Noise News for Week of March 26, 2000

Neighbors of US Air Base in Okinawa File Lawsuit Against Japanese Government Over Noise

PUBLICATION: Daily Yomiuri
DATE: March 28, 2000
BYLINE: Yomiuri
DATELINE: Naha, Japan

The Daily Yomiuri reported that almost 6,000 neighbors of the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa filed a lawsuit against the government because of jet noise from night and early morning flights, twenty-one of whom are demanding that the Japanese government order the U.S. to stop the flights. According to the article, the residents seek 6.2 million zen.

According to the article, a precedent for filing suit was set in 1998 when the Fukouka High Court demanded the central government pay compensation, stating that the jet was illegal, exceeding the national maximum level of 75 dB.

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EU and US Negotiate Hushkits and Ban on Older Aircraft

PUBLICATION: Financial Times
DATE: March 28, 2000
SECTION: World News - Trade; Pg. 14
BYLINE: Mike Smith
DATELINE: Brussels

According to London's Financial Times, talks between the US and the European Union may lead to a compromise over "hushkits" because EU officials may delay the registration date for non-EU airplanes equipped with the engine mufflers to fly I into the 15-nation bloc.

The article said that the EU would demand that the US drop its complaint about the ban on "hushkits" to the International Civil Aviation Authority and require that the US be part of a joint statement calling for an international agreement on noise control.

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California Residents Protest Rezoning in Community Because of Noise and Traffic Congestion

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: March 28, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 5; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Marissa Espino
DATELINE: Orange County, California

According to the Los Angeles Times, a new citizen group is protesting the rezoning of land from residential to commercial because of traffic congestion, additional light and noise. The article said an environmental impact on the rezoning sparked controversy in the community.

Residents are divided over the project, with some saying that commercial zoning for the neighborhood is inappropriate while others saying it would not harm the neighborhood.

The article explained that landowner Doug Prescott filed an application to rezone from residential to commercial in 1998. Prescott planned to build a shopping center in the area.

The community was divided, the article said, and two groups with opposite views were formed: Friends of the North Tustin Village Project supported the development project, and Neighbors United, called for high quality residential development rather than commercial.

The article said that Neighbors United, (150 active members who gathered over 5,000 signatures from opponents), voiced its concerns about increased traffic congestion and noise pollution.

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US Base Too Noisy for Okinawans: Court Action Taken

PUBLICATION: Mainichi Daily News
DATE: March 28, 2000
SECTION: Page 1; Front Page
DATELINE: Okinawa, Japan

The Mainichi News reported a story about jet noise from the US Kadena Air that has prompted over 5,500 residents near the base to sue the Japanese government and are asking for 6.2 billion zen in damages and calling for a ban on night flights after 7pm.

According to Seiyu Nakamura, a spokesman for the residents, "...the number of plaintiffs over 5,000 shows how terrible the noise is."

An initial lawsuit was filed in 1998 in the Fukuoka High Court, but was dismissed because the High Court found that "U.S. military operations do not fall under Japanese jurisdiction."

The article went on to explain that this suit is calling for the Japanese government to negotiate with the U.S. on the banning of night flights.

The article reported on the wording of the lawsuit: "People near the base are exposed to the roar of planes beyond 90 decibels (dB) dozens of times a day." [Editor's Note: Noise over 85 dB can damage hearing.]

The article explained that night flights are not the only source of contention with the base's neighbors. They also demand that the base reduce noise engine testing on the ground at night, and reduce daytime jet from 65 dB to 55.

The article went on to say that about a dozen people have experienced damage to their hearing because of jet noise from the base.

Asked about the suit, a Defense Facilities Administration Agency said, "We will consider how to deal with the issue after examining the details of the suit."

The article reported that similar suits have been filed against US bases in Tokyo and in Kanagawa Prefecture.

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Hong Kong Traffic Becoming a Serious Issue

PUBLICATION: South China Morning Post
DATE: March 28, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 5
BYLINE: Antoine So
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China

The South China Morning Post reported concerns from Chinese legislators over potential noise from a planned 11.4-kilometer rail link. According to the article, the construction noise will disrupt life in homes and nearby schools even though steps such as glazing have been taken to mitigate the noise.

The article said the railroad will be ready for use in 2004, and will serve about 430,000 people by 2016.

The article said the extension is between the catchment of Shing Mun River in Sha Tin and Tolo Harbour.

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Pennsylvania Town's Noise Ordinance Could Be Too Strict

PUBLICATION: Associated Press
DATE: March 27, 2000
SECTION: State And Regional
DATELINE: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

According to an article by the Associated Press, a proposed local noise ordinance in Penbrook, Pennsylvania can be interpreted so narrowly that children could be banned for roller-skating or bouncing a ball.

"Yelling, shouting, whistling, hooting or singing on the public streets or at any place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling" are other examples of violations, and not everyone is supportive.

The mayor of Penbrook, Richard Stottlemyer, has concerns over the wording because it could be abused and used as retaliation. The article quoted the mayor as saying the ordinance is "one where neighbors could more or less pick on their neighbor if they so desire."

The article said according to the police and the borough manager, early noise problems were usually caused by "boom cars," but complaints increased because of noise from skateboards.

Council member Charlene Feaser voiced concerns that the ordinance could be unconstitutional, and added that she objects to he ban on skateboarding and bouncing a ball.

The article said that a final vote is expected in early April.

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Hong Kong Legislator Calls for Noise Reduction on City Streets

PUBLICATION: Hong Kong Times
DATE: March 27, 2000
BYLINE: Stella Tse
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB)

An article in the Hong Kong Times reported that a survey on noise in that city revealed that of the people interviewed, over 90 percent voiced their complaints over the city's traffic noise, and half of those people said that noise disrupted their sleep and caused stress.

The article said that Lau Kong-wah, a legislator who sponsored the survey, is asking the government to be more pro-active in noise mitigation measures, especially noise from heavy vehicles.

According to the article, Lau is calling for stricter measures because of the increase in the number of vehicles, adding that noise is a serious issue in West Kowloon. He suggests that the government ban heavy vehicles from driving through heavily populated residential areas, construct more parking lots for heavy vehicles in newer districts, and eventually lay underground roads and more "noise-absorbing roads" and install more noise reducing gadgets.

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Residents in Aberavon, Wales To Experience Construction Noise From Morning to Night

PUBLICATION: South Wales Evening Post
DATE: March 27, 2000
SECTION: Health: Hospitals, Pg.5
BYLINE: Paul Fisher
DATELINE: Aberavon, Wales

The South Wales Evening Post reported that Baglan Moors Hospital is scheduled to begin construction and its neighbors were warned at a public meeting to expect noise from pile driving 11 hours a day.

The report said that the hospital has arranged for someone to be available to address noise complaints from residents or to answer any questions they may have.

According to the article, every household near the site has received a "condition survey," which gives people the opportunity to be compensated for damages.

The duration of the project is two and one-half years.

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Increased Traffic in St. Louis Prompts Requests for Sound Barrier

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DATE: March 27, 2000
SECTION: Metro, Pg. D1
BYLINE: Ken Leiser
DATELINE: St. Louis, Missouri

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed an op-ed article about increased traffic in the St. Louis area, prompting some mayors from area cities to take action against the noise.

The article begins by stating that because of increased traffic, many city officials in the state are looking funds to construct sound walls.

The article said that Missouri's Department of Transportation doesn't have enough money for the number of requests, and there are conflicting demands such as rebuilding bridges and filling potholes.

The article said that one consideration in the competition of funds is that the state has two different criteria for deciding which city gets the sound walls.

The article said that when a new highway is being built, both state and federal funds are available for a sound wall as long as certain conditions are met. Noise levels must be high enough; most residents must want the wall and the noise must be reduced by at least 5 decibels. Most of the walls erected because of this criterion are near the junction of interstates 270 and 55.

The article explained that state funds are available for sound wall construction for existing highways if noise has reached at least 66 decibels in a three-foot radius. The article said that 66 decibels is the sound of a normal speaking voice. Cities still have to come up with 75 percent of the cost.

But for cities such as Town and Country and Creve Coeur, highways were widened when the FAA didn't require noise barriers.

The article said that one Creve Coeur city councilwoman revealed that highway noise near that town reached 70 to 80 decibels this past January (the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner 10 feet away), and the city can't come up with its share of the total cost of $5.6 million.

The article said that the majority of city officials want to pressure local politicians who are running for the state legislature and for governor to change the rules and get the state to allocate more money for noise mitigation.

In addition, the article said that some rural towns are still angry that the four-lane highways they were promised eight years ago are still not constructed.

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Noise Dispute in Canada Results in Controversial Police Action

PUBLICATION: Vancouver Sun
DATE: March 27, 2000
BYLINE: Neal Hall
DATELINE: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Sun reported on a noise dispute that resulted in a police arrest in which the subject's arm was broken. The Supreme Court in British Columbia ruled that the police officer is not liable for damages.

The article said that three people were dining, drinking and listening to music, which eventually prompted a noise complaint.

The police showed up and the officer was assured that the volume would be lowered. The article said that the officer went back to his patrol car, but two of the people listening to the music went to speak with him about why they couldn't listen to music in their own home. Words were exchanged, a physical confrontation ensued, ending with two arrests and one woman's arm being broken.

According to the article, the plaintiffs filed charges against the police for false arrest and brutality.

The article said that the trial consisted primarily of one side testifying exactly the opposite of the other, with the plaintiffs claiming they were obeying the law and the police saying the plaintiffs were verbally abusive.

The charges were dismissed, and the plaintiffs must pay court costs.

Because of a precedent-setting case in 199, Vancouver police cannot be charged with excessive force when "The gravamen (essence) of the offence is the excessive use of force in the circumstances rather than the duration of the use of that force."

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Dallas Historic Airport To Develop Master Plan for Growth and Expansion

PUBLICATION: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
DATE: March 26, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Bill W. Hornaday
DATELINE: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that, Love Field in Dallas is facing increased commercial air traffic and city officials must develop a long-term plan for the airport since it is already overcrowded and cannot accommodate more traffic.

The article said the growth section of the master plan (one of eight "impact" areas) discusses the repositioning of runways and other airfield surfaces in order to maximize space, according to Terry Mitchell, Dallas assistant aviation director.

The article said that the plan will research parking, car rental feasibility, and support areas such as cargo and maintenance.

The article said that the plan will only provide options that are within the airports acreage as well as adhere to the Wright Amendment, a federal law limiting service at Love Field since 1980.

The article quoted Mitchell as saying the challenge is to maximize the use of the existing space, and that there's no room for expansion.

The mayor of Fort Worth supports a master plan only if it addresses cargo and general aviation. He warned that even though the master plan and Dallas' policy both say they will protect neighborhoods near Love Field, expansion would harm the D/FW airport by taking over neighborhoods or land.

The article also stated that a neighborhood group called the Love Field Citizens Action Committee has challenged the airport and the city over noise and air pollution for 18 years. The group definitely opposes the expansion of Love Field regardless of whether there is a master plan, and it is primed for a major political battle.

According to the article, Mitchell said that Love Field could double its air traffic, and if commercial flights continued to increase at their current pace, that number could be reached in 2004--and there are not enough gates to accommodate the increase.

According to the article, airport officials claim to have taken steps to reduce noise through technology; sound proofing schools; rerouting night departures away from residential areas and asking pilots for voluntary "rolling takeoffs" after taxiing.

The article said that the citizens' group has concerns about declining property values and the environment, prompting some people to sell their homes and leave the area and more are projected to leave. The population around a 5.2 square mile area of Love Field was around 27,400 in 1998 and is expected to drop to 17,400 by 2001.

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California Airport Prompts Noise Discussion

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: March 26, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 16; Zones Desk
DATELINE: Burbank, California

The Los Angeles Times printed a letter to the editor regarding jet noise from Burbank Airport. The letter is printed in its entirety.

"The suggestion recently made by one of your readers that residents of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena share the noise from the Burbank Airport is idiotic. When my wife and I purchased our home in Burbank our real estate agent suggested a couple of properties that fell within the airport's noise footprint. Because those properties fell within that footprint we didn't even consider them.

It makes absolutely no sense that the Burbank terminal expansion issue has dragged on for years and wasted millions of dollars in litigation because people who chose to live within the airport's noise footprint complain about airport noise.

I suppose if the same reader bought a home next to a landfill he'd complain about the smell and suggest that garbage be spread around the surrounding communities so they could share the odor."



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California Residents Protest Antennas on High School Campuses Because of Noise

PUBLICATION: Sacramento Bee
DATE: March 26, 2000
SECTION: Neighbors; Pg. N2
BYLINE: Carey Peterson
DATELINE: Carmichael, California

An article in the Sacramento Bee reported that the proposal to place wireless antennas on two 85-foot-high light standards at a local high school has won support from the Carmichael Community Planning Advisory Council but not from some of the neighbors.

The article said that the advisory council approved the proposal on condition that they were at least 100 feet from residences.

The article said that six neighbors attended a March meeting to state their opposition because of the noise from the antennas.

The article went on to explain that some neighbors asked why the issue was even placed on the agenda when it had previously been recommended for unanimous denial by another town's planning advisory council.

According to the article, Sprint PCS needs the antennas to provide services for cellular telephones, the Internet and computer users. The High School would be paid about $800 a month for use of the school's equipment.

The article explained that some residents were angry because the school district did not send a representative to the advisory council meetings to discuss the issue. There's a feeling of mistrust on the part of some of the residents, the article said. Residents also voiced their concern over radiation.

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Barking Dogs Are a Health Hazard in California

PUBLICATION: San Francisco Chronicle
DATE: MARCH 26, 2000
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. 9; Open Forum
BYLINE: Merrill Joan Gerber
DATELINE: San Francisco

A guest editorial in the San Francisco Times about barking dogs, health and personal responsibility is a compelling argument for anyone wishing to lodge a noise complaint and important information for anyone writing local noise ordinances.

The editorial begins by acknowledging the dog's elevated position in our society--companion, protector of children, our friend--but calls to immediate attention that repetitive barking is more than an irritation, it is a health hazard and preventable. It is also, the editorial says, the complete responsibility of the dog owner.

In a careful tone, the writer allows that dog owners who do not take steps to prevent this repetitive barking are perhaps inexperienced. He admonishes that pinning or tying a dog up is like putting the animal in prison. Like us, dogs must be able to be occupied and expend energy or the barking becomes its mode of expression for everything--rendering a watch dog useless because no one would pay attention and the barking would make one crazy.

