Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Amplifier Trumps Jet Noise in Neighborhoods

Neighborhood groups in McLean, Va. and the Great Falls area say the noise of jet aircraft flights in and out of Washington Reagan National Airport has increased steadily since the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. But those jet noise levels are quieter than what one northeast D.C. neighborhood experiences every weekend. I am not making this up.

The Washington Post reports the total noise level in the two neighborhoods is about 55 decibels. “[T]he EPA says that anything above [55 dB] is unhealthy and interferes with daily activity. The Federal Aviation Administration sets 65 decibels as the acceptable maximum for aircraft noise.”

The groups have urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate whether pilots still employ a “full power, straight-line departure and climb--imposed by the government as a temporary security measure after 9/11 to get flights underway more quickly. That requirement was lifted in April 2002,” according to the Post.

By comparison, one group’s four-hours of amplified noise every weekend in the residential area around H and 8th Streets NE typically falls between 85dB and 102dB at 12 feet from the source.

Something definitely is out of whack.

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