Aircraft Noise Factors

Aircraft Noise Factors

White 737 Jet Plane

  • Personal Sensitivity: Aircraft noise exposure can extend miles beyond the limits of the Airport. Most impacts occur when aircraft are on their final approach to, or initial departure from the Airport. Since there is a wide range of sensitivity to noise, the perceived extent of noise annoyance for an individual is largely dependent on their personal reaction to it. In addition, an aircraft operating at night is generally perceived to be louder than it is during the day. Ambient noise lessens in the evening and a person’s sensitivity to noise is greater during sleeping/relaxation hours.
  • Aircraft Factors: With advances in engine technology, newer jet aircraft are quieter than older ones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that civil aircraft comply with increasingly strict international standards of engine noise levels in order to fly within the National Airspace System. Generally, departures are louder than arrivals because aircraft need more engine power to attain a safe level of flight. Aircraft departing for distant destinations are also louder than those traveling to closer destinations because their rate of climb is hampered by their greater fuel load.
  • Weather Factors: Weather has a strong influence on the choices of runways and flight paths used by aircraft, as aircraft take off and land into the wind for safety and performance reasons. The movement of noise through the air can also be influenced by wind, temperature, cloud cover, fog, topography, and man-made barriers such as homes and other buildings, which may result in varying noise levels at the same location at different times of the day. For example, changes in outside air temperature can influence how far noise travels as well as how quickly an aircraft climbs. Aircraft may also be directed to fly outside of normal arrival and departure routes to avoid thunderstorm activity and limited visibility may require aircraft to fly longer approaches.

Homeowner FAQ’s

Homeowner FAQ’s

Row of Military Jets

  • Why do aircraft fly over my house?

    Depending on where you live, aircraft may be flying overhead as a result of standard air traffic control procedures. Traffic patterns are designed to allow safe and efficient operations of aircraft within the National Airspace System. Routine airfield maintenance or weather conditions may require changes in traffic patterns from what is typically seen. In addition, for safety reasons aircraft land and takeoff into the wind and must follow published procedures and air traffic control routing and sequencing instructions. Arriving aircraft will typically line up with the runway many miles away as they make their final approach to the runway in use via a three–degree glide slope from the runway end. This translates to about 300 feet of descent altitude for every mile flown. In other words, if an aircraft is three miles from the arrival end of the runway its altitude will be approximately 900 ft. The locations of departing aircraft tend to very more than arriving aircraft because they initiate turns much closer to the airport, generally as they reach 500 to 1000 feet above ground level. The exact location of the turns depends on the climb performance of the aircraft, their ultimate destination and how they are routed by Air Traffic Control to avoid other air traffic.

    Due to prevailing wind conditions, LAL operates predominantly in an east flow configuration (arrivals and departures to the east) which tends to place a higher number of overflights over certain communities. For information about how LAL works with aircraft operators and the FAA to reduce noise impacts, please see the FAQ item titled, "What is the Airport doing to reduce noise over our communities?". 

  • Why do some aircraft fly lower than others?

    Aircraft have different capabilities due to their size, payload, engines, and aerodynamic performance. Large aircraft will often appear lower and slower than smaller ones even when they are travelling at the same altitude and air speed. Altitudes are also assigned by Air Traffic Control throughout a flight to ensure aircraft remain separated from one another. This sometimes includes Air Traffic Control instructions for departing or arriving aircraft to maintain specific altitudes for indefinite periods of time, providing required separation from other aircraft. 

  • What are the Traffic Patterns?

    There can be variations in traffic patterns around the airport for various reasons including but not limited to traffic avoidance, sequencing, and the type of approach being flown. Currently, there are three active runways at LAL including Runway 10/28, 5/23, and 8/26. The primary runway (Runway 10/28) runs east to west and handles all commercial, cargo, military, and business jet aircraft operating from the airport. The airport’s crosswind runway (Runway 5/23) runs northeast to southwest and is primarily used by smaller training and business jet aircraft when the relative winds no longer favor the primary east to west runway. The airport’s third runway (Runway 8/26) is a small turf strip located south of the primary runway and only serves light aircraft. Aircraft not departing to or arriving from another destination at the airport may stay in the local traffic pattern. This box shaped "racetrack" pattern keeps aircraft close to the airport either to the north or south depending on the active runway or due to other operational factors.

  • Who controls the aircraft at the Airport?

    It’s important to know that the authority to control aircraft in flight is vested exclusively in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA, however, cannot control the number of flights or the time of day aircraft operate. Federal law preempts any local government from implementing any action that is intended to control the routes of aircraft in flight.

  • Does the Airport have a curfew?

    As a public use airport, Lakeland Linder International Airport is required to accept arriving and departing aircraft at any time. The Airport can't restrict the types of aircraft or place restrictions on their operating times. While there are a few airports in the United States that do have nighttime curfews, these were in place prior to the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 which limited further restriction of aircraft operations. We understand that nighttime operations are particularly concerning, and we continue to communicate with the FAA and pilots about those operations.

