The Area Equivalent Method (AEM) is a screening procedure used to simplify the assessment step in determining the need for further analysis with the Integrated Noise Model (INM) as part of Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements (EA/EIS) and Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 studies. AEM is a mathematical procedure that provides an estimated noise contour area of a specific airport given the types of aircraft and the number of operations for each aircraft. The noise contour area is a measure of the size of the landmass enclosed within a level of noise as produced by a given set of aircraft operations.

The Area Equivalent Method (AEM) is designed for use on Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista PC operating systems under Microsoft Excel 97/2000/2003. The AEM release consists of two files: AEM_7.0c.xlsm and AEM_70c_UsersGuide.pdf. The model is currently based on INM 7.0c and follows a spreadsheet format providing the user with a familiar and user-friendly environment for interfacing with the model.