We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
If you were apartment or home searching, chances are you’d know not to rent or buy that unit that’s across the street from a train track or a granite quarry. But there’s another common source of noise pollution that most people don’t think twice about, and no, it isn’t your – ahem – neighbor’s inappropriate noises. Instead, it’s airplane noise. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “what are the flight paths over my house?” Trust us – it can make a difference in your quality of life! Residing in close proximity to an airport, or even near a popular flight path, can mean lots of noise all day and all night, which isn’t exactly a way to establish good energy in your new space. Not to mention exposure to all that residual jet fuel!
Here, we’ll share several sites and apps you can check out before you sign on the dotted line, to ensure you won’t be dwelling beneath a noisy flight path.
Using the FlightStats website or app, you can track flights by airport. So if you know you’ll be living near a popular airport, this site will give you a good sense of which particular areas might be louder and busier when it comes to air traffic than others. A low-cost subscription service allows for advanced features like historical flight status (has the location you’re eyeballing always been relatively flight-free, or could things change with time?) and arrival and departure schedules.
Check it out: FlightStats (Free to use; subscriptions start at $2.99/month)
Among the many features you’ll find on both the site and the app is a zoomable flight map that shows routes of flights and the number of times the plane takes that particular path. FlightAware allows you to check the status of any commercial airline flight, but also takes private and charter planes into account, which is good since they can also be a source of noise.
Check it out: FlightAware Flight Tracker (Free to use; subscriptions start at $39.95/month)
This full-color site allows you to see flights in and out of more than 4,000 airports around the world. Similar to the flight map on the FlightAware site, FlightRadar offers a zoomable map and allows you to easily enter origin and destination flights. As an advanced feature, you can use smartphone technology in the accompanying FlightRadar app to gain information about a specific airplane that’s flying overhead if you’re wondering, what are the flight paths over my house?
Check it out: FlightRadar24 (Free to use; subscriptions start at $9.99/year)
At first glance, SkyVector can easily overwhelm your senses with an intricate display of aeronautical charts. Yahoo! Answers user David J. explains,
You need to look at a flight chart of your area to see if any airways exist above your area. Go to skyvector.com and click on the chart that is in your area. Then, you’ll notice a series of circles with tik marks, which are called VORs. These VORs have airways coming out of them, shown as light blue lines and their names start with a “V”. Jets and airlines only fly on those designated airways. As long as none of those airways are above the location of the house, you won’t get any jets flying above, except if you are in the immediate vicinity of a major airport.”
Keeping things low-tech and friendly, you could always just knock and ask the neighbors about the flight paths over your potential house as well.