DEVELOPING A FLIGHT PLAN TO REDUCE AIRCRAFT NOISE EXPOSURE IN CITIES
aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations thus require airplanes to make
detours in order to avoid exposing certain cities to high levels of noise, which reduces the
efficiency of the airplanes. Our model seeks to develop a flight path that will maximize
efficiency while minimizing noise production.
In order to model aircraft noise, we built a program on Netlogo. We started by
constructing a simplified case in which all airplanes flew directly toward their destination. Then,
we implemented a modification which avoided excessive noise creation by having the airplanes
fly around cities already exposed to a certain level of noise. While the second method
substantially reduced noise levels, it also decreased efficiency because the airplanes had much
longer flight paths. Our third method combines aspects of the first two by calculating a path that
minimizes the detour distance as well as the noise exposure using a numerical optimization
function on the two variables.
Because the model succeeded in producing an optimal flight path for a randomly
generated landscape, it can be adapted to create flight paths for all airplanes. The most important
factor in determining the optimal flight path is the radius at which the noise from a plane can be
heard. Reducing the noise radius through technological advancements will greatly improve the
efficiency of the optimal flight plan.