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Lifting Wright Amendment Leads to Thousands of Noise Violations at Love Field

Lifting Wright Amendment Leads to Thousands of Noise Violations at Love Field
Jeff Edwards

The legislation that re-opened Love Field to a greater number of flights has also led to an increase in noise pollution and an almost three-fold increase in citizen complaints about jet engine noise.

The Wright Amendment legislation was originally crafted to protect the airlines that willingly relocated from Dallas Love Field (DAL) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) from being undercut by the more convenient airport located nearer to the Dallas city center. The lifting of the Wright Amendment little more than a year ago has been a boon to operations at Love Field. An investigative report by Dallas NBC affiliate WDFW, however, has found that Love Field’s resurgence is causing sleepless nights for some of the airport’s neighbors.

The NBC News exposé revealed that 3,401 flights violated voluntary nighttime noise restrictions in 2015. During that same time period, complaints from neighbors about jet engine noise increased 171 percent in the months following the lifting of the Wright Amendment.

The voluntary noise agreement encourages airlines to use the airport’s longer “preferred” runway after 9 p.m. The longer runway allows commercial jets to make less noise when taking off and naturally puts aircraft in a flight pattern that avoids residential areas. Each time a flight violates the agreement, they are served with notice of the violation, but the airlines are not penalized.
The report found that Love Field’s dominant carrier Southwest Airlines was the worst offender. The Dallas-based airline was responsible for using noise-restricted runways after 9 p.m. more than 1,900 times last year.

DAL Assistant Airport Director Terry Mitchell pointed out that because the nighttime noise restrictions are voluntary, it is ultimately up to the pilots and air traffic controllers to decide which runway to use. “‘Please’ is something we say all the time,” Mitchell told the television station. “We’ve kind of set a goal of 80 percent compliance as being successful. It’s not great, but it’s successful.”

[Photo: ROSE BACA/Neighborsgo staff photographer]

View Comments (4)


  1. KRSW

    March 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    All I’d like to know is…

    Was the airport there BEFORE the residents who are complaining? If so, tough. When you willingly buy a home next to a noise generating place, such as an airport, power plant, industrial facility, you know what you’re getting yourself into. Just because it’s been quiet for years doesn’t mean it won’t change/expand.

    Used to deal with this at one of our facilities. Our building and business had been there since 1940. Someone built a house next to the facility in the 1980s. Then would complain every time our big Caterpillar generator would fire up. When I say complain, he’d call the police, every…single…time. Eventually the police charged him with false 911 calls.

  2. brocklee9000

    March 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Who cares? The airport has been there longer than any of those complainers. They knew there was an airport when they moved there. Also, notice how it’s a “voluntary” noise abatement. And the airlines don’t get any kind of penalty for violating it. That probably means it’s not a big deal. Also notice how WN is the biggest offender, with over 55% of the violations.

    When I was younger, we lived right next to a NOLF where Navy and Marine pilots flew T-34 and T-44 turboprop trainers (and the occasional jets from Kingsville) would fly traffic patterns. All day, all night. And it wasn’t just in waves, it was pretty constant, at least every minute or so. Our house was less than a mile from the departure end of the runway. It didn’t affect us, and I never heard the neighbors complain.

    I’d love to have these people live near a major railroad (right next to it, 10 miles away, it doesn’t matter). You’re going to hear the chugging and rumbling, the squealing brakes, the horn. I’d love to see them try to complain about that.

  3. Dalo

    March 3, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    More than 50 years ago we lived very near Love Field . Yes , people did live in that area before there were jet airliners or any airliners . No , the airport was not there first . The frequent take offs would actually vibrate our house . There are reasons , very good reasons , the new airport was built in a less populated area between Dallas and Fort Worth .
    Every where in the world there are more people so change is necessary for civilization to continue .

  4. zarkov505

    April 19, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I used to live a few miles from Carswell AFB in Fort Worth TX, in the pattern.

    I very quickly got used to the noise from B-52s and KC-135s going over at all hours of the day and night. F-16s flew in and out at all hours, but they weren’t noisy enough to be noticeable.

    I never quite got used to watching the C-5 Galaxy whose pilot loved to practice pylon turns. Seeing something the size of a 747 flying LOW in a 60-degree bank is not something you forget, and the engine and fan noise from it is unique.

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