STEELE CREEK NEWS
Maps Show Very Low Average Noise
Level around Airport
15, 2014) The
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is updating its
1996 Noise Exposure Map for 2015 and creating a 2020 map for the
future. The map identifies areas that have a day-night average sound
level (DNL) of 65 decibels or more, See
Noise Exposure Map Update Study.
The 65 decibel level is equivalent to a normal conversation. The
map below shows the area exposed to an average of 65 decibels from
the study done in 1996 in a dashed black line. The blue line shows
the area that will be exposed to 65 DNL in 2015. The noise
contour has been reduced significantly because aircraft have become
HERE or on the map below to view a PDF version of this map.
All presentation information from the December public information
meetings is available
purple line shows the 65 DNL contour projected to 2020. Although
noise from individual airplanes exceeds 65 decibels for many miles
beyond these contours, the standard is the average noise level
rather than the maximum level.
According to airport and consultant staff attending the Public
Information Meeting at Olympic High School on December 4, the
maximum noise level measured at the interstection of Shopton Road
and Gable Road near Sullivan's Trace neighborhood was 83.1 decibels.
According to a noise chart avalilable
HERE, 80 decibels is equivalent to the sound of an alarm clock.
An alarm clock is loud enough to wake a sleeping person. However,
the average decibel level is much lower than that (at least below 65
decibels) because the 83.1
decibel level is averaged with the much quieter levels experienced
Staff also reported a maximum noise level of 74.1 decibels
measured at a spot in the Taragate neighborhood off Sandy Porter
Road. 75 decibels is equivalent to the sound of a toilet flushing or
a vacuum cleaner.
As staff stated several times, the noise study must follow
guidelines developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If the
study included a map showing the loudest noise levels made by
airplanes, the contours would extend far beyond the mile and a half or
so from airport runways as shown in the study. It would seem that a sound loud enough to
wake sleeping people ocurring every two minutes or so would be
recognized as affecting quality of life in residential areas, but
according to FAA guidleines, it is not.
However, the airport is not going anywhere, and airplanes aren't
going to stop flying over Steele Creek, so noise will continue to be
a fact of life here. The updtate does not recommend changes to
airport operations that will reduce noise, it only identifies areas
where properties are eligible for noise abatement programs.
One aspect of airplane noise may be changing, however. Currently
airplanes arriving and departing the airport follow a few set
routes, resulting in continual noise over the same neighborhoods.
is proposing to optimize routes for aircraft departing and arriving
at the Charlotte airport. The result will be increased efficiency
but also a dispersal of routes leading to and from the airport. This
dispersal of aircraft routes will also mean a dispersal
of noise. The noise will still be there but not constantly over the
same neighborhoods and houses. See
FAA Plans to Change Airplane
Routes and Disperse Noise.
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