Noise Abatement FAQs

Here are answers to frequently asked questions regarding noise abatement at CVG.

Who owns and operates CVG?

The Kenton County Airport Board (KCAB) is the owner and operator of CVG Airport.

How many runways are currently in use at CVG?

Four.  There are three north/south parallel runways and one east/west crosswind runway.  

What are the runway names at CVG and why are they named that?

Runways are numbered based on the compass heading and the direction the aircraft is flying.

  • The eastern parallel north/south runway is identified Runway 18L/36R.
  • The center parallel north/south runway is identified Runway 18C/36C.
  • The westernmost parallel north/south runway is identified Runway 18R/36L. Built in 2006, this runway is the shortest in length.
  • The east/west crosswind runway is identified Runway 9/27.

What positive improvements has CVG made to help with noise abatement in the community?

Over the years, CVG Airport has made substantial investments in the community to mitigate the impact of aviation noise. Hundreds of homes have participated in the acquisition or purchase assurance program. Other homes, schools, and a nursing home have been sound-insulated. Two runways at CVG have been lengthened in support of noise mitigation, and CVG has implemented a flight tracking system to educate the community on aviation noise.

Are takeoffs noisier than landings?

Generally speaking, yes. An aircraft is noisier on takeoff because it is operating at full power.

Has the noise increased over the years?

The planes that are flying now are significantly quieter than the previous generation of aircraft that they replaced. While CVG has been named the fastest-growing major US airport, total aircraft operations in 2017 numbered over 150,463, as opposed to 2004 which had 517,520 annual operations.

Have the flight paths changed?

No. The current departure and arrival procedures were established in the early 1990s. Temporary variations to flight paths may occur due to wind, weather, or operational conditions to ensure flight safety.

How do air cargo schedules operate?

The nature of an overnight air cargo operation requires that the cargo (i.e., mostly packages) be delivered to its destination by a specific date and time — usually on the next business day by 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. There is a narrow window through which the cargo operators can operate to meet this deadline. For example, to ensure that a package going from New York to Tampa is delivered the next morning, the aircraft must depart New York no later than 10:00 p.m. for arrival at CVG between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. From 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., all cargo is sorted and reloaded on to aircraft. Departure from CVG occurs between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., with the arrival at Tampa between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Sortation and ground delivery in Tampa can then be achieved by 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. If the aircraft cannot depart on time from CVG, the on-time morning delivery deadline for all packages on the aircraft is missed.

Because meeting the delivery deadline is the business focus of the air cargo industry, it is critical to customer satisfaction and business reputation that aircraft move within a narrow window of operation. Missing the delivery deadline carries a cost to the airlines in the potential loss of customer accounts, and/or refunds for late delivery. As a service- based business, it is essential that carriers have the ability to expand their business without sacrificing service reliability, which is inherent to an overnight air cargo operation.

Can the airport impose a curfew over residential areas to regulate flights for commercial or freight traffic?

No. The Aviation Noise and Capacity Act of the 1990 prohibits implementing local noise rules that interfere with interstate commerce. If an airport is evaluating restricting any operations for noise, then the airport must conduct what is called a FAR Part 161 Study. To date, the FAA has not approved Part 161 Studies that restrict operations for noise at any airport in the U.S. Some airports had pre-existing noise rules in place prior to the Aviation Noise and Capacity Act of 1990.

Since I live outside of the 65 DnL noise contour, why do I still hear airplanes?

You can hear noise below the 65 DnL. However, the FAA has established 65 DnL as the threshold above which aircraft noise is considered to be incompatible with residential areas.

Who makes decisions regarding flight paths?

It is important to remember that the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower and approach control are responsible for safe movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air. Safety will always be the priority that guides air traffic decisions. The FAA follows established flight corridors and procedures, accounting for wind and weather, time of day, and aircraft type.  More information on this topic can be found here.

I live in a noise-sensitive community. Where can I find more information?

CVG appreciates the patience and understanding of our community. For more information about normal patterns, visit additional pages within this section of the website.