One of the most frustrating things about living near an airport is that you never quite know when a route change will mean that more planes will be flying directly over your house. Do citizens have any rights when it comes to noise caused by airplanes?
There was once a time when the huge amount of paperwork required to file a noise complaint deterred people from taking any action. However, a new resource is making it possible for ordinary people to be heard over the noise caused by commercial airplanes.
Airnoise is a new thumb-sized device allows users to instantly report noisy airplanes that fly overhead. Airnoise claims that more than a million people have already used its devices to file noise complaints near 29 airports. What’s more, some individuals in areas that are particularly noisy have filed thousands of complaints each.
Which airports around the country are the worst when it comes to noise? People living in neighborhoods located near Baltimore-Washington International Airport seem to suffer the worst. Noise complaints for that airport have reached as high as 17,228 for a single month. San Diego’s airport also leads the pack when it comes to noise complaints.
Complaints regarding airport-related noise were on the rise even before Airnoise entered the picture and made it easier to file complaints. That’s because a new program from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called NextGen led to a complete overhaul of routes throughout the United States. NextGen is an expensive and comprehensive program that changes the way air traffic is managed. The previous method of using radar for navigation has been switched to satellite. NextGen was designed as a way to make air traffic more efficient by allowing airplanes to use direct routes to get to their destinations. However, that means that neighborhoods that previously never saw air traffic are now in the direct paths of many planes.