Noise Policy Review

Read the Noise Policy Review Federal Register Notice.

The comment period for the Noise Policy Review Federal Register Notice was open from May 1, 2023, until September 29, 2023, and is now closed. Over 4,800 comments were received on the notice, and the FAA has begun the process of reviewing comments. As the FAA completes review of received comments, updates on timelines and next steps for the Noise Policy Review will be posted to this webpage as they become available.

Review the Foundational Elements of the FAA Civil Aircraft Noise Policy.

The FAA is reviewing our noise policy as part of our ongoing commitment to address aircraft noise. This effort builds on our work to advance the scientific understanding of noise impacts as well as the development of analytical tools and technologies.

The Noise Policy Review is evidence-based, thorough, and collaborative. We are considering findings from ongoing noise research, including the Neighborhood Environmental Survey which provided an updated dose-response curve, and other research related to health impacts, speech interference, sleep disturbance, and economic impacts. We are examining the distribution of environmental risks, tradeoffs, and resulting impacts across communities. 

As part of the review, we are:

  • Looking at our current use of DNL or Day-Night Average Sound Level as the primary noise metric for assessing cumulative aircraft noise exposure. 
  • Reviewing whether to continue to use the DNL 65 dB level as the metric and threshold for determining significant noise impacts in environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act or the definition of the limit of residential land use compatibility. 
  • Considering if and how alternative noise metrics may be used in lieu of or in addition to DNL to better inform agency decisions and improve FAA’s disclosure of noise impacts. 

The FAA is engaging with the public and other stakeholders through meaningful opportunities in order to learn more about aviation noise, hear from the FAA, and provide input for the agency’s consideration. As part of this engagement, the FAA issued a Federal Register Notice on May 1, 2023, seeking public comment on our Noise Policy Review. The comment period for the Federal Register Notice was open from May 1, 2023, until September 29, 2023, and is now closed. We received 4,857 comments from across the country; the graphic below shows the distribution by State for comments received from individuals that listed State information (about 75% of all comments). 

3,941 of the comments that we received came from individuals. 667 of comments were submitted as “anonymous”. The remaining 249 were submitted by a range of organizations, including community groups, local government, airport sponsors, etc. The figure below shows this breakdown. 

The FAA currently is analyzing these comments to identify the range of input on noise metrics, noise thresholds, and other noise policy issues. This analysis will inform the development of any policy recommendations. The complete database of noise comments submitted to the Federal Register can be viewed here.

Noise Policy Review Videos

 


Noise Policy Review Webinars

The FAA held four webinars to discuss how we are reviewing our current aircraft noise policies. FAA provided an introductory overview during the first 25 minutes of each webinar. The presentation slides can be accessed here. Each of the webinars was recorded and a text-searchable transcript of each webinar, including the question-and-answer sessions, is available at the links below. To learn more about the policy review, the impacts of aviation noise exposure, how the FAA analyzes and communicates with communities regarding noise impacts, and manages and responds to aviation noise concerns, please review the webinar recordings and transcripts below.

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Last updated: Wednesday, January 10, 2024