City of Sunnyvale - Noise Lab

With Noise Lab, you have the ability to obtain reports on noise events and flight activity, view historic and near-real-time flight tracks, and better understand the complex and sometimes confusing world of aviation noise.

Runway use
Weather conditions

News items

Data from yesterday

Frequently asked questions

More FAQ >

How do I navigate this site?

For an explanation of how to navigate the City's Casper Noise Lab website please see the User Manual.  This document provides an overview of the website as well as details about each individual webpage, data browser, and the associated charts.


Will filing a noise complaint change how the airport operates?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority to determine where aircraft fly and how the airspace in the Bay Area is operated.  The FAA controls the runways and associated airspace to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the skies around Sunnyvale.  Noise complaints are not directly considered when Air Traffic Control (ATC) makes decisions about how to manage the airspace in Northern California.  However, individual airports, various roundtable groups, and city, state, and federal representatives continuously engage with the FAA and work to ensure that noise concerns are considered when the FAA initiates a process to modify or introduce new flight procedures in the Bay Area.


What causes planes to take off in the direction of my home?

For safety reasons aircraft always land and take off into the wind.  A headwind decreases the amount of runway needed for an airplane to take off and land by increasing the amount of airflow over the wing, which increases lift, allowing the plane to land or take off at a slower airspeed.  As a general rule, when the wind speed at the airport is measured to be three knots or higher, the prevailing direction of the wind dictates which runways are used for landing and takeoff.


How does weather impact aircraft noise?

Just about everything an aircraft does, including the noise it makes, is affected by the weather. Aircraft climb more slowly in warm weather, making operations louder on the ground. On cloudy days, the noise from aircraft rebounds down to the earth’s surface from the bottom of the clouds, making it louder. On windy days, aircraft noise carries further at ground level.


What are the Guidelines for filing a noise complaint?

If aircraft noise is bothering you, the best thing that you can do is to contact the appropriate airport to report airplane noise. You can also contact the FAA Aviation Noise Ombudsman.