Aircraft noise complaints are a data set that airport operators can easily collect, review, and analyze. Although this complaint data maynot be indicative of total community annoyance, it still may provide insight into local concerns and perception regarding aircraft noiseimpacts. As has been observed in other research, perception plays a large part in noise annoyance, including areas where the acousticalnoise levels are below the 65 db DNL threshold used by the FAA to determine land use compatibility. Noise complaint data collectedfrom the Philadelphia, PA region during the period from 1997 to 2009 was compared to five indicators (per-capita income, medianhousehold income, median home values, percent of households considered urban, and approximate annual DNL exposure) to see which ofthese potential influences might correlate with complaint activity. The strongest relationship was observed between noise exposure (asmeasured in DNL) with substantially weaker and insignificant correlations observed for socioeconomic indicators and urbanization. Thedata observed was generally in agreement with previous noise annoyance research and also suggested that while DNL may correlate withcomplainant activity, it does not explain all of the variance observed.
Collette, Jonathan D.
"Self-Reported Aircraft Noise Complaints and Socioeconomic Demographics in the Greater Philadelphia Region: A Survey of Complaint Data from 1997 to 2009,"
Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering:
1, Article 8.