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How far away (from your ears)?

Updated: Apr 3

Chart - how far away is an aircraft from you?

We think that, when the Airport states an aircraft's altitude in thousands of feet, it can be misleading (not deliberately) because numbers expressed in thousands look large.

So, an aircraft directly over head at 2000 ft is actually only 0.38 of a mile away - no distance at all when it's climbing at full throttle with a full load. An aircraft at 4250 ft directly overhead is still only 0.8 of a mile away which is not far ats all for what is a noisy machine.

So, what we've done, is produce a chart (here) which shows you, for a given altitude, how far away from your ears (!) an aircraft actually is when it's overhead as well as when it is a distance away at ground level. It's revealing and it clearly shows that the current limit of aircraft flying 1 mile either side of the flightpath centre line is no help in terms of noise. (The chart is an estimate only for guidance.)

If you live very close to or under the flightpath centre line, you have a close to zero chance of aircraft ever being far enough away from you for the noise to maybe be acceptable.  If you live around 1 mile away from the centre line, you might occasionally get aircraft far enough away from you at ground level for the noise to be acceptable if  the aircraft is flying 1 mile away from the centre line on the other side from you.

Atmospheric conditions, including cloud cover, can also affect the levels of noise you hear. Also, the closer you are to the airport, the greater the likelihood that you will experience aircraft at altitudes of 0.38 mile (2000ft) or less.


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