Environmental Science/Living near airports


My husband and I live in Lincoln NE with our two young children.  We are looking at buying a new house to accommodate our growing family.  There is a neighborhood near my employment that my husband refuses to look in for potential homes because he beleives it is too close to the local airport.  Namely he is concerned that the houses are in the direct flight paths for landing and take off and he is worried that at this proximity we will be positioned by fumes from jet fuel. The specific house I am interested in is about 5 miles from the airport by road.  I have no idea if it is in the flight path or not.  I feel like an average day at the airport sees approximately 15 commercial flights in and out, not sure about private pilots.  If it helps at all, the neighborhood sits to the east, slightly north, of the airport and the two main runways, one goes north/south the other runs northwest/southeast.  I think he is being unreasonable, he is convinced it is an unnecessary risk.  Any information either direction is appreciated! Thank you!

Hi there Erin,

Thank you for your question.  

I cannot give you a definitive answer but here are some pointers.

From what I can gather this is quite a small airport.  I looked at the flight logs for yesterday and there appeared to be 11 arrivals and 11 departures for the day. This compares to London Heathrow which hosts 600 arrivals and 600 departures per day!

Given this number of flights I wouldn't be worried about the air pollution levels from the aircraft.

You do mention that the property you are considering is to the east of the airport.  From what I can see the prevailing winds are westerly.  If I have the geography right the wind will blow across the airport towards the houses. As I say I wouldn't worry about air pollutants but there may be an issue of the wind blowing the unpleasant smell of aviation fuel towards the house. Again, at this level of activity this may not be an issue.

If I was in your position my concern would revolve around noise and the potential for existing noise levels to increase should the airport attract more flights.  I would also be thinking about flights at night.  Are there any at the moment? Could they be introduced?  Even if you are not particularly bothered by noise, increases may reduce the saleability of the property.   Mind you if you are not noise sensitive you might get more property for your money.

I was not able to find any flight paths.  To get a real handle on the issue these are what you need.  It might be worth dropping the airport a line to see if they have such a thing. The other thing is really worth doing is going to the area at different times of the day to see where the aircraft fly. They may fly in different directions on different days  depending on the direction of the wind.

I hope this helps.  

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A R Gibson


The effects of air pollution on LOCAL communities. I have a good grasp on what will effect human health in the air pollution sphere and how to gain improvements. I can also with general air pollution related queries and certain specific problems, for example those air pollution problems caused by TRANSPORT related sources. My main interest is related to AVIATION on which I can also advise on NOISE related matters. I am based in the United Kingdom so most of my knowledge is related to the UK situation.


Seven / eight years dealing with air pollution and noise related matters at the Terminal 5 public inquiry at Heathrow. Now trying to defend my area against a third funway or runway to you.

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