When you sign-up for an account you provide your address so we can pinpoint your location relative to the air traffic near you. When you kick-off the complaint process, Airnoise uses publicly-available ADS-B data to search for aircraft near you.
Not all aircraft broadcast the ADS-B signal, but many commercial and business aircraft do, so we can find the aircraft nearest to you well over 95% of the time.
Many, but not most, small general aviation airplanes and helicopters are equipped with ADS-B, but the FAA requires that all aircraft flying in US airspace be equipped by January 2020. We also use other publicly-available data sources to try to locate aircraft near you if the ADS-B system doesn't find anything.
Once we find the closest aircraft to you we figure out what local airport it's transiting and file a noise complaint on your behalf with the appropriate authority for that airport. Many airports offer web-based complaint forms or an email address to which complaints can be submitted, so we use those. We have also integrated Airnoise directly with the noise monitoring systems at several major airports in order to submit your noise complaints directly into the official system of record.