Dec 19

FAA Provides Direction on Airport Public Process; County to Assess Cost, Timing

Posted on December 19, 2023 at 4:55 PM by Nancy McCormick

Recent direction from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding concerns about noise from Dulles Airport calls for a community roundtable that includes all impacted communities and would consider any recommended changes to airport operations.  

The direction prompted the Board of Supervisors’ Transportation and Land Use Committee (TLUC) to suspend work on the Airport Noise Work Group that was set to begin meeting in January until the county staff can assess the FAA direction. County staff plans to return to TLUC in the second quarter of 2024 with more information and a recommendation. 

According to Vianair, a consultant hired by the county to analyze airport noise west Dulles International Airport’s only existing east-west runway, the proposed roundtable would serve as conduit for the FAA to receive recommendations. A community roundtable was set up around Reagan National Airport and some flight patterns were changed as a result. 

The county has been working to assemble an Airport Noise Work Group consisting of representatives of the communities west of the east-west runway that is intended to develop recommendations for FAA consideration. The work group would make recommendations to the community roundtable, which would pass the recommendations along to the FAA. 

Such a roundtable may include representatives from jurisdictions with communities impacted by aircraft lower than 3,000 feet flying to or from Dulles Airport. County staff will begin analyzing the community roundtable process, the time it would take and costs before returning to TLUC with a recommendation. 

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Nov 21

Board of Supervisors Receives Written Update on Efforts to Address Airport Noise

Posted on November 21, 2023 at 5:08 PM by Nancy McCormick

The Board of Supervisors canceled its November 2023 Transportation and Land Use Committee; however, county staff provided an update about its work with Vinair, the consulting firm hired by Loudoun County to analyze noise from Dulles International Airport.

The project team continues to document and analyze existing operations at Dulles International Airport (IAD) as it prepares to begin meeting with the county Airport Noise Work Group in January 2024. This work will help to inform technical discussions on possible operational adjustments to alleviate noise impacts. 

The baseline assessment includes review of:

  • Total operations (pre- and post-COVID)
  • Runway use statistics and trends (pre- and post-COVID)
  • Review of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) IAD Noise Reports (10-year historical review)
  • Review of noise complaints and social media for understanding of community issues and concerns
  • Review of land use (current and historical) in Loudoun County
  • Designation of study area (area of interest)
  • Review of published procedures 
  • Review of IAD noise exposure with focus on Loudoun County and communities west of IAD

Additionally, the project team is documenting “Aviation Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities;” a clarification that will enable participants in the community process to better understand which entity—such as MWAA, IAD operations, or various agencies within the FAA—has purview over various decision points. 

In the meantime, county staff is identifying community representatives for the community Airport Noise Work Group that will guide the project’s work.

For more information about the current project, visit

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Oct 05

Community Work Group Authorized to Engage FAA Regarding Dulles Airport Noise

Posted on October 5, 2023 at 4:30 PM by Nancy McCormick

With the goal of engaging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding noise experienced by communities west of Dulles International Airport, the Board of Supervisors, during its October 3, 2023, meeting, authorized plans to assemble a work group representing communities in that part of Loudoun.

The move comes in response to residents’ concerns about noise, particularly those residents whose homes are in areas nearest to the airport’s only east-west runway. Following the January 17, 2023, approval of a new Airport Impact Overlay District, which affects how properties within it can be developed, the Board voted to engage the FAA to better understand future options available to address community concerns about airplane noise.

As proposed, the work group would include ten members who represent the areas west of the airport based on a combination of geography and community affiliation. Vianair, a consultant hired by the county to assist with FAA engagement, has advised that creating the work group demonstrates the county’s level of interest and improves the chances of that engagement.

Next, staff members will reach out to the communities to identify representation for the group so that Vianair can begin its work with them by January.

More Information

For more information about the Airport Impact Overlay District and to sign up for email and text updates, visit

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