Business aircraft crews and passengers are generally aware of the danger of prolonged exposure to noise in terms of hearing loss. Now there is a growing body of evidence that prolonged exposure to a combination of high-intensity and low-frequency noise may pose far more serious health threats.
New designs for small business turboprop singles could be included in proposed changes to FAR Part 36 noise-certification rules. The more stringent levels are aimed primarily at reducing noise from newly designed primary training aircraft, but new turboprop singles certified under Part 23 would also be covered. The FAA said the more stringent requirements are intended to keep limits within the capability of current technology.
The FAA is reviewing an FAR Part 150 noise-compatibility proposal for Little Rock National Airport, Ark., and expects to approve or disapprove the plan no later than July 21. The agency has already approved noise-exposure maps required under Part 150. A public comment period ends March 23. For more information, contact the FAA’s Tim Tandy at (817) 222-5635.
Few sounds are louder than a jet aircraft at takeoff.
The decibel level of a climbing jet engine at full power can be higher (140 dB) than that of a chain saw (110 dB) or ambulance siren (120 dB), according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
But relief may be a toggle away, if recent university research finds its way into aircraft cockpits.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed noise-compatibility program for Lincoln Airport, Neb., and is expected to issue its findings no later than June 4. The program is being submitted under the guidelines of FAR Part 150, and comments can be submitted until February 9. For more information, call the FAA at (816) 329-2645.
Imperial Transport, flying a Citation 501, and US Smokeless Tobacco Brands, operating two Challenger 601s, received the “Spirit of Noise Abatement” awards for last year for achieving the lowest average sound level for a single jet and a fleet operation, respectively, at Westchester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, N.Y.
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
Van Nuys Airport, Calif., the busiest general aviation airfield in the world and already subject to a noise curfew applicable to Stage 2 and “noisier” Stage 3 airplanes, is now the target of an “attempt to implement multiple proposed noise and access restrictions,” according to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the operating authority for VNY.
The FAA is concerned that some noise-canceling headsets might prevent pilots from hearing audible alarms, abnormal engine noise or other mechanical sounds. The agency, in a January 1 Information for Operators (InFO 07001), said noise attenuation of headsets “may vary by make and model” and if these sounds cannot be detected “discontinue the use of noise-canceling headsets.”
All jet and transport-category airplanes (those with an mtow of 12,500 pounds or more) for which application of a new type design is submitted on or after January 1 this year have to meet new noise certification levels. Stage 4 is a cumulative 10 EPNdB (effective perceived noise level in decibels) less than Stage 3 limits. Virtually all in-production business jets will qualify to be recertified under Stage 4.