The writer cites a noted dog expert in the book "No Bad Dogs" regarding owner behavior and a study on noise by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the impact of noise on our physical health.

The editorial discussed some of the serious adverse affects of noise on the human body, including heart disease and a lowered resistance to disease. The article goes on to state that an overexposure to noise can render an adverse impact on our emotional health, turning annoyance into extreme reactions.

The article charged us to pass laws about repetitive barking in the same vein that we pass ordinances against other noise hazards such as leaf blowers and jet noise, warning us that the history of "barking" ordinances and enforcement is "weak."

Claiming most of us ignore barking dogs, except for those who are victim to their endless noise, the writer draws an analogy of the barking dog to an individual who would begin playing the drums loudly in the front yard. If we played the drums, we'd get cited. But the careless or inexperienced dog owner? Not too much happens.

The editorial asks whether there are more victims of the incessantly barking dog than we realize, and ends with a good quote from former Surgeon General William H. Stewart regarding noise: "Those things within man's power to control which impact upon the individual in a negative way, which infringe upon his sense of integrity, and interrupt his pursuit of fulfillment, are hazards to public health. Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience." The editorial listed the writer's e-mail address

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Live Music Outdoors Divides St. Petersburg Florida Neighborhood Residents

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: March 26, 2000
SECTION: Neighborhood TIMES; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Pamela Griner Leavy
DATELINE: St. Petersburg, Florida

An article in the Neighborhood section of the St. Petersburg Times addressed the loud, live music of a new neighborhood outdoor club and its impact on residents of a nearby senior citizen apartment complex. Opinion is divided over the loud live music.

The article said that the according to the city's noise ordinance, "acceptable" levels of outdoor music is permissible, but residents complained at least 13 times in the past month, hired an attorney and presented a petition to the City Council.

The article said that residents want a curfew because they can no longer sleep through the night because of the noise.

When community police measured the noise during the evening, the levels measured between 58 and 62 decibels, and the county ordinance allows up 59 decibels until 11pm and 60 after.

The manager of the club ("The Big Catch") voluntarily turned the stage facing away from the apartments and promised to keep the volume down.

The article went on to say that what underscores the problem is that life is changing in downtown St. Petersburg because of increased growth, and many people are unaccustomed to the new developments.

Still, the article added, even the seniors are divided in their opinion. While some vociferously object, others don't mind the noise, acknowledging that they live in the city, and everyone is young once.

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Reader in Arizona Doesn't Mind Noise from Luke Air Force Base

PUBLICATION: Arizona Republic
DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Sun Cities/Surprise Community; Pg. 2
DATELINE: Buckeye, Arizona

The Arizona Republic printed a letter from a reader who thinks that people should not complain about jet noise from Luke Air Force Base. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"This is in regards to officials in Buckeye and those other communities around Luke Air Force Base that complain of the jet noise.

How dare they say that all Luke does is create " noise. " They all should get down on their knees and thank God that these brave men and women enlist and dedicate their lives to fly and train in those jets in the name of freedom. That " noise" is the sound of freedom. They should be grateful that these " noise" makers are around to protect their rear ends in a time of national unrest.

It is comments like these that show not only complete ignorance but also lack of patriotism. Jayne Nilsen Chandler"

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Suburban High School District Near Chicago Responds to Residents' Complaints About Air Conditioner Noise

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Jamie Sotonoff
DATELINE: Hoffman Estates, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that the noise from air-conditioning units on the roof of Hoffman Estates High School was annoying neighbors. Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211 has responded by agreeing to install sound insulating material around the units. According to the article, the state has been dealing with noise complaints about the high school's air conditioning system ever since it was first installed one and a half years ago. Residents had complained because the air conditioning units were running seven days a week. Assistant Superintendent Robert Rozycki said that it was necessary because of community programs that take place at the school on weekends. They tried turning on the units at 9:00 AM instead of 6:00 AM in an attempt to placate residents.

Rozycki is quoted in the article as saying, "We have the desire to be a good neighbor. We don't want any type of excessive noise to be a problem for our neighbors, so we're going to do whatever we can to minimize the noise coming off of those units."

The article reports that the efforts being tried now involve installing custom-made noise deflector panels around the units. The panels should deflect the noise straight up, instead of out toward neighbors' homes. The panels probably cost less than $10,000, Rozycki said.

The article states that neighbor Bob Gardner was one of the complainants. He said that when the units are running, he can't even sit on his back deck and enjoy his property because of the noise.

The article notes that the school district hired an acoustical engineering firm to help clarify the situation. The experts measured noise levels at the school and in the surrounding neighborhoods, and they did not find that the sound exceeded acceptable levels. Prior to the deflectors being installed, the school district had already tried wrapping the air conditioners in foam insulation and vinyl blankets. The District has asked the Cook County Department of Environmental Control to inspect the system regularly. So far, the noise from the school has not exceeded noise code regulations.

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Reader Protests Preschool Noise in Vancouver, Washington Neighborhood

DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Opinion; Pg. A10
BYLINE: Lani Ueland
DATELINE: Vancouver, Washington

The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington recently printed a number of letters to the editor. One of them is from a reader who is disturbed by noise from a preschool in her residential neighborhood. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"Excessive noise unappealing

I don't dispute that The Playhouse might be a wonderful preschool and that the two women who run it may give excellent and nurturing care. I do dispute their choice in placing The Playhouse in our neighborhood prior to obtaining a conditional-use permit.

Angela Shaw's Feb. 12 letter, 'Preschool appeals to parent,' states that The Playhouse is hardly a leader in commercial construction because of the nearby Walnut Grove Elementary School, Walnut Grove Church and a group of stores, including a Safeway, on the other side of Andresen Road. The school playground is on the other side of the schoolhouse, thus shielding it from excessive sound, and Walnut Grove Church is quiet. Because of a cement block wall that was erected between our neighborhood and Andresen, far less noise is heard from the road and from the group of stores.

Although I am closer to Walnut Grove Elementary School than The Playhouse, I hear almost nothing from the school. Although The Playhouse has a fence around it, it is not obscuring the view from my home. It follows that the noise that emanates from the yard isn't obscured either.

Shaw said her child had a fantastic time when she dropped him off for a birthday party at The Playhouse. There is always another side to the coin. I don't mind hearing the laughter and screams that come from neighborhood children playing in a yard, but it becomes more difficult to appreciate when parties with backyard games are given one after another.

Conditional-use permits are accessible. If one had been applied for in the beginning, both sides would have been considered and the rights of all parties protected. I rely on that process to preserve my rights as well as those of my neighborhood.

Lani Ueland


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Westwood, Tennessee Residents Complain to State About Highway Noise

PUBLICATION: Knoxville News-Sentinel
DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Comment; Pg. A18
DATELINE: Knoxville, Tennessee

The Knoxville News-Sentinel in Tennessee reports that residents in Westwood feel that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is not living up to its responsibilities to alleviate the traffic noise that the residents are now subjected to as a result of widening Interstate 40.

According to the article, in 1985 and in 1990, before the I-40 project began, TDOT had conducted a study of projected noise problems. However, they felt that a sound barrier wall would cost too much money, because their study indicated that only eight homes would be severely affected. TDOT Environmental Planning and Permit Division director Ray Brisson said that making an exception in Westwood and constructing a wall there would set a precedent that the state is not willing to undertake.

The writer of the article believes that the state should nevertheless be responsible for responding to residents' concerns. Barriers should be planned and discussed from the outset as an integral part of any state construction project where excessive noise would be a concern. It should not be an afterthought.

The article notes that TDOT has agreed to study the Westwood area again because of future construction plans that would widen I-40 from Papermill to Wesley Road. The study will cost $40,000 and will be completed in May. Residents will then find out whether they qualify for noise mitigation.

The article also reports that the Westwood residents were helped in their crusade against the state by University of Tennessee audiology and speech pathology students who recently went to Westwood and recorded noise from the interstate for analysis. The students work under the direction of Professor James Thelin. The students recorded noise at ten locations in Westwood. Homeowners will use the University study to help their case against the state; they believe that approximately 40 homes out of a total of 206 are adversely affected by the interstate noise.

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Burbank, California Airport Loses Request to Close Terminal Overnight

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Andrew Blankstein
DATELINE: Burbank, California

The Los Angeles Times reports that FAA administrator Jane Garvey has recently declared that Burbank Airport will not be allowed to close its terminal overnight until it completes a noise study that could take up to two years to complete. The city of Burbank was hoping that closing the old terminal would help speed along their plans to build a new terminal at the airport. The project will now have to be put on hold.

The article quotes Garvey as writing that "active barring of use of the terminal would turn a voluntary curfew into a mandatory one and would be impermissible without first complying with applicable requirements of Part 161." Garvey was referring to a study that is required under the Airport Noise and Control Act of 1990, whereby airports must conduct noise studies before undertaking any noise abatement efforts. Burbank Airport's proposed overnight curfew falls into this category. Garvey wrote the letter because Burbank Mayor Stacey Murphy had requested FAA clarification on legal questions that had been raised in connection with the terminal framework agreement signed last August by airport and city negotiators. Burbank officials had hoped that by closing only the terminal overnight, they would be able to bypass having to conduct a formal noise study because the airport would technically not be imposing a curfew.

The article includes an elaboration by Peter Kirsch, special counsel for the city of Burbank on airport issues. "The nighttime closure was designed to avoid the need for government approval," he said. "The administrator's letter makes clear that federal approval would be required for any restrictions along the lines of what the city wants, which will mean a delay of as long as two years before the old terminal can be replaced." Kirsch hopes that representatives of the FAA, the airport, and the city will be able to meet soon so that Garvey might be able and willing to help expedite both reaching a deal and completing federal reviews.

The article states that currently, the airport operates under a voluntary curfew from 10:00 PM until 7:00 AM. Burbank Councilman Bob Kramer said city officials "will not accept a new terminal without a prohibition on overnight airline flights." He added, "Sooner or later we have to realize that Jane Garvey doesn't care about the people of Burbank. Maybe she would be more cooperative if we said flat out, 'She's never going to see a new terminal until we see a curfew and a cap on flights.' "

The article reports that the terminal closure was not the only part of the framework agreement that the FAA was questioning. Another controversial point is a suggested annual payment of $1.5 million in airport passenger taxes that would be paid to the city of Burbank to replace lost sales taxes. The proposal also requested payment for infrastructure improvements such as sewer lines and mass transit.

The article does note that, on the positive side, Garvey believes that progress has been made on the proposed ban on easterly takeoffs from the airport, which has been opposed by residents who live south and west of Burbank Airport.

The article states that Burbank Airport Executive Director Dios Marrero also believes that there are positives to be found in Garvey's letter. He said, "The most telling thing about the FAA letter and Burbank's reaction is the similarity they share when it comes to further dialogue. Both Burbank and the FAA are saying we need to continue to explore possibilities for moving forward. Our take is that a meeting as soon as possible is the best thing to do."

The article puts the battle over the new airport terminal in Burbank in historical perspective. In the 1980s, the airport first voiced its need for a new terminal that would meet the ever-increasing passenger demand at the airport. The airport wanted to move the 69-year old existing terminal because it sits too close to the airport's east-west runway. FAA standards have changed in the years since the old terminal was built. The airport and the city skirmished for years, finally signing a tentative agreement last August that would allow terminal development at the airport. However, the Burbank City Council has still not voted on the agreement, and now has decided to allow city voters to decide the issue.

The article mentions that Councilman Bill Wiggins believes that the proposal needs to be settled as quickly as possible because of a May 24 deadline for a completed development deal and a December deadline that will ensure federal funding for the actual beginning of construction.

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Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) Resident Says Stop Complaining About Airport Noise

PUBLICATION: Ottawa Citizen
DATE: March 31, 2000
BYLINE: W. P. Muller
DATELINE: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Ottawa Citizen printed an indignant letter from a reader who believes people should stop complaining about airport noise. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"Re: Dyan Cross's letter about airport noise ('Don't suffer airplane noise in silence,' March 23).

Did people who moved close to an airport suddenly wake up after their move and discover there was an airport nearby? Why is this subject coming up now, when most airplanes are up to 30-per-cent quieter than the last generation of jets? Should people next to a highway or fire station also call to complain about noise?"

W. P. Muller,


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Port of Seattle Nearing Completion of Soundproofing Work on Homes Near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

PUBLICATION: Seattle Times
DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Local News; Pg. B4
BYLINE: John Zebrowski
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Times reports that the Port of Seattle, which operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state, has been diligent in using federal funds to help soundproof approximately 8,000 homes near the airport (which is also known as Sea-Tac). Work began on the homes in 1985, and has cost $163 million. More than 1,000 flights land at Sea-Tac each day.

The article reports that the Port plans to finish all of the remaining work by the end of this year. The Port believes the program has been a success. Sarah Dalton, who oversees the program, said, "I'd say 99 percent of the participants are satisfied." More soundproofing might be called for if Sea-Tac's third runway is eventually built.

The article adds that the Port surveyed homeowners who had had insulation work done on their homes, asking if they would recommend the program to a neighbor. The responses speak well of the program: 1,409 homeowners said yes, while only 18 said no. Those responding indicated that the contractors who performed the work were competent and courteous. The homeowners had noticed that there was much less noise inside the retrofitted houses. Phone conversations, in particular, were judged to be much easier to conduct after the soundproofing work had been done.

The article elaborates on the soundproofing. Workers installed triple-paned windows, solid-core doors, storm doors, insulation, and sometimes gypsum wallboard for walls and ceilings. This results in at least an 8-decibel reduction in noise inside the home. The loudest jet landing at Sea-Tac is the 727, which produces about 110 decibels of sound. On average, noise levels inside the retrofitted homes will measure less than 70 decibels, compared to 75 decibels soundproofing.

The article quotes one resident who is sick of hearing the jet noise as saying, "Imagine 12 times over the next half-hour your boss comes by and screams as loud as he can. That's what it's like."

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida Nightclub Considers Attracting Different Clientele in Order to Reduce Club Noise

DATE: March 31, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Lisa J. Huriash
DATELINE: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida reports that the Roxy nightclub has been the target of noise complaints by area residents. Club owner Stuart Konecky has been considering changing the type of music that he offers at the club so that the current club crowd, mostly African-Americans, will go elsewhere. He claims the move is not racially motivated.

