FAA Helicopter Noise Annoyance Protocol Development

HMMH served as the sub-consultant for this FAA project, which developed and validated a research protocol for helicopter noise exposure-annoyance response relationships using measurement data collected concurrently with annoyance data. The purpose of this research was to guide national aviation noise policy, determinations of community noise impacts, land-use guidelines around airports, mitigation funding and NextGen implementation.

For this Study, HMMH employed a rarely-used procedure for studying aviation noise annoyance: asking people to rate actual aircraft overflights as experienced in their own homes. The study employed this procedure with five subjects who self-identified as “highly annoyed” by helicopters; all subjects lived within 400 meters of each other. Flights were recorded at three homes over a 10-day survey period during which subjects registered their judgments on a cell phone application. While the volunteers registered their reactions, noise monitors on-site recorded each helicopter event. The results from this study will likely be used to inform suqbsequent research on both single-event and cumulative exposure noise assessment and differences, if any, in community annoyance between rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.

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