Model for Assessing Global Exposure to the Noise of Transport Aircraft (MAGENTA)

MAGENTA was a computer model used to estimate the number of people exposed to significant aircraft noise worldwide. The original MAGENTA model development was done with the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to assess the worldwide aviation noise climate. The computational core of MAGENTA was FAA's Integrated Noise Model (INM), the most widely used computer program to calculate aircraft noise around airports. Major assumptions on local traffic use came from getting INM datasets developed for an airport. The noise studies obtained from U.S. airports had gone through thorough public review; either under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements or as part of a land use compatibility program.

U.S. Model Development

A U.S. version of the global MAGENTA model was developed to determine the noise exposure in the U.S. using data on aircraft and operations specific to U.S. airports. The general, regional FESG forecast used in the CAEP version of MAGENTA was replaced by the FAA Terminal Area Forecast (TAF), which provides current and accurate information on how traffic will increase at each US airport. The U.S. version of MAGENTA evolved over time as more comprehensive databases were incorporated to improve the accuracy of the model.

The data source for airport traffic changed from the Official Airline Guide (OAG) to the FAA Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS). Unlike OAG, the ETMS database includes unscheduled air traffic, which allowed for more accurate modeling of freight, general aviation, and military traffic. The ETMS also provided more details on aircraft type for a more accurate distribution of aircraft fleet mix. Under the prior model, unscheduled traffic was estimated and adjustments in the number of people exposed were made at the national level.


MAGENTA was an FAA government research tool, not for release to the public. MAGENTA was used in support of CAEP noise analysis and eventually became part of the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT). The U.S. version of MAGENTA was used to support the DOT Government Performance Review Act (GPRA) performance goal and FAA's own Flight Plan performance goal by tracking the number of people in the US exposed to significant aircraft noise. This reporting requirement is now fulfilled using AEDT.