According to the article, Konecky said, "The crowd is from the south side of Fort Lauderdale that is African-American, and they have no regard or respect for the community."

The article states that Konecky spoke at a meeting between restaurant and bar owners and city officials. He announced that he would shut down his club in order to get rid of his current clientele. He received a standing ovation from the crowd. The meeting had been convened because the city is considering a proposal that would require any business that sells liquor after midnight to get a special permit. Then, if residents complain more than three times within three months about noise or other problems from the business, the license could be revoked. Some other bar owners hope that if the Roxy is able to cut down on complaints it receives, the city might be willing not to go through with the liquor permit proposal. So many other bar and club owners are in favor of Konecky's plan to change the type of clientele that his club currently attracts.

The article reports that Konecky maintains he is not being racist. He said that "black patrons who come to the club other nights of the week don't create disturbances." However, he also admitted that if the Saturday night clientele were white, he probably would not have any problems.

The article goes on to say that City manager Floyd Johnson, himself an African-American, does not believe that Konecky's plan is racially motivated. Johnson said, "I don't care if the people are purple. They're still creating problems. He indicated he was not going to attract folks that attract that type of behavior."

The article adds that Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Carlton Moore, also an African-American, thinks that Konecky is making a prudent business decision. Konecky is planning to change the club's music on Saturday nights from hip-hop and reggae to something different that would hopefully attract a quieter crowd. He also said he would reduce the number of people that would be allowed in the club at one time.

The article also states that bar owners are leery that the new liquor license proposal would encourage neighbors who want to close a bar down to file false noise complaints.

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Canadian Hunter's Guide, Widely Distributed to Children, Makes No Mention of Importance of Ear Protection

DATE: March 31, 2000
BYLINE: Terry Wilson
DATELINE: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto Star in Canada reports that the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the ministry of natural resources recently distributed a Hunter's Guide to Ontario schools. Nowhere in the guide was ear protection discussed. The Deafness Research Foundation says that shotgun blasts register at 130 decibels.

The article reports that in the 1950's and 1960', people who were repeatedly subjected to gun blasts, such as on shooting ranges, did not wear hearing protection. They now report tinnitus and some permanent hearing loss. The writer of the article is appalled that the new Hunter's Guide does not mention any recommendation for hearing protection. The Guide contains many illustrations of both adults and children shooting, all without hearing protection. The only reference to hearing protection is a single illustration on the second to last page of the Guide of an adult and child who are both wearing ear protection.

The article reports that it is the law in Ontario for workers to wear ear protection if they are subjected to noise in the workplace that is 90 decibels or higher. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations 1990 states that "as the volume of noise increases, worker exposure time must be reduced on a scale ranging from eight hours at 90 decibels to only 15 minutes at 115 decibels." In addition, the Act states that workers are not allowed to be in an environment where the noise reaches 115 decibels or above.

The article goes on to explain that decibel ratings are logarithmic, with 110 decibels being 10 times louder than 100 decibels, and 100 decibels being 10 times louder than 90 decibels, etc. /P>

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Scientific Research on Sound Has Many Possible Worldwide Applications

PUBLICATION: Daily Telegraph
DATE: March 30, 2000
BYLINE: Michael Fitzpatrick
DATELINE: London, England

The Daily Telegraph in London reports on many scientific studies being conducted on sound and its applications.

According to the article, one study involved directing high-powered infrasound at laboratory animals. It caused internal bleeding in the animals and destroyed body tissue. Military scientists might be able to use such findings to develop "sound arms." Infrasound is low-frequency sound waves that are below the threshold of hearing for the human ear. Infrasound could be used to attack an enemy with loudspeakers set up on a battlefield, inflicting inordinate amounts of damage without using any firearms.

The article reports that other research includes experiments at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where researchers have developed a sound-wave powered engine with no moving parts. The engine, named the thermoacoustic Stirling heat engine (in honor of 19th-century pump inventor Robert Stirling), produces sound from heated helium inside the engine. The sound waves then drive a piston which then generates electricity. Such an engine could have applications in homes, where they could generate electricity as well as produce a small amount of heat for the home at the same time.

The article goes on to report that Japan's Public Works Research Institute has invented a type of wall that contains a sound device that blocks out unwanted traffic noise by creating noise of its own, similar to a "white noise" machine. The device, called Active Noise Control (ANC), measures the sound waves generated by traffic and then creates its own sound waves that cancel out the peaks and troughs of the sound waves from the traffic. The device can reduce the volume of noise reaching our ears by five percent.

The article then reports on research conducted by Kaijo Corporation's Yoshiki Hashimoto, a researcher who can actually move objects by acoustic levitation using supersonic waves. The levitator can keep a small silicon wafer hovering one millimeter above the surface by the emission of sound waves vibrating at the speed of 20,000 times per second. The machine could have many applications for the semiconductor industry. Some acoustic levitation experiments are also being conducted in outer space, where zero gravity is an advantage.

According to the article, experiments in space are also being conducted on a phenomenon known as sonoluminescence, which is light being emitted from liquid under high-intensity sound. Tim Leighton, professor of ultrasonics and underwater acoustics at the University of Southampton in England, has been involved in some of the sonoluminescence experiments. Some scientists claim that it can have exciting applications such as nuclear fusion and sewage treatment. Leighton is cautious about the discovery, however.

The article also reports that the University of Southampton's acoustics department is also experimenting with the development of a virtual sound system that would complement virtual reality (VR) entertainment. The system is called the "Stereo Dipole." Leading the research are Philip Nelson at Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and Hareo Hamada at Denki University in Tokyo.

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Flight Limits Placed on Grand Canyon National Park Tours Do Not Meet Goals of 1987 Law

PUBLICATION: Arizona Republic
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Opinions; Pg. B8
DATELINE: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Arizona Republic printed an editorial that discusses the recent limits placed on the number of flights in Grand Canyon National Park. However, the goals of a 1987 law that established flight-free zones over the park and called for "substantial restoration of natural quiet" still have not been attained.

The article reports that half of Grand Canyon National Park was to be free of aircraft noise at least 75 percent of each day. Under new rules, that goal will not be met, but forty-one percent of the Park would be required to be noise-free, compared to about one-third of the Park currently.

The article states that the number of flights will be limited to 90,000 per year. The air tour industry in the park is extremely profitable. It is a $150 million industry. 800,000 tourists take air tours through the park each year.

The article reports that the new regulations would allow air tour companies with quieter aircraft to fly in areas that are currently prohibited for any aircraft. The editorial writer believes that it is now the responsibility of the Park Service and the FAA to work together to study the new rules and to create a noise management plan for the park. In order to meet the "congressional mandate of restoring natural quiet" to the park, this cooperation is vital.

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Village of Long Grove, Illinois Sues Dog Owner Over Noise Ordinance Violations

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Aurora Aguilar
DATELINE: Long Grove, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that dachshund breeder Lucy Huck of Long Grove, Illinois has been continually violating the village's noise ordinance. The village board has decided to file a lawsuit against Huck, who has 25 noisy dogs in her home. This is the second lawsuit filed against Huck in two years.

According to the article, the village dropped the first lawsuit after Huck put up a 12-foot fence that was supposed to contain the sound. Mike LaFerle, a neighbor, said that the fence did not muffle the noise. Huck has not responded to the village since the second lawsuit was filed. However, she now keeps only 25 dogs instead of 35.

The article states that Huck believes she is being harassed because of conflicts between longtime residents and newcomers who live in much fancier homes than the older farms and houses that used to make up the area. Huck is 79 years old and has lived in the same home in Long Grove for 60 years. She has been breeding dachshunds for 53 years, since long before Long Grove passed any zoning laws.

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Opponents of Outdoor Amphitheater in Vancouver, Washington File Lawsuit Against County and Developer

DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Clark County/Region; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Dean Baker
DATELINE: Vancouver, Washington
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Stop the Amphitheater Today; Fairgrounds Neighborhood Association

The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington reports that two citizen organizations have sued Clark County, Washington, and Q Prime, a developer that wants to build an 18,000-seat, 800,000-square foot amphitheater in Clark County. The suit alleges that the amphitheater would cause noise pollution, harm the environment, and lessen the quality of life for area residents. This is the third time that opponents have filed a lawsuit trying to stop the project.

According to the article, the amphitheater will cost approximately $10.1 million. If the lawsuit fails the third time, the case may go to the Washington Court of Appeals. Guy Stephenson and Martin Overstreet are the attorneys representing the plaintiffs; Randall Printz is the attorney for Q Prime, and will be joined in his defense by Rich Lowry, the country's senior deputy prosecuting attorney. In the previous suit, Clark County Hearings Examiner Larry Epstein and three county commissioners had approved the project.

The article states that the amphitheater would sit on a 134-acres site and would hold 40 concerts each year during outdoor months. The groups suing claim that the amphitheater "will bring unacceptable noise, traffic, obscene song lyrics and environmental pollution and will depress the value of houses near the fairgrounds." They believe that Epstein mistakenly called the amphitheater "an officially sanctioned public event," which under state law would allow the amphitheater more freedom concerning hours and volume of noise allowed. In addition, they accuse Epstein of not requiring that a cumulative impact analysis and environmental impact statement be conducted on the amphitheater.

The article goes on to say that the attorneys for the prosecution believe that the negative impacts include "heavy traffic, loud noise late at night including 'objectionable lyrics,' construction of parking lots, the huge entertainment bowl, fencing and stormwater ponds on a 134-acre open field, damaging wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat and air quality."

The article notes that Printz responded that the amphitheater will be offering "public" and "officially sanctioned" concerts and that the developer has already provided plenty of environmental documentation. He said that opponents are overreacting to the anticipated noise levels and that the environment will be protected.

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Neighbors File Lawsuit Against Noisy Factory in Hampton, Iowa

PUBLICATION: Des Moines Register
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Metro Iowa Pg.3
DATELINE: Hampton, Iowa

The Des Moines Register in Iowa published three short local news articles. One of them concerns a lawsuit over noise in Hampton, Iowa.

The article announces that the Davies Manufacturing plant on U.S. Highway 65 in Hampton is being sued by nine nearby property owners because the plant uses heavy metal presses that "generate loud and unreasonable noises." The suit asks for a permanent injunction against the factory, which makes metal tools.

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Metal Fabrication Plant Approved in Estover, England Despite Resident Noise Concerns

PUBLICATION: Evening Herald
DATE: March 30, 2000
DATELINE: Estover, England

The Evening Herald in Plymouth, England reports that the city council in Estover, England has granted approval for West Wise Manufacturing, Ltd. to build a new factory, despite concerns by residents over noise.

According to the article, the facility will be a two-story factory on an industrial estate at Darklake View. It will replace West Wise's existing factory in Plympton. The facility will be a metal fabrication factory.

The article states that Riverford residents were worried about noise and environmental impact. To deal with the noise issue, the company has agreed to move its proposed loading dock to the back of the factory instead of the side, which is where it was originally planned. They also agreed to soundproof the door and to undertake other noise mitigation work at the factory. The city planning permit will specify maximum allowable noise levels for the factory.

The article quotes environmental officer Nigel West as saying, "It is the opinion of the officers that the two acoustic conditions imposed are appropriate and will provide the necessary protection to the environment we are looking for."

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Telephone Headset Recommendations

PUBLICATION: Louisville Courier-Journal
DATE: March 30, 2000
DATELINE: Louisville, Kentucky

The Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky reports on telephone headsets that allow for completely hands-free conversation. Different models are recommended.

According to the article, headsets that work with cord-connected telephones or that come as part of a cord-connected telephone cost between $30 and $100. The more expensive models often have more convenience features, including noise-reduction microphones for filtering out background noise, quick-release clips, and tiny amplifiers that provide more volume-setting control.

The article states that the most convenient types of headsets are those that work with cordless or wireless phones, allowing more freedom of mobility. In order to use a headset with a cordless phone, you need to make certain that your phone has a headset jack. Even phones that are only one to two years old might not have come with a built-in headset jack. Cordless phones with jacks do not cost as much as they used to. Uniden has a 900MHz phone, complete with headset jack, for $50. Plantronics and other manufacturers offer small, light cordless phones that can only be used with headsets, which are included. These new phones cost from $80 to $120.

The article reports that prices for the headsets themselves vary greatly. Plantronics sells headsets that start as low as $30. All Plantronics headsets are equipped with noise-reduction microphones.

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United States and European Union Attempt to Reach Hushkit Compromise

PUBLICATION: Journal of Commerce
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Transportation; Pg. 8
BYLINE: Bruce Barnard
DATELINE: London, England

The Journal of Commerce in London, England reports on another effort between the European Union (EU) and the United States to settle the controversy over hushkits. The EU law banning hushkitted aircraft takes place on May 4. This would affect more than 700 US aircraft.

According to the article, EU Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio said that, although it is too late to rescind the law, it is not too late for the EU to suspend that part of the law which affects non-EU airlines beginning in April 2002. The EU will consider the suspension in exchange for a US suspension on its complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), claiming that the EU hushkit ban is discriminatory, particularly against the United States. Many US aircraft engine makers would be severely affected by the ban. And many US airlines have hushkitted aircraft in their fleets, including Boeing 727s, DC-9s, and older Boeing 737s.

The article reports that de Palacio met recently with US Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater to discuss a possible deal. The US and the EU would sign a joint declaration on a new worldwide aircraft noise standard. The European Parliament plans to discuss the possible EU compromise this week. The next step would be for the 15 member states of the EU to discuss the deal.

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New Federal Legislation Will Increase Air Traffic at Kennedy and Laguardia Airports in New York

DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: News; Page A33
BYLINE: Michael Arena
DATELINE: Queens, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Les Blomberg, Noise Pollution Clearinghouse; Sane Aviation for Everyone

Newsday reports that US President Bill Clinton is due to sign legislation this week that would allow more regional jet traffic at Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports in New York. The legislation will also allow the "high-density rule," which has set strict flight number limits at the two airports for the past thirty years, to expire in less than seven years. The bill was approved by Congress on March 15.

According to the article, the new federal legislation will bring more than $30 million to Kennedy and Laguardia over the next three years. It is part of a nationwide aviation-funding package. New York legislators expressed their approval of the bill after receiving guarantees that the small, regional jets that would be allowed at the airports under the legislation would have quieter engines. This does not satisfy environmental advocates, however.

The article quotes Les Blomberg of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse in Montpelier, Vermont, a non-profit group that studies noise issues. Blomberg explained, "It's going to mean an increase in noise. The new planes are quieter, but there will be more of them."

