I want to calculate average annual flight tracks (weighted by noise level at 6,500 meters from start of takeoff roll) for the first 10 miles of flight for airplanes departing at Reagan National Airport (DCA) for as many years as possible. For each departure, I think I need the following data: date-time of departure, destination airport, aircraft identifier, aircraft type (manufacturer, model, engine model, number of engines), flight track data (date-time, altitude, latitude and longitude) per second. I think I can use FAA Advisory Circular 36-3H Estimated Airplane Noise Levels in A-Weighted Decibels as a source for the weights.

I also want to calculate total sound energy output for selected time slices at various points along average annual flight tracks. I understand that this will involve a lot of interpolation but I think this is reasonable if checked and bounded using actual sound measurements which I can collect myself.

My goal is to understand how aircraft noise is changing in my part of the world due to changes in flight paths, fleet mix and operations.

If you have contact information for a government or commercial source for historical flight track and aircraft type data, please let me know.

1 Answer 1


Give this dataset a shot. It's maybe a 7/10 for your needs?


"The data consists of flight arrival and departure details for all commercial flights within the USA, from October 1987 to April 2008. This is a large dataset: there are nearly 120 million records in total, and takes up 1.6 gigabytes of space compressed and 12 gigabytes when uncompressed. To make sure that you're not overwhelmed by the size of the data, we've provide two brief introductions to some useful tools: linux command line tools and sqlite, a simple sql database."

You might find something here to join that dataset with to make what you're looking for:


and this might not be covered above:


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