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What does noise affect?


Noise is present everywhere in our daily lives, in our jobs, and in nature. Noise is with us wherever we go, so it is important for us to understand what noise affects.

In this section, we will discuss the research on the effects of aviation noise on:



You can report noise associated with an airport, concerns about wildlife disturbances, or get information about ongoing noise abatement studies and FAA's sound insulation program at your local airport. Most airports have noise analysts that respond to airport noise issues, or you can ask for the airport manager. You can click the Selected List below to access a select list of airport and related noise links. This list is extensive, but does not include all noise links. You can also check the Internet for your local airport's website, or the local telephone directory for airport telephone numbers.

You can also contact your local FAA Airports District Office (ADO) for assistance. Click here to find your local FAA ADO office.

The following topics discuss methods to reduce aviation noise:



Land use planning related to airports is a complex subject.In addition to this introduction to land use planning related to airports, this section will explore:

Why do we need to monitor land use near airports?

We monitor land use near airports to make sure that the land surrounding airports is used properly. Appropriate land use includes light industrial and commercial uses. Inappropriate land use includes schools and residential developments. This is because schools and residential developments are negatively impacted by airport noise. Local agencies work with airport planners to balance airport growth and city development. The airport develops an Airport Master Plan. This plan is published and approved through a public hearing. The Airport Master Plan specifies the development of the airport and how the land around the airport should be used.



The National Park Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and others organizations have conducted research to better understand noise and its effects in the quiet environments that prevail in National Parks. The natural sounds encountered in parks enhance visitors' experience of the surrounding environments. The soundscape in parks includes the quiet of nature, as well as the calls of nature, affording visitors the opportunity to experience the parks from more than one sensory perspective. Many species of wildlife depend on their hearing to find prey or avoid predators so they too rely on the soundscape to survive in the wilderness of the national parks. Noises from man-made activities are often louder than these natural sounds, which can affect how wildlife interact and respond within their environment. As such, National Parks noise research have included efforts that gathered data on natural sounds in parks as well as acoustic data from vehicles ranging from air tours to snow mobiles.

See aspects of the environment and wildlife related to noise in National Parks at: Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the National Park Service.

To investigate park generated noise, the National Park Service (NPS) joined with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and with the US Department of Transportation's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to hold a workshop on aspects of noise in National Parks. Entitled "Protecting National Park Soundscapes: Best Available Technologies and Practices for Reducing Park- Generated Noise". “Protecting National Park Soundscapes” is available at

Effects of Aircraft Noise: Research Update on Selected Topics Volume 9 of Airports Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) synthesis, ISSN 1935-9187 is available at: Volume 9 of ACRP synthesis.

Harris Miller Miller and Hanson (HMMH) has developed noise plans and conducted research for parks across the country. See


Related Publications

A Review of the Literature Related to Potential Health Effects of Aircraft Noise (Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction, July 2010)

Airport Cooperative Research Program Effects of Aircraft Noise: Research Update on Selected Topics (ACRP, 2008)

Adverse Effects of Night-time Aircraft Noise (UK Civil Aviation Authority)

World Health Organization Night Noise Guidelines for Europe (WHO, 2009)

For a reference list of sources used to support this section, click here.