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A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 181 2017 Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviationâ â¢â Environment Assessing Community Annoyance of Helicopter Noise Vincent Mestre Landrum & Brown Irvine, CA i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Sanford Fidell Richard D. Horonjeff Paul Schomer Aaron Hastings VoLpe nationaL transportation systems Center of usdot Cambridge, MA Barbara G. Tabachnick CaLifornia state uniVersity, northridge Los Angeles, CA Fredric A. Schmitz Palo Alto, CA
AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in trans- portation of people and goods and in regional, national, and interna- tional commerce. They are where the nationâs aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for managing and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Associa- tion of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academy of Sciences formally initiating the program. ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organi- zations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibili- ties, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport professionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing coop- erative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the intended users of the research: airport operating agencies, service pro- viders, and academic institutions. ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners. ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 181 Project 02-48 ISSN 2572-3731 (Print) ISSN 2572-374X (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-44663-1 Library of Congress Control Number 2017955932 Â© 2017 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published research reports of the AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 181 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Michael R. Salamone, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Joseph D. Navarrete, Senior Program Officer Hana Vagnerova, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Scott E. Hitchcock, Senior Editor ACRP PROJECT 02-48 PANEL Field of Environment Heath Allen, Lake Charles Regional Airport, Lake Charles, LA (Chair) Ambrose Clay, City of College Park, Georgia, College Park, GA Eric Dinges, ATAC Corporation, Santa Clara, CA Jeffrey Jacquart, Clark County (NV) Department of Aviation, Las Vegas, NV Don Scimonelli, South Capitol Street Heliport, LLC, Washington, DC Kevin P. Shepherd, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA Natalia Sizov, FAA Liaison Christine Gerencher, TRB Liaison
ACRP Research Report 181 explores what is currently known about community annoy- ance of helicopter noise. It describes a protocol for conducting a large-scale community survey to quantify annoyance due to civil helicopter noise and presents the results of a test of the protocol which also helped improve understanding of the roles of acoustic and non-acoustic factors that influence community annoyance to civil helicopter noise. The report should be of particular interest to airport industry practitioners, community planners, and researchers who desire a better understanding of the factors affecting com- munity annoyance with helicopter noise and possible differences between helicopter noise impacts and fixed-wing aircraft noise impacts. Helicopter noise differs from fixed-wing aircraft noise in many ways. Helicopter opera- tions and routes are more variable than those of fixed-wing aircraft and often occur at lower altitudes. In addition, the frequency content, sound level onset, decay rates, and overall duration of helicopter noise differ from those of fixed-wing aircraft. These differences may be associated with differences in how humans react to helicopter noise versus fixed-wing aircraft noise. There also may be factors affecting community response to helicopter noise, including audibility, safety, and privacy concerns. Although a 2004 FAA Report to Congress (Nonmilitary Helicopter Urban Noise Study) recommended that âadditional development of models for characterizing the human response to helicopter noise should be pursued,â to date, no such work had been undertaken. Research was therefore needed to better under- stand the factors affecting community annoyance to helicopter noise. The research team, led by Landrum & Brown, began with a literature review. A set of hypotheses was developed from the review to explore whether helicopter noise was more annoying than noise from fixed-wing aircraft at comparable sound levels, and, if so, what factors might contribute to that greater annoyance. Also explored was how possible differ- ences might be accounted for when predicting helicopter noise impacts. The team then developed a research protocol that included a large-scale social survey, noise monitoring, and noise modeling. The team next implemented the protocol in an effort to validate the approach and, if possible, obtain results to confirm their hypotheses. The surveys were conducted via telephone (both landline and wireless) in Long Beach, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Washington, D.C. About 2,300 respondents were interviewed. Survey results were analyzed and correlated to the noise monitor data and noise modeling output to draw conclusions. F O R E W O R D ByâJosephâD.âNavarrete StaffâOfficer TransportationâResearchâBoard
In addition to the literature review, the report provides a detailed description of the research protocol and rationale, detailed survey results, and summary conclusions. While the project validated the protocol for conducting a large-scale study on community annoyance to helicopter noise, it could not conclusively identify any notable difference between community annoyance with light civil helicopter noise and the noise generated by fixed-wing aircraft at comparable sound exposure levels, nor could it conclusively identify any non-acoustic factors that might affect an individualâs perception of helicopter noise.
