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94 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Implementation Responsibilities and Constraints The management of noise and its effects at an airport is the responsibility of several parties. While the public may see the airport as a single entity, the airport manager is faced with the need to coordinate activities across regulators, users, local governments, and neighbors to address the issues of noise. Table 6-1 provides an overview of the responsibilities of the U.S. Congress, the FAA, state and local governments, the airport operator, aircraft users and manufacturers, and air- port neighbors in the management of a number of different topics that often arise in discussions of how to control aircraft noise. Interestingly, the Airport has direct control only over the noise produced by aircraft that are not in flight mode (i.e., during maintenance run-up activity), con- struction of noise abatement facilities, and management of the use of land which it owns or oper- ates. It may advise, request or negotiate for modifications in actions controlled by others. The federal government sets policy regulating allowable noise levels, controls airspace and airport operating patterns, and provides a major part of the funding for noise abatement actions con- ducted by the airport. It also reviews and may approve or deny any proposed restrictions on aircraft flight activity at an airport. Local governments control the use of land around the air- port through zoning, subdivision control, and comprehensive planning actions. Aircraft opera- tors/pilots have ultimate responsibility for all phases of the flight of the aircraft, but operate within the environment set by air traffic control direction or rules; they are also responsible for their selection of aircraft type and, implicitly, its noise level. Aircraft manufacturers are responsible for producing aircraft that meet federally specified noise levels. Airport neighbors are responsible for reviewing and commenting on airport environmental actions, as well as taking due diligence in the acquisition of property; property owners may have additional responsibilities if property is part of a mitigation program such as sound insulation or acquisition by the airport. Information to Respond to Typical Public Concerns About Noise When dealing with the public, the airport manager will often be confronted with comments about issues with which he has limited experience. Such issues include: · The difference between cumulative and single-event noise levels and when each is useful; · The thresholds of significant noise level and how it's used; · The difference between noise impact (within 65 DNL contour) and noise effect (outside 65 DNL contour); · The difference between compatible and incompatible land use; · The differences between thresholds of evaluation for different FAA divisions; · The precedence of federal and state standards and when they are applicable; · The difference between noise measurements and computer modeling of noise levels, and why one may be preferable to the other in given cases; · Aircraft contribution to vibration and rattle; · Sound insulation programs and how do they work; · The difference between interior and exterior sound levels and the abatement of each; and · Contour and impact area change over time and the differences between federal and local response to change. The following sections discuss each of these issues. Cumulative versus Single Event Noise Levels Observers frequently complain that cumulative noise measures such as DNL or CNEL or LEQ do not adequately reflect the noise levels heard. When they compare the significant DNL level of