Friday, March 26, 2021

FAA study finds that most Americans are ‘highly annoyed’ by aircraft noise

Are planes getting louder, or are people just getting crankier?

A government poll of 10,000 Americans who live near airports found that most were “highly annoyed” by aircraft noise overheard, though the planes themselves have become significantly quieter through the years.

In a report published last month, the Neighborhood Environmental Survey (NES), conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), found that nearly two-thirds of people polled were “highly annoyed” by aviation noise — even more than road traffic or noise from their neighbors.

Compared with prior studies, the national curve showed “substantially more people highly annoyed for a given Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) aircraft noise exposure level,” researchers said. The most recent study of human annoyance on aircraft noise by the U.S. government – conducted in 1992 – found that just 12.3% were irritated by the same DNL of 65 dB.

Since that report was released almost thirty years ago by the Federal Interagency Committee on Noise (FICON) however, more recent research conducted outside the U.S. has indicated that respondents “have shown increased levels of annoyance at a given noise exposure level,” per the executive summary. In other words, folks today are more likely to make noise about the annoying noise.

As explained in the 447-page report, the FAA stressed that it has been working to reduce the number of people exposed to aviation noise altogether for decades.

“By one measure, it has been a success: Over the last four decades, the number of people in the U.S. exposed to aviation noise has dropped substantially, even as the number of flights has soared,” officials said in a larger statement on aviation noise.

Nevertheless, aviation noise remains a concern in the communities it affects, prompting the FAA to launch the most recent probe – but the buck doesn’t stop with the federal agency.

“It is also important to understand the FAA alone cannot address noise concerns by any given community,” the administration argues in an FAQ page on the report. “Airports, air carriers, local, state and federal government entities besides the FAA all have a role to play and they all manage policies that affect a community’s experience with aircraft noise.”


  1. How about these whiners not MOVE to where there are airports around? Odds are the airports were there LONG before THEIR homes were built. So SICK of this!

  2. Electric aviation will turn the tide... the realwhore of santa monica that salivate at the 110 golden acres will need to use "makes too much sunshade" as pretext...

  3. Noise restrictions are inevitable, regardless of who was there first. Europe's aviation climate is an example. Cars have gotten quieter. The FAA's antiquated certification regulations have prevented progress in this regard.