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LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
PROJECT TYPE: Aviation Noise Analysis
CLIENT: District of Columbia, Department of Energy and Environment
COMPLETION YEAR: Phase I: 2017, Phase II: 2018

Phase I – As a consultant to Freytag & Associates, we performed an airplane noise assessment for the District of Columbia focused on noise impacts from changes to flight paths made out Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). There were two major parts to the project. The first consisted of a thorough review and documentation of existing data supplemented by new investigations to document the past and current airplane noise environment over the D.C. area. Second, the team worked to develop revised air traffic procedures, acceptable to the FAA, to minimize the current noise impact over the affected areas in D.C. The overall purpose of the project was to determine what, if any, noise impacts have occurred in the District as a result of the FAA’s implementation of NextGen air traffic control procedures and routes. Finally, we identified potential flight path/route changes and other airspace modifications to reduce flyover noise in the District.

Phase II – This phase built on the previous Phase I study. Utilizing the measurement data collected in Phase I, the consultant team computed various supplemental noise metrics (Lmax, Leq, Time Above Level, etc.) to further quantify noise impacts and changes in aircraft noise due to arrivals and departures at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Additional long-term field measurements were conducted and the consultant team quantified the community impacts (e.g., sleep disturbance, speech interference) according to national standards. Additionally, we identified and encouraged improvements and changes to existing noise abatement procedures and practices to reduce aircraft noise impact over the District. Specific noise mitigation recommendations were developed for presentation to airport management, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), and to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The primary beneficiary of this project is the District residents, as the goal of the project is to reduce DCA aircraft noise impacts and improve residents’ quality of life through aircraft noise reduction.