How is aircraft noise measured?

Aircraft noise is measured in A-weighted decibels (dBA) which approximates the way humans hear sound. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both recognize and use the same metric for aircraft noise measurement. The industry standard for determining long-term aircraft noise exposure around airports is done using a methodology called Day/Night Average Noise Level (DNL), also known as LDN. The FAA has developed a computer model called the Integrated Noise Model (INM) which integrates the DNL metric to depict the noise exposure levels from aircraft around an airport onto a base map into noise contours of equal DNL, usually, into contour lines of 55, 60, 65, 70, and 75 DNL. Each aircraft noise event is logarithmically averaged over a 24 hour period with a 10 decibel noise penalty added to all aircraft operations that occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. This penalty is applied during the time most people are trying to rest. Paine Field’s Part 150 Noise Study and noise contour maps can be found here.

Show All Answers

1. What is Paine Field’s airport configuration?
2. What determines runway use and the direction aircraft arrive and depart the airport?
3. Why is Paine Field so close to residential neighborhoods?
4. When does the airport close?
5. Does Paine Field monitor noise levels?
6. How is aircraft noise measured?
7. Do aircraft have to comply with local city, county and state noise ordinances?
8. What does the airport do to mitigate aircraft noise in the community?
9. Can the airport restrict certain aircraft from using the airfield?
10. Who controls what flight path jet aircraft fly and at what altitude?
11. Why do aircraft arrive and depart at night and in the early morning, isn’t there a curfew?
12. What is the minimum altitude an aircraft can fly over my residence?
13. Who do I contact if I have an inquiry regarding Paine Field noise or flight operations?