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20 CHAPTER TEN AVIATION NOISE EFFECTS ON PROPERTY VALUES Aviation noise has a direct effect on property value. The owner. The report stated that it was the members of the first effects of aviation noise on the buyer and seller determine group who bore the true burden of airport noise. the value of properties within proximity to aircraft opera- tions. The noise level at a given property location becomes If noise exposure decreases property value, one could one of many property features and amenities (number of reasonably presume the second group was compensated for rooms, crime rate, schools) that make up the total value of the existing noise exposure once they willingly purchased that property. properties that sold at a market-discounted price. This has led to the description of aircraft noise as a one-time effect on Research conducted on the effects of aviation noise on property value. property value used several different methodologies result- ing in outcomes ranging from effects of substantial negative A study conducted around Manchester Airport, England, impact to effects of no impact. Most studies attempted to showed that when using the Noise and Number Index (similar control for and measure the noise variable alone. However, to DNL and no longer used), results revealed no significant some studies coupled aviation noise with airport proximity, negative relationship between noise and property value and therefore measured the positive and negative impacts of (Tomkins et al. 1998). Quite interesting, however, is their two variables that essentially could not be present without finding that when the Leq measure is substituted, and even the other (or that were dependent on each other). Recent though it defines a smaller core of properties, it also displays studies used GIS not only to analyze large amounts of data, both a greater accuracy in identifying those "which are truly but also to integrate spatial autocorrelation to analyze the noise-blighted." Proximity to the airport also had significant relationships among residential properties and other features impacts, but at a decreasing rate. The net impact was that in proximity; that is, other homes, airports, schools, roads, property location in close proximity to the airport was a more etc. Looking at future research, one can expect that the important factor of property value than noise. powerful GIS tool will facilitate a better understanding of this topic. In summary, the studies of the effects of aviation noise on property values are highly complex owing to the differences In contrast to most results, a study conducted in the city of in methodologies, airport/community environments, market College Park, Georgia, concluded that noise did not signifi- conditions, and demand variables involved. Whereas most cantly affect the values of residential properties (Lipscomb studies concluded that aviation noise effects on property value 2003). Unique community demographics and characteristics range from some negative impacts to significant negative im- attributed to this finding; specifically, many community pacts, some studies combined airport noise and proximity and residents were employed in airport-related occupations so concluded that the net effect on property value was positive. distance from the airport (short work commute) was given Prospective homebuyers were at times not well-informed greater importance during the home purchasing process. about the noise levels of aircraft operations near the property of interest. Lack of information often led to high bid prices Results from a survey of 200 realtors and 70 appraisers in and possible disappointment after purchase. Homeowners 35 suburban communities near Chicago O'Hare International that experienced an increase in noise levels bore the burden of Airport found that a significant segment of buyers lack aviation noise. However, once noise levels stabilized, the next adequate information about the noise environment, resulting homeowner was compensated once the property value in inflated bid prices and likely in disappointment after pur- adjusted owing to the effects of noise. Lastly, the technology chase (Frankel 1991). The author continued by classifying available to analyze data has improved throughout the years. noise-affected property owners into two groups: those who The spatial nature of aircraft operations, noise contours, and came to their location when the location was quiet and later property location will continue to prompt studies founded in became the subject of aircraft noise and those who purchased GIS analysis that will improve our understanding of the the property near an operational airport from a previous effects of aviation noise on property value.