The article explains that another reason for legislative support in New York is that the airports will be able to service new regional markets, such as Rochester and Syracuse, New York. The legislation will allow airlines additional "slots" at the airports as long as the jets are smaller (seating 70 passengers or less) and are equipped with quieter, Stage 3 engines. Current commuter jet engine aircraft use Stage 2 engines, which are older and noisier.

The article states that Representative Gregory Meeks of Queens responded to concerned constituents by saying, "I must balance the needs of a healthy airport that contributes more than $30 billion to the New York region's economy and the needs of my constituents who suffer from aircraft noise."

The article then prints a response from a group in Queens called Sane Aviation for Everyone. The group said, "Hundreds of communities that will get increased noise and air pollution will not consider it an improvement in their lives."

The article then notes that William DeCota, the director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that the legislation is good for the region because it will allow LaGuardia and Kennedy to remain competitive, while ensuring that the noise impact on the area is minimal. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently taking the next five years to redesign air traffic routes that will allow the additional planes to safely fly into and out of Kennedy and Laguardia.

The article goes on to say that the purpose of the high-density rule, adopted in 1969, was to ensure that air congestion in the nation's busiest regions could be handled. Anti-noise groups point out the rule when protesting aircraft noise in these regions; however, the high-density rule no longer applies to air safety because of technological advances in air traffic control.

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Noise Complaints Prompt Consideration of Rules Against "Touch-and-Go" Training Exercises at Witham Field in Stuart, Florida

PUBLICATION: Palm Beach Post
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Sarah Eisenhauer
DATELINE: Stuart, Florida

The Palm Beach Post reports that Martin County officials are trying to respond to community complaints about noise at Witham Field in Stuart, Florida by drafting a law that would restrict "touch-and-go" takeoffs and landings there. They will closely study a similar law enacted by the city of Pompano Beach five years ago as they draft the Witham Field law.

According to the article, the law is being considered because of the many complaints received by the county about flight training activity at Witham Field, especially so-called "touch-and-go" maneuvers in which a pilot in training begins to land an aircraft, touches down on the runway very briefly, and then takes off again. Generally, the pilots circle in the area and repeat the maneuver three times in a row. Until the law is drafted, Witham Field airport director Michael Moon will ask pilots to voluntarily cease the "touch-and-go" training from 10:00 PM until 7:00 AM daily.

The article reports that Steve Rocco, director of the Pompano Beach Airpark, believes that a similar law there has reduced noise complaints substantially. At Pompano Beach, the touch-and-go training is allowed from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM on weekdays only. Pilots caught violating the rules by Airpark staff monitors are sent warning letters, and fined up to $500 for repeat offenses.

The article states that the FAA and a noise consultant assisted Pompano officials in drafting the rules. Despite the approved rules, the FAA requires the Pompano Airpark to allow "full stop, taxi backs" on weekends and holidays. These are similar to touch-and-go's, but require the planes to come to a complete stop before taxiing back up the runway and taking off again.

According to the article, after Martin County commissioners directed the Martin County Airport director and legal staff to begin drafting the rule for Witham Field, controversy arose. At a recent meeting, area residents in attendance were strongly in support of the proposed law. Airport supporters and flight trainers were heavily opposed. County commissioner Dennis Armstrong, who proposed the rules for Martin County, told the legal staff to return in three months with a draft of the regulation or with a status report. At that time, the commissioners will decide if the rules are something that the county wishes to pursue further.

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Attempts to Revitalize Beleaguered Phoenix, Arizona Neighborhood Meet With Opposition From Some City Officials

PUBLICATION: Phoenix New Times
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Features
BYLINE: Edward Lebow
DATELINE: Phoenix, Arizona
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Ethel Lane; Phoenix Revitalization Corporation (PRC); Joint Urban Design Program at Arizona State University

The Phoenix New Times in Arizona reports that some city officials and residents wish to revitalize the neighborhood of Central City South. Residents there are faced with many obstacles, including noise pollution. The plan is getting little support from the city, however.

According to the article, Central City South is a very poor neighborhood comprising dozens of city blocks of mixed housing and industry. Sky Harbor International Airport is located nearby, and residents are exposed to excessive aircraft noise, as well as noise from the railroad track and I-17, in between which the neighborhood in sandwiched. Almost half of all of Phoenix's public housing is located there.

The article states that Deputy City Manager Jacques Avent has come under fire for refusing to improve the neighborhood. Resident and businesswoman Ethel Lane, who also heads up a neighborhood association, severely castigated Avent at a public meeting for refusing to help the neighborhood.

The article goes on to say that Avent has been criticized for actually using airport noise as an excuse for not helping out the neighborhood. He has said that the city does not want to do any more building in the airport's flight path because of increased noise for residents. Neighborhood activists don't buy it. They say that any new construction in the flight path would qualify for noise mitigation funding.

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North Lincolnshire, England Council Must Pay Compensation to Resident for Failing to Take Timely Action Against Noisy Club

PUBLICATION: Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: News:Politics:Local Government, Pg.3
DATELINE: North Lincolnshire, England

The Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph in England reports that the North Lincolnshire Council has been required to apologize and to pay GBP 750 to a local woman after failing to take action on a noise complaint against a working men's club located next door to her home.

According to the article, the neighbor complained that the council "unreasonably delayed taking action to abate noise from the club causing her nuisance, anxiety and disquiet over a long period of time."

According to the article, the council had served the club with a noise abatement notice in November 1998, which proved to be invalid. The council decided not to take legal action against the club at that time. They continued to negotiate with the club, however, all to no avail. They served the club with another abatement notice in September 1999, and the case has been taken to court. Since it was not handled in a timely manner, however, the Council must pay compensation to the complainant.

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Navy Jets Use New Orleans International Airport For Special Mission Due to Inadequate Size of Navy Air Station's Runways

PUBLICATION: Times-Picayune
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B2
DATELINE: Kenner, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune in Louisiana reports that residents in Kenner and St. Charles Parish have been warned that they will hear louder than usual takeoff noise from New Orleans International Airport today. The military is using the airport for the departure of two of the Navy's giant airborne tankers and a squadron of F/A-18 fighters for training exercises in Guam.

According to the article, the planes need to use New Orleans International Airport because the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station runways are not large enough for the giant tankers. The planes are part of Naval Air Reserve Squadron VFA-204 based in Belle Chasse.

The article states that New Orleans Aviation Director Ed Levell said that the Navy pilots have told airport officials that they will follow the airport's noise abatement procedures. However, the planes will probably generate considerable noise nonetheless.

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Readers Complain That Radio Stations Compromise Drivers' Safety By Use of Horns and Sirens on Radio Shows

PUBLICATION: Washington Post
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: Weekly - Dc; Pg. J01; Dr. Gridlock
BYLINE: Ron Shaffer
DATELINE: Washington, DC

The Washington Post published several letters to the editor in a column called "Dr. Gridlock," complaining about drivers' safety when local radio stations broadcast the sounds of horns and sirens on-air. The letters are reprinted here in their entirety:

"Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Claudia S. Rauen of Alexandria is right-on to complain about distracting horns and sirens on the radio (Dr. Gridlock, March 6). When I'm driving in busy traffic and hear a car horn or siren, of course I tense up and try to find its source. I worry whether I am about to be in a collision or what quick action I should be taking.

When I belatedly realize it was 'only' on the radio, I am justifiably furious.

This does happen quite often, and is an obvious public danger."

Claude Kacser


"In addition, radio stations use horn noises to announce that their traffic report is beginning. I agree with Ms. Rauen that these noises are annoying and dangerous when you're on the road. You think someone is tooting their horn at you and try to find the source until you realize it is on the radio.

I think radio stations should stop using these horn noises."

Mary Fran Gray


"Sirens on the radio are terrible. I'm a National Public Radio listener, and sometimes, to add drama to stories set in the city, the producers of the programs start off with sirens or other similar noises. Or sirens are included somewhere within the story. It startles me every time, and I look around to find the source of the siren, only to find it's part of a radio story.

I've always wanted to call NPR and say STOP IT."

Larry Mattivi

New Market, Frederick County

"The driving hazard presented by radio broadcasts featuring horns and sirens is real (Dr. Gridlock, March 6). I have been working in broadcasting for 35 years, yet I, too, have been fooled by such sounds, believing them to be real. In such cases, I have slammed on the brakes or abruptly changed lanes only to realize the siren was coming out of the radio speakers.

Things weren't always this way. For eons, the National Association of Broadcasters 'Code of Good Practice,' observed by most radio stations, prohibited broadcasts of sirens and automobile horns in recognition of the hazard they posed.

Regrettably, the same era that swept in the Howard Sterns of the airwaves also saw the demise of the code, based on some theory that it fostered improper "restraint of trade."

In the years following, though, most broadcasters continued to follow the deleted code provisions.

However, today's crop of radio station production people neither remember the code, nor appreciate that radio existed before they were born. They are reaching out for any sound effect or gimmick that they think will elevate their station's sound above the din of competition. No thought is given to the clear danger posed by broadcast sirens and horns.

Nonetheless, letters citing the date, time and identity of any such hazardous broadcasts, when sent to radio station managers (people who are invariably dedicated to the community good), will usually result in removal or modification of the offending announcement."

James M. Weitzman

North Bethesda

"A year or so ago, when I was driving to work early in the morning (6:30 a.m.) and listening to news on WTOP-1500, the traffic report came on with the announcement that "Metro is running on time with no problems."

The announcement was accompanied by the sound of three chimes. These chime sounds were exactly what my car would make when it is about to run out of gas.

It took me some time to realize that it was not my car but the Metro announcement. Now I have a tendency to change the station.

I have also heard sirens on my radio as if a fire engine is right behind me. I think radio stations should evaluate each advertisement for its potential impact on the driving public."

Suresh C. Rastogi

North Potomac

"I agree with Claudia Rauen (Dr. Gridlock, March 6) that radio advertisements with sirens are distracting and dangerous. I commute from Charles County through Prince George's County to Alexandria every day and have often been distracted in heavy traffic wondering where the siren was coming from.

Interestingly enough, I heard one such ad today and the advertiser was Nationwide auto insurance."

Barbara A. Homan


"The issue of distracting noises on car radios, such as horns and sirens, has bugged me for years. FYI, based on my vague recollection, about eight years ago, I contacted the Federal Communications Commission and was told they have received complaints about this for years.

I think they said that broadcasters have been unwilling to censor advertising and are constrained only by FCC rules passed by Congress and that any broadcasting rule changes need to be directed to Congress (presumably to the FCC oversight committee).

I suspect that a paraplegic telling Congress the story of how radio distraction caused his accident might help."

S.G. Ziman

Prince Frederick, Calvert County

"I agree with Claudia S. Rauen of Alexandria who complained that sirens and horns coming from the radio are sometimes distracting to drivers. I've been thinking about writing to you for a long time about this. Radio stations should ban such sounds."

Craig Wagner


"Thank you so much for printing the letter from Claudia Rauen of Alexandria, who took issue with radio commercials that included the sounds of horns and sirens.

I, too, am a little annoyed with commercials that use these sounds. When I drive and hear horn sounds on the radio, I look around for a driver about to hit me. While a good surge of adrenaline is good for being alert, I don't like to be distracted from what is really happening around me.

Highway driving in the metropolitan area can be stressful enough without these noisy commercials adding to the mix.

To avoid these noises, I suppose I could just turn off my radio, but I'd rather not do that because I enjoy much of the radio programming.

I don't think legislation is the answer, as that borders on breaching freedom of expression. However, some sort of local government "suggestion" to radio stations might be appropriate.

Or, limit the timing of these advertisements to other than rush hour; although sometimes it seems now that rush hour is all the time.

Perhaps radio stations can market themselves with slogans about having 'traffic noise -free programming for a less stressful driving experience.'"

Jeff Gaines


"After reading your column today, I was glad to discover I'm not the only one who is alarmed while driving when a radio ad features a siren noise.

Many times I've found myself slowing down and searching for some type of emergency vehicle in my rearview mirror after hearing a siren on the radio.

I hope the local radio stations read your column and think twice about putting any more of those ads on the air."

Liz Slovensky


"Regarding the ads that use car horns and sirens--I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Rauen of Alexandria. My head swivels around trying to locate the sound and, in the case of sirens, to respond to it.

Very dangerous indeed."

Lisl Harper


"I thought I was the only one who reacted negatively to radio ads featuring horns and sirens, so I was delighted to read Claudia S. Rauen's letter about them (Dr. Gridlock, March 6).

I almost always brake in reflexive reaction to such sounds. This can obviously result in irrational behavior in the eyes of other drivers, not to mention the skipped heartbeats, disorientation and momentary panic it causes this 60-year-old cardiac patient.

I am sure this can be banned by regulation of some sort, but one would hope that advertisers themselves realize how distracting and therefore dangerous it is."

Peter P. Cecere

Woodville, Rappahannock County

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Muslims in Oslo, Norway Allowed to Use Loudspeaker to Broadcast Calls to Prayer

PUBLICATION: Associated Press Worldstream
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: International News
DATELINE: Oslo, Norway

The Associated Press Worldstream reports that a neighborhood council in Oslo, Norway has granted permission to the World Islamic Mission to broadcast calls to prayer on outdoor loudspeakers every Friday.

According to the article, the loudspeaker is mounted on a mosque in Gamle Oslo (Old Town). The Islamic group filed their application six months ago, and has since been the recipient of protests from conservative Christians in Norway. In a related move, the Heathen Society, a group for atheists, applied for permission to broadcast "There is no God" in announcements for its meetings over a loudspeaker as well. The group is protesting that Christians are allowed to make noise throughout the city by ringing church bells, and now Muslims are allowed to broadcast calls to prayer over a loudspeaker. The Heathen Society wanted equal treatment.

The article states that the council decreed that the calls to worship cannot exceed three minutes, and they must not be louder than 60 decibels. When the World Islamic Mission first heard about the council's proclamation, spokesperson Abid Raja said, "This is a victory of great symbolic importance. It means our religion is respected on the same lines as other religions."

The article then goes on to say, however, that Raja was perturbed to find out that a 60-decibel limit is the level of normal conversation. It might not be heard above the noise of traffic, even when projected over a loudspeaker. Raja then complained, "If that is true, either they misunderstood or we've been tricked. What is the point of a call to prayer that is a whisper? We'll have to try it on Friday and see if anyone can hear it."

