The Airport Roundtable can make recommendations to the Airport Authority about ways to address noise concerns but the Airport Authority is the governing body in charge of the airport and this group is responsible for implementing policies to address airport noise. The Authority has absolutely no control over how and where the aircraft fly. Once the wheels of the aircraft leave the pavement, the aircraft is under the control of the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control. Safety is the #1 concern and keeping maximum separation between aircraft takes precedence over noise related concerns.
Activity levels at airports are measured by aircraft operations. An operation is defined by the FAA as a takeoff or a landing. So, a “touch and go” conducted by a training aircraft counts as two operations. In 2020, Centennial Airport accommodated 334,965 aircraft operations. However, most of the traffic is concentrated during the daytime hours. The record year at Centennial occurred in 1998, with over 466,000 aircraft operations.
In 2020, Centennial ranked number 2 in the nation among airports that are not certified for airline service and ranked number 10 of all airports (including airports like LAX, Chicago’s O’Hare, and New York’s La Guardia). Centennial is also the only airport in the country to have three FBOs ranked in the top 25 of all U.S. – based FBOs. FBOs are airport-based aircraft service centers that provide fueling services, maintenance, concierge services, as well as crew and passenger transportation.
Centennial Airport is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in most weather conditions. Office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and there is an Operations Specialist on duty around the clock.
The airport has a rush hour just like the highways and roads. The heaviest traffic volumes occur between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, and again between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
For safety and performance factors, aircraft must arrive and depart into the wind. Centennial Airport’s primary runways are angled with the predominant wind directions of north and south. During typical fair-weather days for the area around Centennial Airport, the wind direction is predominately from the south. This puts the airport in a “South Flow” configuration with aircraft arriving from the north and departing towards the south. During inclement weather days (low clouds, high winds, precipitation, etc.), the wind direction is predominantly from the north and the airport operates in a “North Flow” configuration with aircraft arriving and departing towards the north. Approximately 55 percent of the traffic at Centennial Airport arrives and departs the airport towards the south.
The Airport Authority is charged with addressing noise complaints. You can reach our noise complaint hotline at (303) 790-4709. When using the hotline, please keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Provide all information requested on the recording – incomplete complaints will not be considered.
- Complaints need to contain specific times – general statements like “20 airplanes between 5 and 8” will not be accepted.
- Complaints containing profanity will not be considered valid complaints.
- Complaints containing threats to aircraft will be reported to the FBI and local authorities.
- If you would like a return call, be sure to leave your name and telephone number on the recording, and the Noise & Environmental Specialist will return your call as soon as possible.
You can also report noise complaints through the Centennial Airport website and the Centennial Airport Community Noise Roundtable website.
We currently have a number of voluntary noise abatement procedures in effect. They are:
- Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures • Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Procedures
- Maintain minimum altitude of 7300′ east of Parker Rd. and west of Yosemite St., unless directed otherwise by air traffic control.
- Training traffic within the Runway 17L/35R traffic pattern should remain south of Arapahoe Road, and east of I-25, when able unless directed otherwise by air traffic control.
- In addition to the above procedures, we encourage all tenants and users to follow the National Business Aircraft Association’s Fly Quiet procedures. These procedures can be found by clicking here.
Centennial Airport is open 24 hours a day. We do have aircraft activity at night, mostly flights carrying light cargo or checks for the Federal Reserve. These overnight flights are a critical piece of the economy. In addition, interstate commerce laws require that the airport remain open 24/7. A large portion of our overnight flights will consist of air-ambulance flights transporting patients, blood, or organs to points throughout the state and country. The largest air-ambulance companies in Denver provide air-ambulance service to the entire region through Centennial Airport. Law enforcement and news media also use the airport regularly at night.
Federal Aviation Regulations specify a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet over congested areas and 500 feet over non-congested areas. The exception to this rule is helicopters and aircraft that are in the process of taking off or landing. To report aircraft that are noncompliant or demonstrating questionable flying practices, contact the FAA Flight Standards District Office at 1 (800) 847-3808 or https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/den/contact/ and click on the email link.
Airport noise is considered any noise created by an aircraft taking off, landing, overflying, and taxiing on the ground at the airport.
Modern aircraft have become much quieter over the last two decades. The largest business jet operating at Centennial is remarkably quieter than one of the smallest. Aircraft are categorized by the amount of noise they make. The loudest are called Stage I and State II, which have been banned in the United States as of Dec. 31, 2015. Stage III and Stage IV aircraft are the quietest. Aircraft at Centennial, now, meet Stage III requirements and some, even meet Stage IV standards.
Bye Aerospace is a world leader and innovator of electric aircraft. The company, which was founded in 2007 and is headquartered near Denver at Centennial Airport, is developing and flight testing prototypes of all-electric general aviation training, personal and business aircraft, focusing on advances in energy and design efficiencies.
Centennial Airport is a public-use airport and due to Grant Assurances required by accepting federal funding, the airport is required to allow government-owned aircraft to operate at the airport. Please keep in mind, military aircraft are not held to noise standards. Throughout the year and especially in the summer months, Centennial Airport will periodically see a variety of military aircraft operations, typically on training missions. Centennial Airport supports the military and the training requirements needed to protect the nation.
The areas immediately north and south of the airport experience very high volumes of aircraft traffic. Roughly, 85 percent of Centennial’s traffic uses the north/south runways. A number of smaller aircraft use the east/west crosswind runway as a means to keep separation from the larger jet traffic. Areas directly east of the airport are impacted by these operations.