Table 4-53: Number of People Residing in High Noise Areas Around U.S. Airports

Table 4-53: Number of People Residing in High Noise Areas Around U.S. Airports

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(Within 65 dB DNL noise-level contours)

  1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Exposure                                    
People (thousands) 7,000 5,200 3,400 2,700 1,700 1,500 1,300 1,100 680 874 867 570 505 491 498 481 468 387
Percent of U.S. resident population (R) 3.25 (R) 2.29 1.43 1.08 0.64 0.56 0.48 0.40 0.24 0.31 0.30 0.20 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.13
U.S. resident population (millions) (R) 215.5 (R) 227.2 237.9 249.6 266.3 269.4 272.6 275.9 279.0 (R) 282.2 (R) 285.0 (R) 287.7 (R) 290.2 (R) 292.9 (R) 295.6 (R) 298.4 (R) 301.3 304.1

KEY: dB = decibels; DNL = day-night sound level; R = revised.

a Noise-level contours are graphical representations of noise levels on a map, similar to elevation contours on a topographic map. Noise-level contours are lines that join points of equal sound levels. Areas between given noise-level contour lines would have a noise level between the two contour values. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has identified DNL 65 dB as the highest threshold of airport noise Exposure that is normally compatible with indoor and outdoor activity associated with a variety of land uses, including residential, recreational, schools, and hospitals.

b Estimates are for areas surrounding airport property of 250 of the largest civil airports with jet operations in the United States. They exclude Exposure to aircraft noise within an airport boundary.

c 1975 Exposure estimates were made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1980-2008 estimates were made by FAA.

NOTES

Noise Exposure people data for 2000 and forward was re-estimated using an enhanced version of U.S. MAGENTA (Model for Assessing the Global Exposure of Noise because of Transport Airplanes). The enhanced version of the model uses radar-based traffic data to account for unscheduled operations including freight, General Aviation and military operations. The enhanced U.S. MAGENTA also includes improvements to the acoustical model to account for differences in the sound attenuation characteristics between wing-mounted and tail-mounted aircraft engines. These enhancements result in computed population noise Exposure estimates that are more accurate and larger than previous versions of the model. Therefore, it is important to note that the "growth" in the number of people exposed from 1999 to 2000 resulted from improvements in measurement, not deterioration in aviation noise trends.

SOURCES

Exposure:

1975-2008: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Environment and Energy, personal communication, June 3, 2010.

Population:

1975-2008: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, The 2010 Statistical Abstract, Population, table 2, available at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/population.html as of June 3, 2010.