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US Government Announces Limits on Flights Over Grand Canyon

PUBLICATION: Arizona Republic
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Front; Pg. A1
BYLINE: Steve Yozwiak; Jeff Barker
DATELINE: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Tom Robinson, Grand Canyon Trust; Rob Smith, Sierra Club

The Arizona Republic in Phoenix reports that President Clinton announced on Tuesday that the number of flights that tour airplanes and helicopters may make over Grand Canyon National Park will be limited. The limits were established by the National Parks Service in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Flights will be limited to 90,000 per year.

According to the article, people and groups on both side of the issue are dissatisfied with the limits. Air tour operators say that limits will harm their businesses economically. More flights will be counted as regulated air tours under the new limits, rather than exempted training or transportation flights, as many are currently designated.

The article states that Ron Williams, owner of AirStar Helicopters, Inc., is one of the operators who is dissatisfied. He said, "It's going to be a substantial hardship." He believes that Clinton's announcement is motivated by election-year politics. He predicts that his business will be compromised, and his industry may well file a lawsuit to block the new rules. Williams' company makes 5,000 flights each year over the Canyon, using his fleet of three helicopters and one plane. His aircraft are based at Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan.

The article reports that environmentalists are equally disappointed with the announcement. In making the announcement, Clinton said, "There may be no place on Earth more stunning than the Grand Canyon. With this action, we can allow continued access to all, while also helping to restore the natural quiet of this timeless treasure." Opponents feel that the canyon will still be too noisy, however.

The article mentions that Tom Robinson of the Grand Canyon Trust, an environmental group, believes that the new rules are a start, but there are many loopholes that will still allow for too many flights that will not follow Senator John McCain's 1987 law that required "substantial restoration of natural quiet." For instance, the new rules exempt almost 30,000 annual training or transportation flights that are mainly originating from Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Airport, and Grand Canyon Airport West, as well as flights from the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

The article describes the new rules. The flight cap allows nearly double the number of flights estimated in 1987 when McCain's law went into effect. But, beginning on December 1, "the Canyon's flight-free zone will expand to 75 percent of the 1.1 million-acre park from 45 percent. The regulated airspace over the Canyon will rise to 17,999 feet from 14,499." The cap also limits flights to the same number that were made from May 1, 1997 to April 30, 1998. Robinson is disappointed that the new rules will allow "quiet" aircraft to fly in flight-free zones nonetheless. This was designed as an incentive for the industry to begin making air tour aircraft engines that are less noisy.

The article mentions that Rob Smith of the Sierra Club explained that the new rules allow more aircraft to be in the skies over the Canyon than flew there in 1987 when the law was passed. He lamented, "To make progress on noise, you need to reduce the number of air tours, not keep them at the high level they are now."

In the article, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Rob Arnberger said that the rules will put an end to an increase in noise in the Canyon. He also said that the Park Service and the FAA will continue to analyze noise at the park and will design a noise-management plan for the park in the near future. The government began to deal with noise at the park three years ago, when flight corridors were restricted, and flights over the eastern end of the Canyon were restricted to daylight hours only.

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City of Surprise, Arizona Discusses Developing Land Near Luke Air Force Base

PUBLICATION: Arizona Republic
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Sun Cities/Surprise Community; Pg. 1
BYLINE: David Madrid
DATELINE: Surprise, Arizona

The Arizona Republic reports that the City Council in Surprise, Arizona has voted to support Luke Air Force Base and will encourage property owners to voluntarily follow a law that says that cities should build sound-insulated homes and should encourage low-density residential building within a noise contour around Luke Air Force Base that was established in 1988. The law does not require that cities follow these building protocols. Surprise, however, requires that any new homes built within the city limits be insulated against the noise of jets from the base.

The article states that City Attorney Paul Cragan believes that the Dcity Council's recent vote actually does not change the city's policy. Cragan said that the city follows state statutes in regard to building, and follows the noise contour developed by the Air Force in 1995, which is less restrictive than the 1988 contour.

According to the article, the 1988 contour is based on measurements of noise from a two-engine F-15 jet (which are no longer flown at Luke) and includes more land within the contour than the revised 1995 contour, which is based on the measurements of a quieter one-engine F-16 jet. If Surprise restricts building within the 1988 contour, there will be less land available for housing development. The Air Force Base would like to keep the option of using the 1988 contour if it chooses to fly F-15 jets again in the future.

According to the article, the city of Glendale supports Luke Air Force Base in its efforts to ask for restrictions of building within the 1988 contour. Glendale Assistant City Gary Verburg believes that it is dangerous for Surprise to pursue building there because of safety concerns. He also said that Surprise would be opening itself up to lawsuits.

The article reports that Cragan retorted that Surprise would be opening itself up to lawsuits if it prevented developers from building on land that they already own. Cragan said, "Step up to the plate, Glendale. If you want to come in here and tell us what we should do . . . and put us at risk of liability, then you share in this with us. Indemnify us. You take the lawsuits, you take the damages, and we'll leave the land vacant."

The article also states, however that Surprise's Mayor, Joan Shafer, would like to see the city limit development within the 1988 contour. She does not agree with either Cragan or the City Council. She explained, "I look at human life. I look at the children who will live under the noise and the families trying to live under it."

The article notes that Cragan believes that the military should pay developers if they want to keep land around the base devoid of buildings. He believes that the military prefers paying for occasional lawsuits rather than buying land outright, which is a more expensive proposition. Officials from the base have said that they will not involve themselves in local decision making.

The article goes on to say that Bill Lipscomb, an activist in the area, noted that jets' takeoffs and landings are the most dangerous parts of a flight. With 400 takeoffs and landings at Luke in the course of one day, that's putting a lot of nearby homes in danger if there is mechanical or pilot error. Lipscomb was disappointed that the City Council was taking the side of developers rather than the city's residents.

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Aircraft Noise in River Forest and River Grove, Illinois Within Acceptable Limits, O'Hare Commission Says

PUBLICATION: Chicago Sun-Times
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: News; Metro Briefs; Pg. 16
DATELINE: River Forest and River Grove, Illinois

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on several newsworthy events in Chicago's suburbs. One item concerns recent monitoring of O'Hare International Airport noise levels in the towns of River Forest and River Grove.

According to the article, the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission monitored aircraft noise in River Forest and River Grove for four months after having received complaints about noise in the two towns. Noise in River Forest averaged 54 decibels; in River Grove it was 60 decibels. The Commission announced recently that these levels are within acceptable limits.

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Suburban Memphis, Tennessee Subdivision Must Deal With Increased Traffic Noise From Williams and Sonoma Distribution Center

PUBLICATION: Commercial Appeal
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Desoto Appeal, Pg. Ds2
BYLINE: C. Richard Cotton
DATELINE: Memphis, Tennessee

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee reports that a Williams and Sonoma distribution plant is being built near the thirty-year old Pleasant Grove subdivision in Memphis, Tennessee. The project has met with mixed reviews from residents.

According to the article, construction trucks are making a lot of noise as they travel on Polk Lane on the way to the distribution plant site. The project will change the traffic volume and flow of the neighborhood as two roads bordering the subdivision, Polk Lane and Goodman Road, are enlarged from two lanes to four lanes. While many residents are concerned about the increased noise, many are hoping that the two new roads will divert more traffic and noise away from their homes.

The article states that one resident who is not entirely pleased is retiree Floyd Cupp. He is particularly concerned about noise from diesel-truck traffic. Other residents have hardly noticed any increase in noise, however.

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Protesters Would Like New Highway in Exeter, England to be Resurfaced to Make it Quieter

PUBLICATION: Express and Echo
DATE: March 29, 2000
DATELINE: Exeter, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Maureen Jones, RTA30 Campaign Group Chairperson

The Express and Echo in Exeter, England reports that a newly-opened highway, the A30 running east from Exeter to Honiton, has been the focus of many complaints from residents who say that the noise from the road is excessive. They want the brushed concrete road to be resurfaced with bitumen, which is quieter.

According to the article, the road chiefs of the Highways Agency are being criticized for not having followed their own recently-introduced policy document which states that the Agency will take practical steps to decrease road noise. In response, Roads Minister Lord Whitty has ordered the Agency to begin noise testing along the road next week to determine what action, if any, should be taken.

The article goes on to say that the Highways Agency's new document specifies the following: the most appropriate noise reducing surfaces are to be used; quieter road surfaces will be used when new roads are built; steps will be taken to reduce noise on existing roads; and research will be conducted in collaboration with tire manufacturers.

The article mentions that Exeter University conducted sound level tests on the A30 last summer. Their results showed sound levels to be much higher than what had been predicted when the road was planned.

The article reports that Maureen Jones, chairperson of the RTA30 campaign group, wants to see the Highways Agency take some action on the issue, rather than continuing to just talk about it. She said, "It sounds very good but they don't seem to be delivering. There is a community here in East Devon which is suffering greatly."

The article adds that a Highways Agency spokesperson countered that steps set forth in the new policy are meant to deal with future road construction, not with completed projects such as the A30.

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US Department of Defense Launches Program to Develop Low-Noise, Supersonic Aircraft

PUBLICATION: Jane's Defense Weekly
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Americas ,The; Vol. 33; No. 13
BYLINE: Bryan Bender
DATELINE: Alexandria, Virginia

Jane's Defense Weekly, a British publication, reports on recent US Department of Defense discussions concerning research and development of a new low-noise supersonic aircraft that could conduct long-range reconnaissance missions without being detected.

According to the article, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will hold an industry day on March 28 in Alexandria, Virginia to introduce the Advanced Supersonic Program.

The article quotes DARPA officials as saying, "The goal of the program is to demonstrate a vehicle with substantially increased range and performance, low overall operational cost and capability for supersonic flight over land. This vehicle will incorporate new and evolving technologies, with special emphasis on sonic boom and supersonic noise mitigation."

The article reports that, in order to develop such an aircraft, DARPA will lease study contracts and then give permission for one group to use new technologies to develop a "limited life, advanced supersonic flight test program."

The article explains that the types of technologies that DARPA would like to see used include: "mitigation of sonic boom by airframe shaping; plasmas and adaptive flow control to decrease sonic boom amplitude through weight reduction; and high altitude operation. Specific examples include supersonic laminar flow control, high bypass supersonic cruise engines and advanced materials [which would include] foamed metallic structures and monolithic ceramics for engines."

The article states that companies who would like to be chosen for the aircraft study should team together for the best results. The prototype aircraft might be used for the types of missions that have been performed by the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird, which has collected photographic intelligence of Soviet missile bases.

The article emphasizes that DARPA sees the technologies as currently being only for the military market, although successful technologies could be used in the future in the commercial market as well.

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Belton, Missouri Candidates for Aldermen Discuss Opinions on Airport Expansion and Highway Widening

PUBLICATION: Kansas City Star
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Southland Star; Pg. 8
BYLINE: Robert Carroll
DATELINE: Belton, Missouri

The Kansas City Star reports that upcoming elections for aldermen in Belton, Missouri hinge on issues that include developing an "intermodal hub" at Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport, and widening a highway, both of which could bring increased noise to nearby neighborhoods.

According to the article, one of the candidates, Wayne Grimes, is worried that the intermodal facility would bring increased noise from trucks and trains. He also wonders whether area roads are adequate to handle the increased truck traffic that the facility would bring.

The article reports that candidate Mark Dickson is not in favor of the rail hub, but if elected, will work to protect the city's interests.

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Bibb County, Georgia Transportation Plan Likely to Include Highway Noise Barriers

PUBLICATION: Macon Telegraph
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Bibb County, Georgia Highways May Get Noise Barriers
BYLINE: Christopher Schwarzen
DATELINE: Bibb County, Georgia

The Macon Telegraph reports Bibb County, Georgia's transportation improvement plan and long-range transportation study are currently being updated. Draft plans will be available for public review next month.

According to the article, the Macon Area Transportation Study's technical committee has been studying the transportation improvement plan (TIP) and has recommended five miles of noise barriers that would cost approximately $200,000 to study and $15 million to build. Complaints about highway noise have become more commonplace in recent years.

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Reader Protests Federal Express Hub in Greensboro, North Carolina

PUBLICATION: News and Record
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A16
BYLINE: Zane G. Parker
DATELINE: Greensboro, North Carolina

The News and Record in Greensboro, North Carolina printed a letter to the editor protesting the Federal Express air hub. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"The fact that Fed Ex was rejected by the people of Raleigh and Cary should raise some flags. I find it disturbing that a decision of this magnitude, which affects the lives and property values of so many of our citizens, was made behind closed doors by so few.

We all welcome clean growth. Through the years we have seen most of the land surrounding the airport developed by clean businesses. Fed Ex is hardly a clean business. Noise and air pollution will be major concerns. Wind and weather has a way of moving aircraft noise around so the noise will not be just at the airport. I also think Greensboro's image as a wonderful place to live will suffer with cargo jets arriving and departing at 3 and 4 a.m. while dumping tons of burned jet fuel into the air. Many airports have a curfew on flights between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Many think it would be justified at this airport.

Fed Ex and the FAA will probably tell us how pilots will be required to abide by noise abatement procedures. As a retired pilot of 35 years I can tell you that noise abatement isn't a pilot's greatest concern. A cargo airport with the necessary runway in a less congested area would seem to make more sense." Zane G. Parker Greensboro

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International Comfort Products Announces New Line of Quieter Air Conditioners

DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Financial News
DATELINE: Lewisburg, Tennessee

The PR Newswire printed a press release issued by International Comfort Products announcing the company's new line of air conditioners. The press release is reprinted here in its entirety:

International Comfort Products announced a new line of ultra-quiet SmartComfort air conditioners and heat pumps based on a unique new "Durawhisper" design that absorbs some operating sound and pushes the rest up and away from the home. Company officials said the new air conditioners and heat pumps were designed in response to input from homeowners. "Before we started designing these new air conditioners and heat pumps, we sent our design team out to talk to homeowners all across America," said Herman Kling, vice president of sales and marketing. "Homeowners told us loud and clear that they want quiet air conditioners and heat pumps. The only feature homeowners value more is reliability -- and that's a given." To meet homeowners' demands for quieter heating and cooling systems, Tempstar engineers developed a unique new design for the air conditioners and heat pumps. Called "Durawhisper," this new design incorporates three unique features to achieve ultra-quiet operation: 1. Sound-absorbing materials - The top of the air conditioner is built from a durable, sound absorbing resin. 2. Aerodynamic discharge system - As exhaust air leaves the air conditioner, it swirls quietly through a circular opening and gently through the slanted top of the unit. 3. Slant-top design - Most air conditioners blow exhaust air and noise directly upward or straight out the sides. Either way, the sound vibrates back into the house. The Tempstar SmartComfort air conditioners direct both air and noise up and away from the home.

