JANUARY 18, 2008 — The Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER), a leading aviation cooperative research organization headquartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has released the results of a three-year study of land use and noise complaint patterns at selected airports. The research was an effort to better understand the dynamics of land use management, public concerns, and air traffic-related annoyance.
The title of the report is Land Use Management and Airport Controls: Trends and indicators of incompatible land use.
The research concluded that a disproportionate number of complaints come from a few households. The results also suggest that the size of a population tends to increase near airports. Data indicated a pattern where construction of housing units occurs at a rate higher than for the surrounding county, particularly for the first few decades of an airport’s operation. This indicates the necessity of having appropriate zoning ordinances in place early in the new airport development process to limit, or prohibit, the construction of residential units in incompatible locations.
The three airports examined were Denver International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Orlando-Sanford International Airport. During the study it was noted that each of the airports had noise abatement strategies, but these procedures were not always followed.
The study provides insight into issues that can affect public opinion concerning land use adjacent to airports and possible sources of noise concerns among affected populations. Results suggest that additional research using psychoacoustic assessments of noise
complaint populations, critical assessment of land use decisions, a more in-depth look at aircraft noise levels and characteristicst, and the dynamics and drivers of public concerns would be beneficial to more effectively manage noise and land use issues.
The research was conducted for PARTNER by Purdue University and Florida State University and was managed by Professor Kai Ming Lee of Purdue. It was funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.
More information on PARTNER’s low frequency noise research project is available on the Land Use Management and Airport Controls Web page.
The PARTNER research organization is an FAA Center of Excellence sponsored by the FAA, NASA, and Transport Canada. Other PARTNER aviation environmental impact projects are examining emissions, alternative fuels, and other noise issues.