Press Kit

Commercial Air Carrier & Cargo Carrier Quarterly Average Noise Limits

Noise-based limitations on aircraft operating at John Wayne Airport (JWA) are defined in the John Wayne Airport Phase 2 Commercial Airline Access Plan and Regulation (Access Plan), and in the Settlement Agreement between the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach and two community groups.

Two noise-based classes have been established for commercial passenger and cargo operations at JWA: Class A and Class E. Aircraft in these Classes: (i) operate at gross takeoff weights not greater than those defined in the Access Plan; and (ii) generate single event noise levels, averaged over the noise compliance period (one quarter), that are no greater than the values presented below.

Noise Monitoring
Station (NMS)
Maximum Permitted
Class A Noise Limits*
Maximum Permitted
Class E Noise Limits*
1S 102.5 dB 94.1 dB
2S 101.8 dB 93.5 dB
3S 101.1 dB 90.3 dB
4S 94.8 dB 86.6 dB
5S 95.3 dB 87.2 dB
6S 96.8 dB 87.2 dB
7S 93.7 dB 86.6 dB

* Single Event Noise Equivalent Level (SENEL) limits were revised: October 6, 2015

Typically, Class A aircraft serve long- and medium-haul markets (more than 1,000 miles). This type of operation usually requires more fuel to reach its destination and, as a result, can require greater thrust on departure. The combination of heavy fuel loads and greater thrust correlate to the higher noise levels established for this class of operation.

Class E departures generally serve short-haul markets (less than 1,000 miles). Class E aircraft typically carry less fuel and as a result, are lighter and quieter than the Class A operations.

Some aircraft can operate in both Class A and Class E. For example, a Boeing 737 flying from Orange County to Northern California could qualify as Class E, where the same aircraft traveling from Orange County to the East Coast would likely fall into the Class A category.

For more information, contact Deanne Thompson at 949.252.5182 or

John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at Like us on, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.

Last updated: 08/17/18