In addition, the new Tempstar SmartComfort air conditioners and heat pumps apply traditional noise control technology, including:

The new Tempstar SmartComfort product line offers a broad range of energy efficiency levels up to 15 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) in sizes to match the needs of homeowners all across the United States. Tempstar products ( ) are manufactured by International Comfort Products, a leading North American manufacturer of quality residential and light commercial heating and cooling products.

SOURCE International Comfort Products CONTACT: John Mott of Mott & Co., 800-315-4370, or fax, 615-383-2215, for International Comfort Products URL:

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Fruit Heights, Utah Business Owners Protest Installation of Highway Sound Barrier

PUBLICATION: Salt Lake Tribune
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Final; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Kristen Moulton
DATELINE: Fruit Heights, Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that two businesses in Fruit Heights, Utah are angry that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has installed a sound wall along U.S. Route 89 in front of their businesses, blocking drivers' view of the businesses from the highway, possibly causing them to lose business, and devaluing their real estate.

According to the article, the businesses in question are the Mountain Creed Inn, owned by Vaniece Sprague, and Artistic Jewelry and Lapidary, owned by Elaine and Denzil Hammer. The owners claim that neither UDOT or town officials informed them that the sound wall had been approved and would be built. The concrete wall is 16 feet tall and one-half mile long. It will be funded by federal and state money, and will cost $419,000.

The article states that some people think that sound walls actually increase traffic noise. Sprague doesn't believe that the wall was necessary. She said, "I used to have a beautiful view of the mountains. The sound has never been that bad. Now, instead of a nice gentle hum we have a roar."

The article reports that Brent DeYoung, UDOT's manager for U.S. 89 projects, believes that the sound wall is necessary because traffic noise is expected to increase greatly in the next decade. And he said that Fruit Heights residents did not voice any protests about the sound barrier when UDOT was in the planning stage, so now the state of Utah is required by federal law to go ahead with the installation. City manager Richard Marchant added that UDOT has predicted that traffic on U.S. 89 will double or triple in the next ten years. The noise levels will be loud enough that homeowners within 100 yards of the road will not be able to hear normal conversation outside.

The article mentions that Denzil and Elaine Hammer, owners of the rock shop, said that they had never heard ahead of time about UDOT's plans for the sound wall. Elaine Hammer complained, "Our city officials should be straight with us, not sneaky. It should have been put to a vote."

The article then goes on to say that Fruit Heights Mayor Richard Harvey said the City Council accepted UDOT's highway plan, including plans for the wall, without taking a vote on it. He and Marchant contend that they were not trying to deceive residents. Hearings were held for the public and advertised, they said. Harvey did admit that he does not like the wall's plain concrete design. He said he would have preferred the wall to have a more aesthetically pleasing "mountain outline" like some barriers in Salt Lake County. UDOT said that such a wall would be too expensive to construct in Fruit Heights, however.

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Marion, Texas Residents Displeased With Auto Racetrack

PUBLICATION: San Antonio Express
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Sun - Northeast; Pg. 1H
BYLINE: Vanita Reddy
DATELINE: Marion, Texas

The San Antonio Express reports that residents in Marion, Texas are angry about the noise, lights, and air pollution generated by a new race track facility, the River City Raceway.

According to the article, six residents of Guadalupe County filed a lawsuit against Todd Zampese, the owner of the track. The trial will take place on July 24. The group had previously asked a judge for an injunction to stop the track's construction, which was denied. Zampese's attorneys contend that the noise from the racetrack is no louder than the freeway traffic on nearby Interstate 10. They also maintain that the noise from the track fades with distance.

The article reports that one of the residents who filed the lawsuit is retiree Felix Heusinger, who lives one-half mile from the track. He moved to his rural home twenty years ago. He said that in addition to the noise and lights that keep him up at night, cars waiting to get to the racetrack are often backed up for three to five miles on Interstate 10.

The article goes on to say that concerned residents have asked the county to institute a noise ordinance to help them deal with the noise at the track. Guadalupe County Commissioner Butch Kunde said that the county does not currently have a noise ordinance is willing to consider it as a possibility. The ordinance would follow Section 42 of the Texas Penal Code, prohibiting "unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting range ... or in or near a private residence that he has no right to occupy."

The article states, however, that Kunde believes that the controversy is a civil matter, and not necessarily the county's responsibility. The county's only involvement thus far with the racetrack has been to grant a permit for an on-site sewage treatment facility.

The article notes that Zampese's attorneys have said that many residents are in favor of the racetrack because of the economic opportunity it will bring to the area. Attorney Robert Golden said, "We anticipate this track is going to be an economic generator for this area. It will lead to more businesses and to the property value going up."

The article reports that Ed Barnes, chief appraiser for the Guadalupe County Appraisal District, said that appraisals for this year have not yet been completed, and he is therefore unable to say what the effect of the track has been. However, he believes that residential properties will be more adversely affected than commercial properties. In order to make a meaningful appraisal, he must ascertain which areas have been most affected by the noise, and then compare those results with similar areas around the state. Barnes said, "At this point, we haven't done any work to determine what effect it's had on the value of their property. A month from now, we'll have something to work with."

According to the article, the residents who filed the lawsuit are convinced that their property values will be lower as a result of the noise from the racetrack. And Joe Davis, their attorney, said that noise is not the only thing that his clients are complaining about. He explained, "The operation has greatly exceeded in all of our analysis of what it was going to be. It's much louder, there is more traffic congestion, the lights are brighter. Across the board, it's more."

The article also reports that there has been a controversy over the timing of the lawsuit. Zampese's attorneys say that the residents did not file until after construction on the track had begun. The residents' attorney denies this. He said, "The reason we filed before the track was built was so that the owner of the track would not be able to say that my clients sat on their hands and did nothing (until it was built)."

The article notes that Kunde admits that he and the county did not tell the residents ahead of time that the track was going to be built. He said, "I did not go door-to-door to tell them this was coming...I had no earthly idea it was going to have this much opposition."

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Planning Officer from Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department Responds to Complaints About Airport Noise

PUBLICATION: South China Morning Post
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Letters To The Editor; Pg. 16

The South China Morning Post printed a letter to the editor from a reader about excessive noise from a new airport in Hong Kong. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"I refer to the letter from Martin Eastwood, headlined, " Noise pollution can be diverted" (South China Morning Post, March 21).

Throughout the planning of the new airport, the Airport Authority in conjunction with the Government has conducted assessments to determine the effects of aircraft noise impacts on off-airport areas.

According to the results of an environmental impact assessment carried out prior to the opening of the airport and the noise measurements conducted afterwards, only a sparsely populated area in North Lantau, predominantly in Sha Lo Wan, is within the coverage of the noise exposure forecast 25 contour of the airport at design capacity.

All other residential areas in Hong Kong are outside this noise contour and the aircraft noise impact on these areas is within Hong Kong and international standards. The flight paths of the new airport were developed through careful studies in accordance with international safety standards which took into account runway alignment, terrain environment and obstacle clearance, location of navigation aids, aircraft operating criteria, environmental considerations, airspace co-ordination with nearby airports etc.

Given the small size and hilly topography of Hong Kong, it is not possible to design flight paths that are in compliance with international aviation safety requirements on the one hand and completely devoid of any noise effects on residential developments on the other.

We appreciate that the noise generated by the passage of aircraft over urban districts, though occasional and within the noise standard, could still be perceived as a nuisance to those residents who happen to live in a low background noise area, especially at night.

Therefore, since October 1998, the Civil Aviation Department has implemented a number of noise mitigating measures to reduce aircraft noise impact as far as practicable.

These include arranging for arriving aircraft between midnight and 7am to land from the southwest (over water) of the airport and departing aircraft to the northeast of the airport between 11pm and 7am to use the southbound route via the West Lamma Channel (again over water) to avoid residential areas whenever wind direction, and operational and safety considerations permit.

Should Mr Eastwood have any queries, he is welcome to contact me at telephone No 2867 4271."


Acting Chief

Planning Officer

Civil Aviation Department

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Reader Worried About Noise Increase at Witham Field in Stuart, Florida

PUBLICATION: Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Letters To The Editor; Pg. A8
DATELINE: Stuart, Florida

The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News printed a letter to the editor about opening Witham Field to larger jet aircraft. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:


The time is near when our Martin County commissioners will be making a decision as to whether or not Witham Field will be opened to larger jet aircraft than those which are already based there. Mr. Willie Gary has announced his intention of basing his Boeing 737 there. This is basically a commercial jetliner, 100 feet long, designed to carry 125 people. Mr. Gary will refit his plane to serve as his personal, ultra-luxury transportation.

You can be sure that other wealthy public figures in this area will be following in Mr. Gary's footsteps - Messrs. Wayne Huizenga and Greg Norman have been mentioned. Then will come the commercial operators such as UPS and FedEx.

The March 10 ABC evening news ran a feature story about airport noise. The city of Lousville, Ky., finally agreed, after several years of negotiation and perhaps litigation, to move 1,700 people (a whole village) from an area near the airport where noise from the planes had become intolerable. They showed 737s, some with the markings of UPS, landing and taking off. The noise was unbelievable. Are we in Stuart ready for that? Will we be asking Martin County to "close the barn door after the horse has bolted"?

This newspaper recently reported a Boeing 737 running off a runway, through a car and into a gas station, where it missed the fuel pumps by only a few feet. The runways at Witham Field may have to be extended to handle these big planes - that could mean part of the Martin County Golf and Country Club would be taken.

Are our elected commissioners ready to give in to the privileged few while subjecting the residents of the Stuart area to more noise, the danger of larger planes, and perhaps loss of some affordable recreation? The voters of our county should attend the next commission meeting and be heard on this subject.

The News should publish a feature article to alert the citizens of when the commission will be discussing it. Many of our neighbors are ignorant of the issue or ready to concede that it is too late to do anything. Not so! But it soon will be."

William P. Bobsein


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Is "White Noise" Helpful in Getting a Good Night's Sleep?

DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Life; Pg. 8D
BYLINE: Nanci Hellmich
DATELINE: Washington, DC

USA Today printed a question and answer column about sleep problems. One question involved using white noise to help a reader get to sleep.

In the column, the reader says that he runs a fan in his bedroom as "white noise" to help him sleep by blocking out other, louder noises. He wants to know if white noise is good or bad.

The question is answered by Nabil Moufarrej, medical director of the Neurology and Sleep Clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. He says that white noise can be relaxing for some people, and can distract them from other noises. One problem, however, may be using "white noise" that is actually too loud and that will wake someone up once they have fallen asleep.

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O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission Discusses "Fly Quiet" Program

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: March 29, 2000
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 7A; Zone: Nw
BYLINE: Rogers Worthington
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission; Jerry Strzyzynski

The Chicago Tribune reports that the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission is creating a recognition awards program that will give airline companies an incentive to comply with its "Fly Quiet" program. Commission Chairwoman Arlene Mulder, who is also mayor of Arlington Heights, made the announcement at a public meeting recently in Arlington Heights. Airlines would be rated according to their compliance with Fly Quiet.

According to the article, Arlington Heights resident Jerry Strzyzynski was at the meeting and was in favor of a different strategy. He suggested that airlines that do not comply with Fly Quiet should be fined. Strzyzynski has been upset about the noise from planes that fly over his home. Last year, he asked the town to find out how many flights pass over his home. Data obtained by the mayor indicate that 737 flights used a path over his home in a two-day period on May 9 and May 10, 1999. He told committee members at the meeting, "I'd love for you to have your next meeting at my house."

The article states that Strzyzynski believes that fines would be the only way to force airlines to comply with the program, which encourages carriers to avoid flying over residential neighborhoods. Strzyzynski commented, "If you hurt (airlines) in their pocketbook, you could take the money and invest it in solving the problem."

The article states that the committee responded by saying that they are not legally allowed to levy such fines. Under federal law, studies and hearings must take place, and the airlines themselves must consent before noise mitigation efforts are undertaken. In this case, "Part 150" and "Part 161" FAA studies would have to be followed before any such program could continue.

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Worldwide Cooperation Needed in Adopting More Stringent Air Noise Controls

PUBLICATION: Air Transport World
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: No. 4, Vol. 37; Pg. 7 ; Issn: 0002-2543
BYLINE: J.A. Donoghue
DATELINE: Washington, DC

Air Transport World published an article about the history during the past 23 years of the airline industry in adhering to Chapter 3/Stage 3 noise rules, both in North American and in Europe. The writer believes it is time to begin discussing more seriously defining and adopting Chapter 4/Stage 4 noise rules.

According to the article, only in the recent past have all US air fleets become Stage 3 compliant. Air fleets worldwide will not reach compliance for another two years. The air industry had to impose tougher noise standards because, starting in the 1960's, airports began to be sued over noise issues. Currently, European airports are having a more difficult time than their American counterparts placating surrounding communities, mostly because of higher population density and different population patterns than in the US. The "Green" activist environmental movement has a lot of political influence in Europe, and this allows Europeans to be more vocal and strident in their anti-noise efforts.

The article states that, in the twenty-three years since Chapter 3/Stage 3 noise requirements were launched, aviation technology has advanced considerably. Another step in tightening noise restrictions is now technologically possible.

The article reports that the European hushkit regulations have been a stumbling block to US/European cooperation over noise issues. Additionally, the industry is reluctant to impose new standards that it might not be able to meet, in which case an adoption/phaseout schedule of their fleets would have to be instated.

The article notes that it was fairly simple for airlines to comply with the new Chapter 3/Stage 3 noise levels in 1977, because at the time, new airplane engines were being developed that were more efficient, and as a byproduct, they also happened to be less noisy. The industry is currently caught in a controversy over whether to drop the noise limits by 5dB as part of Chapter 4/Stage 4, or to go for a 10dB drop. Choosing 5dB would be easier for the industry to achieve, but might not satisfy the public. Choosing 10dB might satisfy the public, but it could be difficult for the industry to achieve without significant cost and effort.