1â Summary 4â Introduction 5 Chapter 1â LiteratureâReview 5 1.1 Introduction 5 1.2 Understanding of Helicopter Noise Versus Fixed-Wing Aircraft Noise 6 1.3 Noise Effects of Concern 6 1.3.1 Annoyance 6 1.3.2 Direct Annoyance of Airborne Noise Created by Helicopters 7 1.3.3 Annoyance Due to Secondary Emissions 9 1.3.4 Complaints 9 1.4 Noise Metrics Useful for Quantifying Helicopter Noise 10 1.5 Nonacoustic Contributions to Community Reaction to Helicopter Noise 10 1.6 Laboratory Versus Field Studies of Helicopter Annoyance 11 1.7 Summary of Findings of Literature Review 14 Chapter 2â DevelopmentâofâHypotheses 14 2.1 Introduction 15 2.2 Factors Complicating Hypothesis Testing 16 2.3 Some General Constraints on Hypothesis Testing 16 2.3.1 Geographic Disparities Between Areas with High Helicopter Noise Exposure and Areas with Sufficiently Large Residential Populations 16 2.3.2 Disparate Exposures to Fixed- and Rotary-Wing Aircraft Operations 16 2.3.3 Narrow Ranges of Exposure Levels Created by Helicopter Noise and/or Small Numbers of Operations in Particular Flight Modes 17 2.3.4 Unavailability of Reliable Radar Flight Performance Information About Actual Rotorcraft Flight Paths and Procedures 17 2.3.5 Questionable Reliability of Noise Modeling Due to Operational Variability, Complexity, Seasonality, or Sketchy Knowledge of Operations 18 2.3.6 Excessively High Ambient Neighborhood Noise Levels 18 2.3.7 Unavailability of Complaint Records 18 2.3.8 Large Proportions of Residents Ineligible or Unavailable for Interview 18 2.4 Discussion of Potential Tests of Hypotheses 23 Chapter 3â SiteâSelectionâandâOpinionâSurveyâMethods 23 3.1 Introduction 23 3.2 Survey Site Evaluation 23 3.2.1 Overview of Survey Site Selection Process 24 3.2.2 Survey Site Selection Criteria 25 3.2.3 Sites Considered 31 3.2.4 Site Evaluation 33 3.2.5 Site Recommendations C O N T E N T S
33 3.3 Questionnaire 34 3.3.1 Form and Organization of Questionnaire 34 3.3.2 Questions for All Interviewing Sites 37 3.4 Description of Questions 37 3.4.1 Questions for Direct Comparison of Relative Annoyance of Exposure to Fixed- and Rotary-Wing Noise 37 3.4.2 Questions for Assessing Relative Annoyance of Exposure to Various Forms of Helicopter Noise 37 3.4.3 Questions for Assessing Annoyance of Helicopter-Induced Rattle and Vibration 37 3.4.4 Questions for Assessing Relationship Between Helicopter Noise Complaints and Annoyance 37 3.4.5 Target Population and Preparation of Sampling Frames 38 3.5 Potential Interviewing Methods 39 3.6 General Discussion of Sample Size Constraints 39 3.6.1 Size of Expected Differences in Annoyance Prevalence Rates due to Rotary- and Fixed-Wing Aircraft Noise 40 3.6.2 General Examples of Sample Size Requirements 41 3.7 Noise Measurement Methods 43 Chapter 4â NoiseâExposureâEstimationâandâInterviewingâMethods 43 4.1 Interviewing Areas, Helicopter Routes, and Noise Measurement Sites 43 4.1.1 Description of Long Beach Study Area 43 4.1.2 Description of Las Vegas Study Area 46 4.1.3 Description of Washington, D.C., Study Area 47 4.2 Noise Measurement Protocol 47 4.3 Noise Modeling Methods 47 4.3.1 Long Beach 47 4.3.2 Las Vegas 48 4.3.3 Washington, D.C. 49 4.3.4 Modeling Process 54 4.4 Estimation of Noise Exposure Values to Survey Respondentsâ Homes 54 4.5 Sampling Strategy 57 4.6 Interviewing Procedures 58 Chapter 5â âAnalysesâofâNoiseâExposureâMeasurementsâ â andâInterviewâFindings 58 5.1 Comparison of Measurement and Modeling Estimates of Exposure Levels at Long Beach and Las Vegas Survey Sites 58 5.1.1 Measured DNLs 58 5.1.2 Modeled DNLs 59 5.1.3 Relation of A-Weighted to C-Weighted SELs 60 5.2 Disposition of Contact Attempts 61 5.3 Locations of Respondentsâ Residences 61 5.4 Analysis of Interview Responses 61 5.4.1 Tabulation of Responses 78 5.5 Relationships Among DNL, Distance, and Percent Highly Annoyed 79 5.5.1 DNL Versus Distance Relationships 79 5.5.2 Dosage-response Relationships 89 5.5.3 Dosage-response Relationship for Combined Sites
90 5.6 Results of Low-Frequency Noise Analysis 90 5.6.1 Measuring Low-Frequency Helicopter Noise 90 5.6.2 Modeling the Low-Frequency Noise Level of Helicopters 91 5.6.3 Results of Low-Frequency Data Analysis 91 5.6.4 Comparison of Low-Frequency Metrics to A-Weighted Metric 94 5.7 Noise Complaint Data 94 5.7.1 Long Beach Helicopter Noise Complaints 95 5.7.2 Las Vegas Helicopter Noise Complaints 95 5.7.3 Washington, D.C., Area Helicopter Noise Complaints 96 Chapter 6â ConclusionsâandâDiscussion 99 References 102 Appendix Aâ TechnicalâDiscussionâofâHelicopterâNoise 102 A.1 Characteristics of Helicopter Noise in Various Flight Regimes 102 A.1.1 Major Helicopter Noise Sources 106 A.1.2 Controlling BVI Noise in the Terminal Area 108 A.2 Correlational Analysis of Helicopter Noise Metrics 110 A.2.1 Helicopter Spectral Classes 110 A.2.2 Correlations Among Helicopter Noise Metrics 115 Appendix Bâ AnnotatedâBibliography 128 Appendix Câ âSystematicâAnalysisâofâNonacousticâInfluencesâ â onâAnnoyance 128 C.1 Definition of Community Tolerance Level 130 C.2 Communities Form Unique Attitudes About Noise 131 C.3 Application of CTL Analysis to Annoyance of Exposure to Helicopter Noise 132 Appendix Dâ NoiseâMeasurementâProtocol 134â Endnotes