Flight Paths

Part 150 Noise Studies

A Part 150 Noise Study is a voluntary study that is undertaken by an airport operator. It is used to identify noise issues at airports that may warrant remediation. In addition, the Part 150 Study identifies noise abatement procedures and land use measures, to minimize community noise impacts. 

The last Part 150 Noise Study for Tampa International Airport was completed in calendar year 2000, and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in January, 2001. 

The approved 5-year noise exposure map will be monitored to determine if an update to the Part 150 Study is necessary.

Flight Corridors

The direction of the prevailing wind dictates the operational flow of air traffic at any airport. At Tampa International Airport, the winds are primarily from the northeast (fall and winter) and south (spring and summer) with the occasional crosswind from the east or west. Considering this, the two primary flight paths at the airport are a North Flow and South Flow. This also explains the orientation of our primary runways 1L/19R and 1R/19L in a north-south direction.  

North Flow

  • Arrivals: To avoid turbojet aircraft over-flights over residential communities located south of the airport, it is recommended for turbojet aircraft to commence their turn south of MacDill Air Force Base Runway 04 (base leg) and then turn to intersect the extended centerline for runway 1L to land (final leg). Turbo-propeller and propeller aircraft are exempt from the aforementioned noise abatement procedure and are assigned Runway 1R for arrival, within the guidelines of the airports Voluntary Noise Abatement Program.
  • Departures: All aircraft depart to the north over Hillsborough Ave and are instructed to fly a heading of approximately 360-degrees before given instructions by Air Traffic Control to turn to their initial course heading.

South Flow

  • Arrivals: As a majority of air traffic operating at Tampa International Airport originate from destinations north of Florida, these aircraft will be given instructions by Air Traffic Control to intersect the extended runway centerline (180-degrees) at a distance of 10 miles or greater for a straight-in approach. Aircraft approaching the airport from the south will navigate on the eastern and western sides of the airport on a northerly heading. They will commence their base turn when they are perpendicular to the assigned runway end and eventually turn to intersect the extended runway centerline to land on runways 19L and 19R.
  • Departures: Aircraft departing on runways 19L and 19R are instructed to turn to a heading of 210-degrees and 200-degrees respectively upon reaching an altitude of 3,000 feet, unless otherwise operationally required.

Aircraft operations at TPA experience considerable seasonal and daily peaks. This often requires a change in how airplanes are routed to allow the airport to handle the additional demand. Seasonal weather patterns also influence the flight patterns at the airport. As weather fronts come through or the seasons change, wind patterns often shift. This results in changes in which runway ends are used by the arriving and departing aircraft as previously explained (north and south flow).

Noise Exposure Maps

Once the noise footprint from aircraft operations from TPA has been determined, a method of illustrating the location of various levels is needed. The development of a Noise Exposure Map (NEM), or commonly referred to as a Noise Contour, is the accepted FAA method for illustrating the location of aircraft-generated noise levels surrounding airports. Noise contours are continuous lines on a map of the airport vicinity connecting all points of the same noise exposure level, in much the same manner as ground contours on a topographic map represent lines of equal elevation. Noise contours are generated in 5-decibel (dB) decrements from the airport to the limits of the 65 DNL. These noise contours provide a basis for making important zoning and land use decisions.

Click here for the existing (year 2000) noise exposure map (NEM).

The five-year projected noise exposure map is here.