The article goes on to say that many airports, as well as the "Green" political parties, are turning to monetarily taxing air carriers that exceed certain noise limits. If the air industry worldwide cannot agree on a noise standard, then local governments may take it upon themselves to set their own standards, resulting in many different approaches to solving the noise pollution problem.

The writer of the article believes that the EU is going about enforcing noise standards the wrong way, by banning aircraft based on engine bypass levels. Instead of dictating how the industry should achieve noise limits, they should merely announce results-oriented rules that would allow each government and fleet to solve the problem in the best way that they see fit.

The article concludes by saying that the air industry and the various governments should attack this issue reasonably and with cooperation in order to achieve the best results.

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A Primer on Hushkit History and Worldwide Stage 3 and Stage 4 Air Emissions and Noise Standards

PUBLICATION: Air Transport World
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: No. 4, Vol. 37; Pg. 47 ; Issn: 0002-2543
BYLINE: Joan M. Feldman
DATELINE: Washington, DC

Air Transport World reports on the two-year continuing battle between the United States and the European Union over emissions and noise standards in the airline industry. In particular, the article covers the controversy over hushkits and their restricted useage in clear, chronological terms.

The article begins by explaining that the ICAO set the Chapter 3/Stage 3 aircraft noise standard in 1977. Europe, in particular, has been bombarded ever since with demands to restrict noise even further. In turn, the European Union (EU) began demanding that the ICAO act more quickly in setting newer standards. In response, in 1990 the ICAO set a deadline of the year 2002 for airlines to phase out Stage 2 aircraft. At the same time, the US government passed the Airport Noise and Capacity Act, setting a deadline of 1999 for airlines to meet the Act's standards.

The article states that because US airlines were hard-pressed to earn money in the early 1990s, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed the airlines to meet the deadline by hushkitting or reengining Stage 2 aircraft. Most chose to hushkit their fleets, ordering 1,507 hushkit systems as follows: 873 for 727s, 435 for 737s and 503 for DC-9s. Airlines continue to place hushkit orders even tday.

The article reports that tensions between the EU and the US rose in 1995 when the EU urged the ICAO to set a Stage 3.5 standard. US influence helped to cancel the plan. The EU retaliated by issuing a directive in 1997 that set noise standards based on engine bypass ratios, rather than engine performance. Hushkitted and re-engined aircraft did not meet the standards. Most hushkitted aircraft belong to US airlines, meaning that the new noise standards mostly adversely affect only the US. The European Commission announced that EU members' airlines could not hushkit aircraft in their fleets after May 1999 (which has now been extended to May 2000). EU hushkitted/re-engined aircraft registered before that date would be exempt from the ban. Non-EU airlines may also continue to use hushkitted aircraft if they have been in use on planes flying to or within the EU between 1995 and May 2002.

The article goes on to say that, by 1998, the ICAO had not yet responded to the EU's request from 1995. The EU then asked the ICAO Assembly to "permit regional variations in noise limits." The ICAO did not act on this request either, further angering the EU. As a response, the European Parliament ordered the European Commission to change its 1997 directive (implemented through national law) into a much more stringent regulation, which was to take effect immediately throughout all EU member countries.

The article reports that the regulation caused an upheaval worldwide in the air industry. A manager with the ICAO said, "The EU was silly. Whoever wrote the rule didn't know what he was doing. Then it became a political football. [Trade Commissioner Pascal] Lamy recognizes the EU got itself into a whirlwind. But being politicians they don't like backing down. They must find a way out." The EU, possibly embarrassed over the response to its regulation, agreed to suspend the regulation as long as it could accomplish the same thing using other methods. US airports, under pressure from the public, are left wondering exactly how US airlines will be able to meet Stage 3 noise compliance. The airports would like to begin a retirement schedule in 2003 for aircraft not meeting Stage 4 compliance.

According to the article, US airlines are worried that if the EU continues to set its own standards that are stricter than those issued by the ICAO, it will be a financial drain on US airlines. Northwest Airlines has complained to DOT about the hushkit rules. (Northwest would be affected since it has 172 DC-9s).

The article reports that some estimates on US airline losses in terms of reduced values and lost sales are as high as $2 billion. Hushkit manufacturers will also be suffering from severe losses. The US also feels that the EU regulations unfairly penalize US aircraft, while allowing noisy European Airbuses to continue to operate because of the engine bypass ratio rule. And those in the US feel that the hushkit rule will make no difference in noise levels to those people living close to airports, who are often the source of the most vocal complaints about airplane noise.

The article notes that the FAA and others in the air industry are worried that US airlines are diverting attention from Stage 4 compliance by continuing to focus on the hushkit regulations and ICAO procedures. The public will continue to demand quieter aircraft. An FAA source said, "[Noise] is a moving target for the public, despite an 85% reduction so far. So after safety, environment is our biggest issue. We'd rather get out in front and shape policy than be in the EU's position."

The article states that the ICAO system continues to irk the US air industry; some think it is even a bigger issue than the hushkit controversy. Edward Stimpson, the US's ICAO Council delegate, explained, "This is much bigger than hushkits. It's whether we have an international standard or regional ones. Members and industry both want a true international standard on both noise and emissions, and want to ensure the EU sticks to it." The ICAO Assembly may be dealing with a Stage 4 vote next year. The US fears that the public will demand to meet the standard soon thereafter, before the airlines are ready.

The article reports that, as a result of these concerns, the ATA wrote to Commerce Secretary William Daley and Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater in October, stating that they should "exercise extreme caution in making commitments for, a Stage 3 phaseout." Slater was rumored to have already agreed to a Stage 3 phaseout as well as to a Stage 4 definition by the next ICAO Assembly meeting in exchange for an agreement by the EU that it would drop the hushkit regulation.

The article states that additionally, the ATA wanted the US to file a formal complaint under Article 84 of the ICAO Convention against EU members of ICAO. It argues that the EU, although acting like an ICAO member, is really only an observer and should be treated as such. The EU is considering a compromise by suspending the hushkit rule, rather than withdrawing the ban completely. But to do this, it must receive European Parliament approval. The ATA has warned that it will only agree to a solution that meets everyone's needs and is well thought out. There are ramifications to all options: "whether to apply Stage 4 to in-production or new-technology aircraft; implementation, completion and transition dates; the technical possibilities of reducing greenhouse gas and nitrous oxide emissions along with noise; the economics of all permutations."

The article goes on to say that European airports want the EU to be sure to establish uniform noise restrictions if the ICAO 2001 Assembly fails to produce a new standard. They are also looking for land-use guidelines. An Air and Space Lawyer article recommends that US airports study all the options carefully. The article said, "Future processes for resolving noise disputes at the international level should ... include mechanisms for regularly reviewing the need to revisit certification standards in light of emerging technology, economics and environmental impacts."

The article reports that the EU regulation does have a positive side: it has encouraged the US industry to begin thinking about Stage 4 standards. Pratt and Whitney has proposed a new engine, the PW8000, that could "save 30dB over the original Stage 3 baseline, depending on the airframe, on top of providing far greater efficiencies." A Washington attorney cautioned, however, that US airlines will consider buying an engine that is more efficient, but will not make a purchase decision based on noise alone. NASA might also be a good source for a newly-engineered engine that could reduce noise considerably.

The article notes that emissions standards go hand in hand with discussions on noise reduction. Some people believe that achieving any standards can best be done by private sources rather than governments. That might be particularly true since the ICAO is taking so long to craft new standards. To many ICAO member countries, airport noise reduction is just not an important issue.

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UK Tests "Scimitar" Aircraft Propellers; Finds Substantial Noise Reduction

PUBLICATION: Business and Commercial Aviation
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Briefing; Vol. 86, No. 4; Pg. 32
BYLINE: Paul Richfield
DATELINE: United Kingdom

Business and Commercial Aviation reports that, in the United Kingdom, "scimitar" propellers have been installed and tested on a Britten-Norman BN2B Islander, reducing noise by up to 7 dBA. The propellers could have other important applications. Testing the new propellers is part of a United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry effort to reduce noise from piston-powered light aircraft.

According to the article, Britten-Norman, the manufacturer, says that the noise reduction is due to "improved airfoil efficiency, which allows the same power transfer at reduced engine rpm, with consequential lower tip speed and further noise reduction provided by the scimitar planform."

The article reports that Britten-Norman thinks that the propellers will be useful to law enforcement agencies engaged in aerial surveillance. Law enforcement aircraft often fly at night, over urban areas and at low altitudes, and a quieter plane would be useful to both law enforcement and the general public.

The article then states that reducing exhaust noise will comprise the next phase of the program.

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Mixed Opinions on New Gulfstream IV Business Jet

PUBLICATION: Business and Commercial Aviation
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Operator Survey; Vol. 86, No. 4; Pg. 54
BYLINE: Fred George
DATELINE: Savannah, Georgia

Business and Commercial Aviation reports that the Gulfstream IV business jet, which was announced by Gulfstream Aerospace in the early 1980s, has not lived up to expectations. One positive result, however, is "unmatched low noise levels" inside the jet's cabin. The rest of the article discusses other performance features of the Gulfstream IV.

The article reports that reduced noise is achieved by "the acoustical isolation of the Rolls-Royce Tay engines from the airframe and the 7,000-pound outfitting allowance made possible by the G-IVSP's 49,000-pound maximum zero fuel weight -- 4,000 pounds more than the original G-IV." There is also plenty of room to install large amounts of noise-deadening installation.

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Technical Solutions to Acoustic Needs for Theater and Concert Hall Spaces

PUBLICATION: Entertainment Design
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Centerline Q and A; Issn: 1520-5150
BYLINE: Davi Napoleon
DATELINE: Oak Park, Illinois

Entertainment Design published an interview about theater and concert hall acoustics with expert Rick Talaske of the Talaske Group, Inc. (Tgi) in Oak Park, Illinois. David Napoleon of Entertainment Design was the interviewer.

During the interview Talaske said that his firm often creates computer models of the spaces it creates, so that clients can have a sense of the acoustical quality of the final product. The firm produces an "impulse response," which is "a graph that allows us to assess the acoustic quality of a room much in the same way a doctor might look at an EKG to understand the health of your heart." The firm built just such a "virtual room" for the Shenzhen Concert Hall in China without even having to visit the site. The computer results were burned onto a CD and then sent to the clients in China.

In the interview, Talaske explains how the model is acoustically created: "We define each surface as an individual plane, which is then assigned a particular acoustic attribute relating to its sound reflection, sound absorption, or sound diffusion properties. We combine the impulse response with music recorded in a reflection-free environment, a process called auralization. The combined room or impulse response and the dry, or anechoic music is then played from the computer using headphones or loudspeakers."

Napoleon asked in the interview whether Talaske still builds physical room models. Talaske answered in the affirmative, because he said a physical model "still better represents the influence of sound diffusion and diffraction around balcony faces and other elements within the room shape."

During the interview, Talaske also explained how he creates better acoustics in a small theater space such as The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Talaske said, "For small theatre spaces, speech clarity is accomplished by the introduction of sound-projecting walls and ceiling surfaces and the control of reverberation. We also develop our designs to return sound to the stage that is heard by performers. Achieving a very quiet environment is also very important."

In the interview, Talaske also discussed how he assures that all of the audience in a theater space can hear the performers, no matter where they are sitting. He said, "We shape our thrust and arena theatres to transfer sound across the room so patrons seated behind actors can hear. Early integration in the design process is the key for successful integration of the needed sound reflecting surfaces. This experience has helped us design stages and rehearsal rooms so symphonic musicians can hear properly when they play."

Talaske also reported, "Theatres and music buildings represent one of the greatest acoustic isolation challenges because most of the rooms are both noise -producing and noise -sensitive. Achieving an appropriate level of isolation first involves close collaboration with the architects during the planning process so that rooms are coordinated to make use of natural buffering spaces and wall thicknesses are anticipated early. Another important element is the use of Acoustic Isolation Joints, structural separations that cut through the building from footings through the roof to avoid the transfer of structure-borne noise."

Talaske then explained other technical solutions he had developed for specific theatres' acoustic and sound insulation needs.

Finally, Talaske defined a room's acoustic success: "For users, I feel a room acoustic design is successful for a reinforcement system if no equalization is necessary. Likewise, if an orchestral musician can hear the desired tone of his or her instrument and also hear other performers, I have done my job correctly. For the audience, excellent clarity, appropriate liveliness, and freedom from noise are what define a room's acoustic success."

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Causes of Hearing Loss and Deafness

PUBLICATION: Financial Times
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Body And Mind; Pg. 2
BYLINE: Andrew Derrington
DATELINE: London, England

The Financial Times in London reports on hearing problems and how they develop. In the United Kingdom, 8.5 million people have hearing difficulties, some of which can be treated. All people should be taught to avoid loud noises that do permanent damage to the ear.

According to the article, the first step in how an ear works is the tiny vibration created in the eardrum when a sound is made. The vibrations then go through several stages of mechanical and neural processing that select sounds, adjust their levels, and filter out distracting sounds. Then the brain analyzes the vibrations.

The article mentions that an excess build-up of earwax in the ear canal can reduce hearing. Cleaning out the wax is an easy way to treat this problem. Middle-ear problems are more complicated to treat. Such things as air pressure changes and blockages of the eustachian tubes caused by colds can cause hearing loss.

The article discusses the controversy surrounding treatment of otitis media with effusion, commonly contracted by children as a result of a middle ear infection that settles in after the child catches a cold. The middle ear cavity "fills up with a liquid effusion. The effusion can be thick and sticky, giving the condition its colloquial name of 'glue ear'. The liquid causes variable degrees of hearing loss by impairing the transmission of sound through to the inner ear."

The article reports that one controversial method of treating glue ear involves surgically inserting a tube in the eardrum to help the effusion drain out and to keep it from getting even stickier. Some researchers believe that language development and other cognitive functions are stunted in children who have had ear tubes inserted. Another treatment for the condition is a grommet operation, in which the child's adenoids are also removed.

The article reports that Mark Haggard, director of the Medical Research Council Institute for Hearing Research at Nottingham University (MRC-IHR), is currently conducting research on the effectiveness of each of the different treatments for the condition. Haggard believes that long-term developmental effects of glue ear are minimal. And in many children, the condition resolves on its own.

