Aircraft Noise Procedures and Guidelines at Reagan National Airport

The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Noise Abatement Procedures are designed to reduce the number of people exposed to aircraft overflights. This is accomplished through the use of Federal Aviation Administration arrival and departure procedures that generally keep aircraft over the Potomac and Anacostia rivers when departing or arriving –the times aircraft are at their lowest and loudest. Aircraft operate to the north or south based on wind conditions.


NORTH FLOW OPERATIONS (Figure 1)


Click on the image for a full depiction of north flow operations (PDF file)

North Flow Departures: Aircraft departing to the north/northwest are required to initiate an immediate left turn to avoid flying through prohibited airspace located 1.5 miles north of the airport. The prohibited airspace restricts aircraft operations near the White House, National Mall and Naval Observatory. After turning to avoid the prohibited airspace, aircraft continue on a northwest heading, which approximates the position of the Potomac River, for approximately 10 miles northwest of the airport toward the American Legion Bridge. Aircraft departing to the northeast are to fly a northeast heading, which approximates the position of the Anacostia River, for approximately 5 miles northeast of the airport. There are two standard FAA departure procedures assigned to aircraft departing to the north out of Reagan National:

  1. National 3 Departure Procedure links: NATNL3 pg 1 and NATNL3 pg 2
  2. Lazir 4 Departure Procedure links: LAZIR4 pg 1 and LAZIR4 pg 2

North Flow Arrivals: Arriving aircraft approach the airport from the south. Aircraft typically join the Potomac River well south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge then continue north until arrival on Runways 01, 04 or 33.


SOUTH FLOW OPERATIONS (Figure 2)


Click on the image for a full depiction of south flow operations (PDF file)

South Flow Departures: Aircraft departing to the south follow the Potomac River for approximately 5 miles south of the airport toward the Woodrow Wilson Bridge before being turned to their destination. There is one standard FAA departure procedure assigned to aircraft departing south out of Reagan National:

  1. National 3 Departure Procedure links: NATNL3 pg 1 and NATNL3 pg 2

South Flow Arrivals: Arriving aircraft that approach the airport from the northwest typically join the Potomac River near the American Legion Bridge then continue south until arrival on Runways 15 or 19. There are two standard FAA approach procedures assigned to aircraft arriving from the northwest to Reagan National:

  1. River Visual Approach Procedure (Good visibility and weather conditions) link: River Visual RWY 19
  2. LDA Approach Procedure (Poor visibility and weather conditions) link: LDA RWY 19

Click here for a menu of all Federal Aviation Administration flight procedure maps for Reagan National Airport.


COMMUNITY OUTREACH

The Airports Authority has a long history of addressing aircraft noise concerns of residents in the Metropolitan Washington region. Through its Noise Information Office, the Airports Authority works with residents, elected officials, the FAA, airlines and pilots to achieve the mutual goal of safe airport operations while limiting the number of residents exposed to aircraft overflights and noise. This effort includes exchanging information with residents, civic and homeowners associations and elected officials through formal and informal correspondence and meetings.

In past years, the Airports Authority has partnered with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments on regional noise issues and development of the current Ronald Reagan Washington National Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. The Noise Compatibility Study is a land-use planning tool to assist local jurisdictions with policy and zoning decisions. The Council of Governments’ former Aviation Policy Committee, which was active for several years during the airport noise study, was instrumental in helping to address community noise issues. Although the Aviation Policy Committee is retired, the APC website is still accessible to share the long history and actions implemented to associated with aircraft noise concerns at Reagan National.