Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport - Aircraft Noise

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport provides important transportation services and supports jobs, business income and economic growth. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the airport, understands that aircraft noise is a concern in surrounding communities. In order to be a good neighbor, the Airports Authority has worked through the years with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Federal Aviation Administration and others to provide the public with information on noise-related issues.   

The Airport Authority’s Noise Information Office responds to comments, complaints and requests for information from individuals and organizations in communities across Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Noise Information Office staff are available to attend community meetings to meet with homeowners associations and other groups in the region, including the McLean Citizens Association, Communities for Smart Airport Growth, Palisades Citizens Association, Radnor Fort Myers Association, and the National Organization to Insure a Sound Controlled Environment.

The Noise Information Office monitors aircraft noise and operations along the Potomac River flight path and in nearby communities. Flight paths, flight times, altitudes and other aircraft movements are established and directed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which also operates the nation's Air Traffic Control system.

Under Reagan National’s Nighttime Noise Rule, established in the 1980s, certain aircraft that are prone to higher noise output - as determined by FAA’s aircraft certification process associated with aircraft type, weight and engine model - may or may not be compliant with Reagan National’s Nighttime Noise Rule which is in effect between 10:00 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. However, most modern passenger jets comply with Reagan National’s Nighttime Noise Rule and airlines schedule flights during the nighttime hours.

CLICK HERE to view an FAA press release regarding measuring the effects of aircraft noise.

CLICK HERE to view Noise Update for February, 2015.

CLICK HERE for more information about Reagan National’s Nighttime Noise Rule.

In addition to the airport Noise Information Office, FAA's Noise Ombudsman Office can provide additional information for those concerned about aircraft noise.

    DCA WebTrak - NEW Noise and Flight Tracking Monitoring Public Portal for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

    The Airports Authority owns and operates a noise and flight track monitoring system around the metropolitan Washington region. This system has been operational since 1978 and periodically upgraded. The most recent upgrade occurred in Fall 2014. As part of the new Noise and Flight Track Monitoring System, noise monitors are located along the primary flight corridors for Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports. The ability to monitor flight track position data and collect aircraft and community noise data assists the Airports Authority to better understand how airport operations may impact neighboring communities.

    On January 1, 2015, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority launched a new Public Portal that provides public access to noise and flight track data for (DCA) Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport: DCA WebTrak

    DCA WebTrak

    Quick Start Guide:

    The ‘Quick Start’ Tabs help users access noise and flight track data, as well as submitting a noise complaint.

    • Start Here: Aircraft, Map, Controls, Flight Tags and Flight Information Panels
    • Investigate: About, Where, When, What, How, Complaint Form
    • Legend: Aircraft Icons, Aircraft Colors, Noise Colors
    • Help: About WebTrak, Map, Flights, Noise, Other (Point of Approach, Weather, Complaints)

    Data Availability:

    Noise and flight track data is available as ‘Current’ or ‘Historical’. Current data is delayed ~1 hour due to system processing and security protocol requirements. Historical data may be viewed in the replay mode.

    Data Sources and Dependability:

    Noise: Displayed Noise Levels: Noise levels displayed at each monitor location are updated every second and shown as an A-weighted decibel level (dBA). The dBA levels emulate the changes in sound pressure as perceived by the human ear. The monitored noise level indicates all aircraft and community noise contributions including aircraft overflights, vehicle traffic, lawnmowers etc. Noise Monitor locations with connectivity issues are denoted as grey circles.
    Calculated Noise Events: The Airports Authority is the first in the United States to implement a technologically advanced methodology, via ANOMS, to detect noise events by adjusting threshold parameters to capture aircraft and community noise events. The advanced methodology does not rely on a set threshold to trigger a noise event and will compensate for lower background levels experienced during the nighttime hours and in suburban neighborhoods. Although, the overall noise energy experienced at the noise monitor does not change, the advanced methodology allows the Airports Authority to better identify aircraft and community noise contributions at those monitor locations.
    Radar: Flight track identification and position data is commercially purchased and processed as part of the Airports Authority’s new Noise and Flight Track Monitoring System (ANOMS and DCA WebTrak). DCA operations are color coded for easy identification: Arrivals (blue), Departures (red), Overflights - not operating at DCA (green). DCA arrivals and departures are displayed relative to airport elevation which may be different than an observer’s actual location.
    Disclaimer: ALL noise and flight track information provided on this site is intended for general use as a public resource tool. Flight track information is intended to display the general location of air traffic in the metropolitan Washington region and should not be used for navigational purposes or airline schedule information. Data anomalies will occur due to occasional loss of commercial resources, geographic radar reflections, weather conditions etc.


    DCA WebTrak Click to launch the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Public Portal. You will be leaving the Airports Authority's website.


    Telephone Contact Also Available

    In addition to completing a noise complaint via WebTrak, citizens are welcome to voice their concerns about aircraft noise at 703-417-1204.
    The Airports Authority's Noise Information Staff is available to discuss noise concerns during business hours. Callers are welcome to leave a voicemail message after hours or on weekends.