One of the benefits of living in Northern Virginia is that you can get a flight almost anywhere in the world at one of the local airports. Each of these “local airports” qualifies to be in the top tier of U.S. airports for passenger traffic and daily flights.
Recently, when a real estate client from Texas asked me about airport flight paths over Vienna, VA, I had to say the area is covered with overlapping flight paths. We have Dulles International, Reagan National, Andrews AFB, and plenty of helicopters going wherever helicopters can land!
I happen to live in one of the overlapping areas where I can see planes on approach to Reagan National (DCA) to my right, on approach to Dulles International (IAD) to my left, on approach to Joint Base Andrews overhead, and hear a medevac helicopter en route to Fairfax Hospital.
The helicopter wins out in the noise department since the airplanes, for the most part, have low sound output on approach.
On the map above, I did not include BWI Airport which is outside Baltimore and a major Southwest Airlines hub because those planes don’t touch our airspace.
20 million passengers equal plenty of flights
You should know that Washington Dulles International handles over 9 million passengers a year, and Reagan Washington National Airport handles over 10 million passengers a year. Added up, that’s a lot of flights.
Although most residents can’t tell the difference, flights on approach to Andrews Air Force Base (in Maryland) make a final approach over Northern Virginia. And one morning at my son’s early morning soccer game in Alexandria VA, I counted ten Air Force C-17’s gaining altitude.
yes, helicopter flight paths too
Helicopter traffic is significant and includes medevac choppers to the hospitals, every imaginable military helicopter, Coast Guard helicopters, Fairfax County Police helicopters, U.S. Park Service helicopters, and the TV News choppers out searching for “news”.
In reality, living here isn’t quite as noisy as I may have depicted here. Really!
It’s just going to be impossible to find a home in Northern Virginia that isn’t near a potential flight path.