10 permanent noise monitoring stations located to the north and south of the Airport. Noise limits are specified at each monitoring station that varies by the time of the day.

In the event an aircraft exceeds the noise limits at one or more locations, a “Notice of Violation” will be issued to the registered owner of the aircraft. The Notice of Violation applies to the aircraft owner, the aircraft operator, and the aircraft.

Notices of Violation remain in effect for three years after the violation date. If three violations occur within a three-year period, the aircraft owner, the aircraft operator and the aircraft are subject to denial of use of the Airport for a period of three years.

During the take-off, depending on the weight of the plane, the power is normally at its maximum. On the arrival, the planes do U-turns to join the runway centre line and if any power is required, (normally about 50% or less) it is rarely at its maximum unless it aborts the landing.

Thus, the airport is concerned about complaints from the surrounding communities. Hence the noise abatement procedures for arriving and departing aircraft are strictly enforced.

If you are still concerned about noise from jets and large commercial planes, you can contact the John Wayne Airport Access and Noise Office at (949) 252-5185 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim

Take Off from John Wayne Airport


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