Addressing the impact of aircraft noise has been an ever present and high priority at Bob Hope Airport since the Airport Authority purchased the Airport from Lockheed in 1978. Over the past 32 years, Authority policies and acoustical treatment of nearby schools and over 1,800 homes have combined with the improvement of aircraft technology and airline cooperation in keeping nighttime commercial flights to a minimum to allow substantial progress.
The Noise Impact Area as defined by the State of California has shrunk from 403 acres of incompatible land use in 1978 to under 20 acres today, a 95% reduction.
The Authority remains committed to its acoustical treatment program and pursuing additional measures aimed at decreasing nighttime aircraft noise at this airport and in the entire San Fernando Valley. Please feel free to contact Airport Staff for the latest developments in this endeavor or to answer any questions you may have, calling the staff members shown in the right column.
NOTICE, January 2014: The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Public Notice that it is undertaking a Draft Environmental Assessment for the Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Southern California Metroplex.
The links and sections below provide further details on aircraft noise issues.
Sound Insulation Program
Bob Hope Airport, in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration, has implemented a Residential Acoustical Treatment Program (RATP) that will insulate qualfied residential units in Burbank and Los Angeles.
The Residential Acoustical Treatment Program is the result of the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150 Study, originally completed in 1989 and subsequently updated in 2000, that determined which neighborhoods, noise-sensitive public buildings, and local jurisdictional boundaries lie within the noise-impacted area surrounding the Airport. Facilities identified by the study are eligible to receive noise mitigation treatments funded by federal grants and local matching funds supplied by the Airport Authority.
The Authority has implemented two primary mitigation measures approved by the Part 150 Study: insulation of homes within the 65 CNEL impact area (the area where aircraft noise exceeds an average of 65 decibels over a 24 hour period); acquiring avigation easements for homes in the 65 CNEL impact area (easements allowing aircraft to fly over the home without the threat of a future lawsuit by the property owner against the Airport Authority).
Under the insulation program, consultants for the Authority design a specific treatment for each home to ensure that interior noise levels will always remain quiet enough to enjoy normal use of the home, no matter how much aircraft activity there might be. The acoustical treatment may include door and window replacement, attic insulation, weather stripping, ventilation and air conditioning. Once designed, the treatment is installed by licensed, bonded contractors selected by the Authority.
This program is free of cost to the property owner, provided he or she grants the authority an aviation easement.
To find out more about this program, contact Hilda Landaverde at (818) 842-1732, or Maggie Martinez at (818) 840-8840 ext. 2226.
Nighttime Noise Relief
The Federal Aviation Regulations contain specific sections, or “parts,” that describe how noise studies are to be conducted to improve the compatibility between airports and the sensitive land uses that surround them. Bob Hope Airport has done both a Part 150 Study and a Part 161 Study.
While the Part 150 Study process allowed the Airport to secure federal funding for home insulation, a separate process called a Part 161 Study was necessary for the Authority to be able to apply for a mandatory nighttime curfew that would be enforeceable under federal law, superseding the current voluntary airline curfew now in place.
Part 161 arose after Congress passed the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990, which prevented airports from passing new noise rules such as curfews. If an airport has reason to believe a new noise rule is justified, despite the Noise and Capacity Act, Part 161 provides a study methodology to examine the reasons why, and to provide a means to persuade the Federal Aviation Administration that an exception is warranted. No new rule can be adopted unless the Part 161 Study is successfully completed and the rule is accepted by the FAA.
Bob Hope Airport began a Part 161 Study in 2000 in pursuit of a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The study and an application for a curfew were completed in 2009, at a cost of over $7 million, and submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration. It was the first Part 161 Study ever accepted as “complete” by the FAA, a landmark accomplishment that attests to the difficulty involved in the endeavor.
In November 2009, the FAA issued its finding that the study did not justify the imposition of the mandatory curfew. However, the Airport Authority continues to seek new avenues that can lead to meaningful relief from nighttime aircraft noise and is currently engaging the airlines, the FAA, the City of Burbank and the local community in dialogue on that subject.