In cooperation with local governments surrounding Washington Dulles International Airport, (Dulles Interntional or Airport) the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority undertook an effort during 2018 and 2019 to update the noise contour maps for Dulles International. The objective of this effort was to provide updated noise contour maps that can help guide local government land use compatibility planning in the region. The final, updated noise contour map showing Dulles International, Fairfax County and Loudoun County can be viewed here

(Please Note: The noise contour map update effort for Dulles International is unrelated to the Airports Authority's efforts in relation to working with the communities surrounding Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) through the DCA Community Working Group.  For information on DCA Community Working Group activity, please click here).

There were several reasons why the Airports Authority decided to embark on this effort:

  • There have been changes in the aviation environment since the early 1990s, when the existing Airport Overlay Districts were established, and the future vision for Dulles International should reflect these changes.
  • Flight tracks and overall utility of the airfield at Dulles International have evolved and will continue to evolve with implementation of  the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) NextGen modernization program.
  • The FAA is modifying flight procedures to allow for the triple simultaneous runway operations at Dulles International during low visibility conditions or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), which will likely increase utility and capacity at Dulles International.

The progress for this noise contour map update effort can be viewed here. The noise contour map process generally includes:

  1. Inventory | Evaluate current and future plans, describe existing operation conditions
  2. Forecast | Determine full-build scenarios, determine maximum potential operations, determine potential aircraft runway use and flight tracks
  3. Noise Modeling | Calculate existing aircraft noise exposure levels, calculate potential aircraft noise exposure levels for full-build scenarios, determine appropriate composite of potential scenarios
  4. Conclusions | Recommend potential aircraft noise exposure contour for land use planning.

To update the noise contour maps for Washington Dulles International Airport, the Airports Authority formed a Local Jurisdictional Stakeholder Working Group. (Working Group), comprised of Airports Authority interdisciplinary staff, appointed professional technical staff from local governments (including Fairfax County, the Town of Herndon and Loudoun County), our airline partners' representative and key FAA officials whose participation was essential to the success of this effort. The noise contour map update process involved regular meetings of the Working Group and. concluded  by end of February, 2019. Fairfax County, Town of Herndon and Loudoun County professional staff on the Working Group  were named to the Working Group by their respective County Executive, Town Manager and County Administrator. Staff were chosen from these three localities because a noise county map update for Dulles International is essentially a mapping effort, with a product outcome that most directly guides local land use planning in the immediate geographic vicinity of the Airport. 

Local government staff participating in the Working Group are listed here:   

Periodically, the Airports Authority posted information online that was relevant to the noise contour map update process. This information may also have included material that was  reviewed by the Working Group. During 2018, new information was posted in April, June, August and November. In 2019, new information was posted in February. The final contours were posted in 2020. Individuals wishing to access this information may click below: 

Three times during this process, the Airports Authority has hosted Public Workshops on-site and at a location near Washington Dulles International Airport. The Public Workshops included an opportunity for individuals interested in this process to personally visit with noise contour map update subject matter experts familiar with the effort. For more information, read the press release here

The Airports Authority hosted a final Public Workshop on:

Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Washington Dulles International Airport Office Building
45045 Aviation Drive
2nd Floor Conference Room 
Sterling, VA 

View workshop materials here

The Airports Authority held two earlier Public Workshops on:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - Click here for the 2 written comments received on June 27.
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Washington Dulles International Airport Office Building
45045 Aviation Drive
2nd Floor Conference Room 
Sterling, VA 

- AND -

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - Click here for the 7 written comments received on June 28.
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Rock Ridge High School Cafeteria 
43460 Loudoun Reserve Drive 
Ashburn, VA 20148

Consolidated information and comments from the June 27th and June 28th Public Workshops is posted here.   A synopsis of the comments received during these two Public Hearings has been summarized as Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).  Click here for the FAQ's from the June 27th and June 28th Public Workshops.

Throughout this process and during the Public Workshops, the Airports Authority welcomed questions, comments and general input from the larger community. 

On April 19, 2019, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority formally requested that Fairfax County and Loudoun County consider integrating the updated noise contours into their land use planning. Copies of this correspondence is available here:


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