  • Are there any legal limits on aircraft noise levels?

    Lakeland Linder International Airport does not set limits on the noise levels of aircraft operations. The FAA prevents airports from implementing noise-based operational restrictions on aircraft. However, the FAA has a long-standing noise regulation program that requires aircraft manufacturers to ensure that their aircraft designs meet federal noise limits. These noise regulations provide benefits to the communities surrounding our Airport and nationwide.

    When discussing noise levels in the vicinity of airports, the FAA uses a noise metric called Day-Night Average Sound Level, or DNL. The intention of DNL is to produce an average noise level by aggregating the sound energy of multiple aircraft operations occurring over an average 24-hour period. DNL weights nighttime aircraft activity (occurring between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM) by an additional 10 decibels to reflect the higher potential annoyance associated with this activity. As a result, each nighttime aircraft operation is treated as being equivalent to 10 daytime operations in calculating the average day noise exposure. DNL is not measured by noise meters – instead, noise meters give the noise levels of individual aircraft overflights. We recognize that community members experience aircraft noise as individual overflights, rather than 24-hour averages. The Airport continues to interact with the FAA and pilots to reduce the noise of aircraft operations.

  • What is the Airport doing to reduce noise over our communities?

    The Airport has introduced a voluntary preferential runway use program utilizing eastern arrivals and western departures between the hours of 10pm and 7am when winds, weather, and other factors allow; taking aircraft away from those densely populated communities closest to the Airport. We’ve also placed posters in pilot ready rooms and installed lighted airfield signage encouraging pilots to request FAA Air Traffic Control assign a westward departure and eastern arrival during overnight hours, in keeping with our voluntary preferential runway use program.

    The Airport has engaged the FAA and Hughes Aerospace to develop two Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedures to abate noise experienced by the community from departing aircraft. New departure altitude profiles are being looked at that could reduce noise for communities closest to the Airport or communities further from the Airport, respectively. These new SIDs aim to place aircraft higher over our communities or allow reduced engine power levels during overflight, which could reduce noise for communities around LAL.

    In addition to the two SIDs, the Airport has also engaged the FAA and Hughes Aerospace regarding the development of an RNAV (Area Navigation) RNP (Required Navigation Performance) and RNAV (Area Navigation) GPS (Global Positioning System) arrival procedure(s) to be flown by air carrier aircraft when approaching from the east, which could abate noise over those populated areas while also maintaining a safe approach to the Airport.

    Furthermore, we invite members of our community to reach out to us with their questions and concerns by visiting our Flight Tracking & Noise Concerns web page. We engage regularly with FAA Air Traffic Control and airlines regarding the noise concerns submitted by our community members. In addition, all airlines operating from the Lakeland Airport have special instructions placed in the flight crews’ briefing materials advising them of the preferential runway use procedures at LAL.

    Proposed Procedures

  • Looking to purchase a home or property around the Airport?

    If you are looking to purchase a home or property around the Airport you should screen information carefully from real estate agents, property developers, and neighbors. They may not be familiar with aircraft operations at Lakeland Linder International Airport or our future development. Be cautious if someone tells you that the airport shuts down at night, that aircraft fly the other way, or that it’s just a small local airport with little traffic.

    Potential buyers should also understand where their future property sits in relation to the airport, especially to our three runways. Those properties located directly under approach corridors will experience more noise than others.

    If you have any questions about the airport, our development, or impacts to your property please reach out to the Airport Administration Office.

Flight Tracking & Noise Concerns

Flight Tracking & Noise Concerns

Military Helicopter

  • Flight Tracking

    Please visit for near realtime and historical aircraft tracks. Please note, some flights including military aircraft are not shown by this flight tracker. Below are two diagrams for your referance that show the general flow of aircraft to and from Lakeland Linder International Airport.

    LAL West Flow Aerial
    LAL East Flow Aerial

  • Noise Concerns

    Should you have a question about aircraft noise or wish to file a noise concern please reach out to the Airport Administration Office at 863-834-3298 or e-mail [email protected]. When filing a concern, please be prepared to provide the following: the event date and time, the nature of the concern (ex. excessive noise, low flying aircraft), location, aircraft type (ex. single engine, twin engine, jet, helicopter), color or markings of the aircraft, direction of flight, and contact information. Alternatively, you can also submit a Noise Concern Form with the airport using the button below.

    Noise Concern Form
  • FAA Noise Portal
    The FAA’s continuing mission to ensure the safe and efficient use of the nation’s navigable airspace includes an array of research and community engagement activities focused on addressing aircraft noise.  Please follow this link ( for additional information on the FAA Southern Region’s aircraft noise and community involvement resources including filing a noise inquiry.