Bob Hope Airport noise program to be reduced in size

burbankBob Hope Airport noise program to be reduced in sizeFootprint of airport-area home soundproofing will be “much smaller.

Residents living near Bob Hope Airport who have been waiting to takeadvantage of a federally funded residential soundproofing program shouldn’twait any longer.

After more than a decade and a half of installing new windows and doors inhomes surrounding the airport, the eligible area for the soundproofingprogram is going to shrink, airport officials said during aBurbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority meeting on Monday.

Due to quieter aircraft and fewer flights in general, the airport isprojecting a much smaller noise-impact zone over the next five years – andthat projection is used by the Federal Aviation Administration to determinewhich homeowners qualify for soundproofing projects.

“[The program] is going to remain to the extent that the eligibility area isthere, but that area is going to be much smaller,” Mark Hardyment, directorof environmental programs at the airport, said after the meeting.”(Residents) need to contact me immediately.”

There are 4,642 single-family homes and apartments in the existingnoise-impact area, airport officials said. However, apartments are no longereligible for the program.

The owners of 1,880 eligible dwellings have either not participated orexpressed interest, despite mailings and personal visits, officials said.

Hardyment said that the airport has submitted to the FAA a draft of aso-called Part 150 study, which projects the airport’s noise impact until2017 using sophisticated computer models.

Once FAA officials approve the study, the new noise-impact zone will takeeffect.

The reduction of the zone reflects the airport’s success in mitigatingnoise. In the airport’s initial Part 150 study in 1988, 1,138 acres werefound to be impacted, and 26%, or 303 of them, were exposed to noise greaterthan the FAA threshold and therefore qualified for soundproofing.

In the 2012 study, 688 acres were found to be impacted. Of those, only 10.3acres, or less than 2%, were still above the threshold.

Hardyment said the new study’s projections will likely be approved by theFAA in the next two to three months, but the soundproofing program willcontinue for some time after that.

“FAA has made it clear to me that they would anticipate there’s atransition,” Hardyment said. “It’s not going to be as soon as they send meback the exposure map. It’s not like a guillotine or a knife-drop.”

About $4.1 million remains for the program.

That’s enough funding to complete soundproofing improvements on the 33 homescurrently signed up and to accommodate up to 60 additional homes, accordingto Hardyment.