How to File Airport Noise Complaints

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Let’s face the facts, airplanes and airports are some of the nosiest locations and transportation methods available to travelers these days. Thousands of flights occur each day across the United States from state to state or to another country, which means that airplanes will need to either fly over your business or your home at some point during the day. Airport noise and airplane noise are considered two of the major culprits to noise pollution across the country today. There are laws governing airport noise pollution, and a set procedure for handling complaints is administered by the FAA.

Step 1: Observe the Airplane

The first step is to observe the airplane that is flying over your office or home so that you can identify the plane when filing an airport noise complaint with the FAA or your local law enforcement agency. The person filing the complaint should observe the following:

  • Aircraft type , which may be jet or propeller engines
  • Estimated time of the noisiest flights
  • Number of engines, which can range from single engine or multiple engines
  • Engine locations, which depending on the plane can be located on the wings, fuselage, the tail, or at the front
  • Type of wing, which can typically be either straight wing or swept back
  • Wing mounting, which the FAA regulation categorizes as high wing (located on top of the fuselage) or low wing (located on the bottom of the fuselage)
  • Landing gear, which will either be retractable gear (typically only visible during takeoff or landing) or fixed gear (visible at all times)
  • Registration number of the plane, which can sometimes be visible on the tail

All of this information is important and vital to filing the complaint, which will help federal regulations aviation department and other officials determine what flight may be producing noise pollution in your area.  Additionally, a detailed report and photographs of your specific location will help representatives respond to your personal complaints.

Step 2: Report the Complaint

Many airports, no matter how large or small they may be, have 24 hour noise complaint hotlines that a person can call when filing a noise complaint against the airport or against an airplane flying towards or away from the airport. The complaint can be filed via the hotline, through the airport’s website, in person at the airport or via the FAA itself. The FAA website has various forms that can be filled out when it comes to filing a noise complaint.

Step 3: Keep Calling

If the airport aircraft noise problems keep occurring, you should keep filing a complaint with the airport associated with the noise. The more airport noise complaints you file the more likely the airport is to investigate the complaint, and if time no response is made, you are paving the way to take further legal action against the airline or airport. 

Step 4: Check Status of Complaint

The status of a noise complaint can be checked via the airport’s website. Just logon to the site and enter your complaint number to see if it has been evaluated yet.

Step 5: Legal Help

If you have filed numerous complaints regarding noise with the airport and it continues then you should hire an aviation attorney to assist with your problem. An aviation attorney will be able to obtain answers from the airport in question and help build a lawsuit if necessary.  Typically, through a series of communications with your aviation attorney, airport and airline officials can mediate an agreement with you through your aviation attorney, if complaints are not addressed before filing suit.