Southwest jets at airport
Southwest jets at San Diego International Airport. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority recognized four airlines this week with 2023 Fly Quiet awards for their efforts to reduce noise at the world’s busiest single-runway airport.

Southwest Airlines received the highest Fly Quiet score in the large domestic carrier category for its use of the Boeing 737 MAX, which is flying again after a worldwide grounding. Boeing says the plane is 40% quieter than previous models of the 737.

Spirit Airlines won in the small domestic carrier category for flying more than half of its overall flights to San Diego with newer and quieter aircraft.

DHL won the air cargo carrier category for its use of quieter aircraft, such as the Boeing 737-800, no noise curfew violations, and the lowest noise exceedance score among air cargo carriers.

Lufthansa won the international carrier category, achieving the best overall score in all categories. The airline utilizes the Airbus 350-900, which is a newer and quieter aircraft and has never had a curfew violation.

“The airport authority is proud to collaborate with the Airport Noise Advisory Committee on the Fly Quiet Program, which we introduced in 2017 to encourage airlines to work together with the airport and the community to operate as quietly as possible in the San Diego area,” said Kim Becker, president and CEO of the airport authority.

The busy urban airport is flanked by residential areas and has a curfew on departures between 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.