How is aircraft noise generated?



Aircraft noise occurs both in flight and while the aircraft is on the ground. Below is an explanation of how both types of noise are generated. 

In flight:

Although noise levels vary depending on the aircraft type, they generally arise from 2 main sources:

  • The use of major engine components 
  • The aerodynamic drag or resistance of airflow around the aircraft body and wings. 

Aircraft noise received on the ground is loudest during take-off and landing, and can usually be attributed to: 

  • During take-off – engine noise 
  • During landing – a combination of engine noise and the movement of air over the aircraft’s frame.

The amount of noise generated depends on various factors including aircraft type, size, weight and settings, altitude, the rate at which the aircraft climbs or descends and weather conditions.

On the ground:

Ground-based aircraft operations can also be a source of noise through activities such as engine testing. 

  • Dublin Airport has procedures that airlines and maintenance crews must follow to limit exposure of this noise to on-airport and surrounding communities 
  • Procedures include prior notification and approval of all such activities and restrictions on location, timing, duration and power settings.

Other factors that influence aircraft noise:


In addition to the physical characteristics of aircraft that contribute to the generation of noise, weather conditions influence aircraft operations and as a result, the amount of noise that surrounding communities experience. 

For a range of aeronautical reasons, aircraft generally take off and land into the wind. This provides greater lift for departing aircraft and a need for less runway and braking for an arriving aircraft. 

For Dublin Airport, the prevailing winds and the orientation of the main runway and the future new parallel runway mean that at any point in time around 70 percent of all aircraft arrival movements approach from over Dublin Bay, with 70% of departures heading to the West initially. 

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