FAA wants your input on Hanscom noise

By Anne O’Connor anne@theconcordbridge.org
August 14, 2023

Noise around an airport is a given: Planes taking off and landing, taxiing, engine testing and people coming and going all raise a ruckus.

The Federal Aviation Association is reviewing research on adverse health effects, economic impacts and annoyance caused by exposure to noise as it considers changes to the civil aviation noise policy across the country.

“The FAA is charged with controlling aircraft noise by regulating source emissions, designing flight operational procedures, and managing the air traffic control system and navigable airspace in ways that minimize, where appropriate, noise impacts on the ground consistent with the highest standards of safety,” the agency writes on regulations.gov, on the civil aviation noise policy notice.

While the number of flights has increased from 200 million to 850 million since 1975, noise has decreased. It takes 30 aircraft to make the same amount of noise as one did in 1957.

“However, aircraft noise and its impact on people continues to be a major source of concern,” the agency wrote.

Noise levels are going down at Hanscom, based on daily monitoring, but that is not a good measure of how airplane noise annoys people, Christopher Eliot of Lincoln, chair of the Hanscom Field Advisory Committee, said during a meeting in May

The FAA is seeking public input as it considers changes to its noise policy. The review may modify how the FAA considers aviation noise, but will not immediately affect noise levels, according to the agency. 

The comment period ends September 29 at 11:59 p.m. and comments can be sent online, by fax or through the mail.

Quiet Communities, a nonprofit headquartered in Concord, urged local people to weigh in with the following suggestions.

Characterize the problem including location, time and proximity to the airport. Provide specific details on how the airport noise affects you, your family and your neighborhood. Specify if you have tried to get help and what the response was. Include your ideas on how to mitigate the problem.

Submit online: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/FAA-2023-0855-0001

Mail to: Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001.

Fax to: Docket Operations at 202–493–2251.

Make sure your submission specifies you’re commenting on Docket Number FAA–2023–0855.