Tips for Homeowners
Concerned about the impact of aircraft noise? Call the Noise Officer at (813)870-7843 before you buy a home. The Noise Officer will answer questions you may have regarding current and future noise impacts.
Assess the Homesite
If you are concerned about abnormal noise levels that you feel have become a pattern, you can request that the noise officer visit the home site during various times, days and seasons (summer and winter) to observe aircraft operations in each operational mode (departure and takeoffs). Through the use of a portable monitoring system the noise officer can also collect single event noise level data to be compared with information collected by the permanent noise monitors that are stationed in the runway approaches and on the edge of the 2005 noise exposure map 65 DNL contour. Peak travel season for airport operations at TPA is the winter and the peak month is March which gradually decreases during the summer months. There are two primary flight corridors for aircraft operations at TPA, a north and south flow. When the winds are from the north or northeast (north flow), planes depart toward the north over Hillsborough Ave and primarily arrive from areas north of the airport on a southerly heading. As turbojet aircraft transition on a southerly heading to land during a north flow, it is preferred that these turbojets turn north of MacDill AFB Runway 4 (base leg) and intersect the extended centerline of the west parallel runway (1L) to land. Turbo-propellers and propeller aircraft are exempt from the aforementioned procedure. Occasionally, planes will depart to and arrive from the east during strong crosswinds of 20-knots and 5-knots tailwind. When the winds are from the south (south flow), turbojets depart toward Interstate 275 and turn to assign flight track headings that turns them out toward Tampa Bay to avoid flying over noise sensitive communities. During arrival, planes navigate from all areas to land at the airport based on prescribed FAA traffic patterns. The noise impact will be different for each operational mode at different home sites. A good time to observe is near noon on weekdays. Most planes fly during the day and early evening and some flights occur late at night. Weekends may be busy too, but personal observations are important. You probably don't have the time to observe at all hours, but airplanes fly at all hours and there is no curfew at TPA. Please keep in mind that the more specific the information you provide us the less speculative our noise complaint investigation findings will be.
Flight patterns affect most areas in Hillsborough. Become aware of what aircraft noise impacts there may be at the home site by visiting and spending time at the home site. There can be variation in the altitude of the airplanes due to various reasons, both on departure and on approach. An airplane flying lower than other airplanes can cause a noise disturbance. TPA currently operates with three runways with plans to construct a new third north-south parallel runway (17-35) west of the existing runway 1L/19R sometime after 2015.
Currently, TPA has two parallel runways (1L/19R and 1R/19L) that handle all commercial, cargo, commuter and general aviation (corporate jets, turbo-propeller and propeller aircraft) operations. A short crosswind runway, 10-28 is available to handle all aircraft operations when crosswind component exceeds 20 KTS - 5 KTS tailwind. A third north-south parallel runway 17-35, is planned to be constructed and operational sometime after 2015. This new runway will be built to meet the expected growth in demand of commercial passenger air service. The existing and planned parallel runways are shown on the Year 2025 Future Noise Contour Map over existing land use.
Screen Information Carefully
Be careful with what people tell you. Real estate agents, property developers, neighbors and concerned citizens may not be familiar with aircraft operations at TPA. So, when they tell you that the airport shuts down at night or that the planes usually fly the other way or that it's not that bad or that the noise is getting worse every day or that the flight paths were just changed or that the property value is going down or anything else, please call the Noise Officer. The Noise Officer will discuss flight patterns; current aircraft operations; aircraft over-flight areas and future growth at the airport.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
It is important for the public to know that the authority to control aircraft in flight and on the ground is vested exclusively in the FAA. The FAA, however, cannot control the number of flights or the time of day of aircraft operations. Federal law preempts any local government agency from implementing any action that is intended to control the routes of aircraft in flight. Therefore, local elected officials and airport management cannot control the routes of aircraft in flight or on the ground.