New Web site offers resources to better understand aviation noise

University Park, Pa. — For residents, community leaders and airport officials grappling with aviation noise, a new Web site developed through Penn State and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offers a new resource in dealing with the issue.

The site,, includes educational content, a community forum that provides users an opportunity to participate in a moderated discussion on the Wyle Noise Bulletin and links to airport noise sites, environmental information and other educational resources. NoiseQuest visitors can also find how noise is measured, sources of aviation noise, effects of noise and other related topics.

All of the site's information is based on government documents, news articles, research journals and current aviation practices.

Kathleen Hodgdon, a senior research assistant at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory who led the site development team, said NoiseQuest is designed to improve the public's understanding of aviation noise, provide a forum to discuss aviation noise issues, and foster better relations between airports and their surrounding communities.

David Carbone, transportation systems coordinator/airport environs planning in San Mateo County, Calif., said NoiseQuest offers users a single place to obtain information about aircraft noise. "I look forward to the site continuing to grow and expand so it can serve as a useful repository for the most current information on a complex topic."

Raquel Girvin, manager of the FAA's Office of Environment and Energy Noise Division, added, "Beyond providing answers to questions regarding aircraft noise, NoiseQuest offers an opportunity for the public to interact with other aviation stakeholders regarding their noise concerns."

Hodgdon said that the Web site would be expanded over the next year to include additional outreach information and downloadable handouts.

NoiseQuest was created by the Partnership for AiR Transportation and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER) Center of Excellence, which is sponsored by the FAA, NASA and Transport Canada.

Led by Ian Waitz, head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's aeronautics and astronautics department, PARTNER brings together academia, industry and government to identify solutions for existing and anticipated aircraft noise and emissions-related problems.

The site's development team comprised of academics, community organizations, airport noise representatives, aviation industry consultants and government representatives.

NoiseQuest team members included Penn State, Purdue University, the Washington Airports Authority, the Palisades Citizens Association and aviation noise-consulting firms Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. and Wyle Laboratories. Laurette Fisher of the FAA Office of Environment and Energy managed the project.

In addition to Hodgdon, Penn State's contribution includes Maurie Kelly, director of informatics at the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and Anthony Atchley, chair of the Graduate Program in Acoustics and principal investigator for the University's portion of the PARTNER research efforts.


Last Updated March 19, 2009