In the article, Adrian Davis, also of the MRC-IHR, spoke about deafness and noise exposure. Exposure to excessive noise in the workplace is often preventable. The UK Health and Safety Executive recommends that workers exposed to 85 decibels and work 40 hours per week should take precautions. In addition, workers exposed to between 85db and 90db are required to have an annual hearing exam. Workers exposed to noise above 90db are mandated by the government to wear ear protection. Davis noted that only one-half hour of exposure to 100db can cause temporary deafness. Recreational noise, such as from stereos and dance clubs, can produce sounds of 100db as well.

The article explains that the inner ear is harmed by noise. Inner ear mechanisms that amplify and reduce loud sounds are damaged by noise. The ability to hand high-frequency sound is affected, resulting in difficulties in hearing human speech. Many hearing aids, which only amplify sound, do not help because they also amplify low-frequency sounds. Hearing aids that only amplify affected frequencies are preferable, although far from perfect.

The article goes on to say that hearing aids can be frustrating because a user must constantly adjust the hearing aid's volume to try to strike a balance between detectability and discomfort. Davis is studying the cost-effectiveness of hearing aid technology.

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Wooden Flooring Can Be an Annoying Conductor of Sound in Apartment Buildings

PUBLICATION: Financial Times
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Survey - Ft Property Supplement; Pg. 2
BYLINE: Vicky Carlstrand
DATELINE: London, England

The Financial Times in London reports that many city apartment dwellers are at loggerheads with their neighbors over noise. An environmental health officer explains that much of the problem can be fixed with the installation of the proper type of flooring and insulation.

According to the article, a renter named Anne was bothered by noise from her neighbor upstairs. Her apartment lease stated that all apartment floors must be covered with carpet and underlay. Kitchen and bathroom floors must use sound insulation. In Anne's neighbor's apartment, however, wooden floors had been laid which acted as a superb noise conductor. Noise from his kitchen and other rooms was preventing her from sleeping. She asked the neighbor to be quieter, but to no avail. She then approached the managing agents of the apartment building and asked them to enforce the lease. The agents did nothing until Anne threatened to sue. They then carpeted the upstairs neighbor's kitchen floor, which helped somewhat.

The article reports that London environmental health officer Keith Mahaffy is very knowledgeable about flooring materials and noise conduction. He says that wooden flooring can act like a drum, and even normal walking in an upstairs apartment can be very annoying to downstairs neighbors. He finds that many recently converted apartment buildings use wooden flooring that has no sound insulation whatsoever. In addition, he believes that many flooring contractors refuse to or do not know how to install floors that reduce noise. A layer of insulation must be laid between a new floor and an existing floor; many contractors skip this step because it is more difficult and more expensive to install a floor in this manner. He recommends that people who are thinking about installing hardwood flooring should take into account how the flooring will affect the noise that downstairs neighbors will hear, and design floors accordingly.

The article goes on to explain how Susan, another apartment resident, recently renovated her apartment, using an architect as a guide. He recommended insulated wooden flooring in the kitchen and living room. Susan hired a reliable contractor to do the work, but her neighbors downstairs are annoyed nonetheless by the sound that carries through the new floors. She has a young child who rides his toys on the floor. She has tried putting down some rugs. She thinks that her neighbors are perhaps being too sensitive, however. It is often the case that neighbors with different lifestyles often experience the most conflict. Someone with children, for example, might be more tolerant of the sound of children playing upstairs than someone with no children.

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Dutch Firm Receives Noise Abatement Contracts for British and Dutch Airports

PUBLICATION: Jane's Airport Review
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Atc - News; Vol. 12; No. 3
DATELINE: England and the Netherlands

Jane's Airport Review in England reports that HITT Special Products BV, a Dutch firm, has received a contract to supply a LogIT noise and track monitoring system to East Midlands Airport in the UK. The company has supplied similar systems to Leeds-Bradford Airport in the UK and to Valkenburg Military Airfield in the Netherlands. Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands has ordered a flight route monitoring system that will aid its noise mitigation efforts.

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Humorous Solution to San Bernardino, California's Need for Local Airport and Airline

PUBLICATION: Press-Enterprise
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Local; Pg. B01
BYLINE: Mark Muckenfuss
DATELINE: Riverside, California

The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California published a tongue-in-cheek article about the need for an air carrier to fly out of the defunct Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. The article writer recommends that residents start their own airline: Berdoo Air.

According to the article, Orange County voters recently defeated a proposal to turn El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a public airport. Residents were worried about noise, among many other issues.

In the article, the writer bemoans the fact that residents in the San Bernardino area would jump at the chance to convert the former Norton Air Force Base into a public airport. There is support for such a project from the city and the county, but unfortunately, no air carriers have stepped forward to offer regular service to and from San Bernardino.

The article then goes on to humorously explain that the writer thinks that San Bernardino should start its own airline: Berdoo Air.

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Noise Pollution Expert Les Blomberg Comments on Hearing Loss

PUBLICATION: Prevention Magazine
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: No. 4, Vol. 52; Pg. 36 ; Issn: 0032-8006
BYLINE: Debra Gordon
DATELINE: Montpelier, Vermont
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Les Blomberg, Noise Pollution Clearinghouse; League for the Hard of Hearing

Prevention Magazine reports on how hearing loss can occur, and ways in which people can avoid hearing loss. Twenty-eight million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss.

According to the article, people are sometimes unaware of how damaging common noises can be to nerves in the ear. Excessive noise from such things as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, music, and trucks on the highway can be the culprits. Excessive noise can also raise blood pressure.

The article quotes Les Blomberg, Executive Director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse in Montpelier, Vermont, as saying, "We're finding people with greater hearing loss earlier in life."

The article goes on to explain how hearing loss from excessive noise exposure occurs. When a sound is too loud, the noise actually kills some nerve endings of the auditory nerve. This important nerve travels between the brain and the inner ear. Hearing worsens over time as more and more nerve endings die off. Twenty minutes at a rock concert can damage hearing, as can regular exposure to 90 decibels of noise (the level of noise from a kitchen blender, for example).

In a related article entitled "How Loud is Too Loud?" the League for the Hard of Hearing in New York City recommends that people use moldable earplugs to block out excessive noises. Some situations in which earplugs could be useful include video arcades (110 decibels), amplified concerts (120 decibels), fireworks (125-155 decibels), using a home power drill (140 decibels), and a jet during takeoff (150 decibels).

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San Jose International Airport Will Not Expand; San Francisco Airport Plans to Add More Runways Instead

PUBLICATION: San Jose Mercury News
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: State And Regional News
BYLINE: Alan Gathright
DATELINE: San Jose, California

The San Jose Mercury News in California reports that plans to possibly expand San Jose International Airport and/or to add commercial flights to Moffett Field have been cancelled. These plans had become possible alternatives to San Francisco International Airport's plan to fill in part of San Francisco bay for additional runway space.

According to the article, there was resistance to expanding the San Jose airport because the public was opposed to the increased noise that more flights into and out of the airport would have caused, and because Interstate 880 and Highway 101 would have had to be relocated. Moffett Field in Mountain View was turned down because of opposition to increased noise from additional aircraft, and because adding flights to Moffett Field would have caused more delays at San Jose and Palo Alto airports.

The article reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the San Francisco Office of Environmental Review are conducting an environmental review of plans to build two square miles of additional runways at San Francisco airport. In order to get public input on the plans, these two agencies will hold five public hearing between April 24 and May 3 in the Bay Area. The meetings will present the airport's plans and also will discuss alternatives and environmental impacts on the bay. Instead of filling in the bay and building new runways at San Francisco airport, the agencies have been considering new air-traffic technologies and a new regional airport authority that would do a better job of spreading air traffic more evenly between the three major Bay Area airports.

The article quotes San Francisco airport spokesman Ron Wilson as saying, "We want to be thorough and complete and not cut any corners to avoid accusations down the road that we overlooked some important phase of this project."

The article adds that San Francisco airport is legally mandated to look at other solutions before deciding to fill in the bay. If the bay project proceeds, the airport must do all it can to minimize environmental damage to the bay. Hillary Gitelman, an environmental officer helping to conduct the study, said, "We want to do the best job that we possibly can to look at technology or management techniques that would address the airport's objectives without filling the bay." Gitelman added that a draft of the environmental impact study should be completed by summer 2001.

The article adds that the bay project is expected to cost $2.5 billion. It will increase the separation between runways, which is necessary in order to cut down on bad weather delays at the airport. In rainy or foggy weather, half of the runways at the airport currently must be closed, because they are only 750 feet apart. The bay project would ensure that new runways would be 3,400 to 4,300 apart. This would mean fewer delays and would cut down on noise complaints since more planes would be taking off and landing over water. The airport will be installing a new $22 million radar system in September 2001, which airport officials say will help somewhat with weather delays.

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Reader Blasts Witham Field (Stuart, Florida) Airport Watch Committee

PUBLICATION: Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: Letters To The Editor; Pg. A9
BYLINE: John Langhorne, Jr.
DATELINE: Stuart, Florida

The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News in Stuart, Florida published a letter to the editor about continuing controversies at Witham Airfield. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:


"The Witham Field Airport Watch Committee letters and features that appear in The Stuart News remind me of the saying, 'I've made it here, let's burn the bridge.' It is common for people to move near an airport to save money, then complain about airplane noise.

The airport watch committee is incorrect when it objects to a 737 on the basis of noise. The 737 is generally recognized as much quieter than older, smaller corporate aircraft. A member of the committee also suggested aircraft could use "half-power" at takeoff to reduce noise, demonstrating more ignorance about airport and aircraft issues.

Healthy airports are essential to the economic health of every community. The Witham Field Airport Watch Committee could do the community a great service by offering constructive assistance as the county attempts to meet community infrastructure demands. Instead, I fear the single goal of the committee is to ignore facts, to complain loudly, all in hopes that the public and the politicians will close the airport.

Residents enjoy living in Martin County for many reasons, one of which is a trickle-down byproduct of affluence. If the airport were to be closed, or to have its operations adversely limited, many of the high-taxpaying affluent will leave Martin County in favor of communities that have convenient, nearby access to a good community airport.

Like it or not, we live in a global village. Transportation and communications are our links to the world. When a community fails to upgrade infrastructure, our children and those who follow pay the price. I wonder, for example, how many airport-watch committee members would happily give up access to the next-morning services of FedEx. Do they know that FedEx bases an aircraft at Witham Field?

Witham Field is an outstanding resource. Much can be done in the interest of safety, noise friendliness, and convenience. If the Witham Field Airport Watch Committee has the broader community interest at heart, it will join rather than oppose the aviation community and the county in the effort to meet the challenges of airport improvement.

Most aircraft owners and pilots support sane noise -control measures; sane airport operations concepts; intelligent airport use and development. We invite the Witham Field Airport Watch Committee to join us in that effort."

John Langhorne Jr., President


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Tampa International Airport in Florida Attempts to Crack Down on Pilots Who Insist on Creating More Jet Noise by Using Convenient Runway

PUBLICATION: Tampa Tribune
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: South Tampa, Pg. 1
BYLINE: Orval Jackson
DATELINE: Beach Park, Florida

The Tampa Tribune reports that residents in Beach Park, Florida have complained about noise from aircraft approaching Tampa International Airport. Pilots are not supposed to fly over Beach Park because of repeated noise complaints. But some pilots still take the route over Beach Park nonetheless, in order to save time.

According to the article, Southwest Airlines pilots were told to use the west runway only, bringing their planes in over water instead of over residential areas like Beach Park. In addition, American Airlines has replaced nine turboprops that had used the noisier east runway with three jets that now use the west runway. Bill Connors, senior director of planning for Tampa International Airport, believes that airlines and pilots are doing more to comply with airport regulations that stipulate use of the west runway.

The article states that sometimes flights are directed to the east runway because of safety concerns. Additionally, the east runway was used during the months in which repair work was conducted on the west runway. Unfortunately, according to Connors, pilots realized during that time that the east runway saved them time and fuel in getting to the terminals, and so many of them have continued to use the east runway, particularly pilots from Southwest Airlines.

The article adds that, according to Connors, the pilot has the ultimate say as to which runway he/she uses. The pilot takes control tower operator reports under advisement. Connors said, "You cannot prohibit a landing if the runway is clear." Tower operators generally report pilots who violate airport agreements by not complying with runway advice.

The article states that Connors encouraged residents at a recent meeting to complain about the noise if it continues to be an issue. He said to the audience of area residents, "You are our noise monitors. You're doing us a great service."

The article mentions that the airport authority hopes to better enforce runway regulations by purchasing additional monitoring equipment that will allow the control tower to better identify pilots who continue to use the wrong runway.

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Jet Skis Banned From Assateague Island, Maryland

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: April 1, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 4; Zone: N
BYLINE: Michael Kilian
DATELINE: Washington, DC
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Kevin Collins, National Parks and Conservation Association

The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S. National Park Service recently extended its jet ski and personal watercraft ban to include Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. The Park Service had earlier banned such watercraft at 358 of its 379 parks, recreation areas, and historic sites. Assateague was not included in the ban. The Park Service left it up to the exempted parks' superintendents to determine whether jet skis were harmful to wildlife in the park.

According to the article, Assateague Superintendent Marc Koenings decided to go ahead with the ban. Assateague is a 37-mile long barrier reef that is one of the few uninhabited areas on the Atlantic Coast. On the island are wild ponies made famous by author Marguerite Henry's children's book, "Misty of Chincoteague." There are bridges and causeways at each end of the island that connect it with the mainland, but there are no roads on the island itself.

The article states that the twenty other national sites that, at least for the time being, still allow jet skis and other personal watercraft, are: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan; Gateway Recreation Area off New York; Cape Cod, Mass.; Cape Lookout, N.C.; Cumberland Island, Ga.; Fire Island, N.Y.; Gulf Islands, Fla.; Padre Island, Texas; Delaware Water Gap, Pa.; Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas; and nine man-made recreational lakes within the park system.

According to the article, environmental groups such as the National Parks and Conservation Association are angry that the Park Service granted any exemptions at all. Spokesperson Kevin Collins said that the watercraft generate noise pollution and water pollution, as well as many safety hazards. He hopes that the Park Service will have enough money in its pared-down budget to be able to enforce the ban at Assateague. The island is close to the beach resort town of Ocean City, Maryland, where many people own and operate jet skis. Jet skis' two-stroke engines allow them to skim across the water at much higher speeds than motorboats.

The article goes on to say that Collins "cited studies showing that personal watercraft noise levels reach 115 decibels, more than the 105 decibels of a jackhammer, and account for 9.6 percent of boating fatalities even though they make up only 3.2 percent of the nation's watercraft."

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