Aircraft and airport noise are complex issues that have several contributing factors. The FAA, Massport, and the pilots play a role in limiting the noise impact on communities.
The FAA’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and efficiency of the nation’s navigable airspace. The agency plays several major roles, including developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise. These programs are aimed at increasing the understanding of noise impacts, identifying solutions to reduce those impacts, and educating the public. The federal government also legislates requirements for the manufacturing of new aircraft and the phase out of the older aircraft that exceed certain noise thresholds.
Massport’s noise abatement office is diligent in enforcing Hanscom’s
1980 regulations and in fostering the airport’s “Fly Friendly” program. The latter encourages Hanscom pilots to use quiet flying techniques. Although a particular aircraft may sound noisy to a person on the ground, the aircraft noise could be more offensive if the pilot didn’t use quiet flying techniques. In 2009, Massport introduced a program to minimize touch and go flights over the Minute Man National Historical Park. The program has been very successful, with reductions of flights over the Park by over 20% since the program began. Airlines and Pilots
Massport is actively creating an airport that fosters responsible piloting. Although safety and security are the highest priorities, pilots at Hanscom are encouraged to use quiet flying techniques. Material regarding the program is available at the flight schools, the Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), in the Massport offices, and on the web. Additionally, Hanscom tenants who are pilots are requested to watch a “Fly Friendly” video when they are badged in the Massport offices.
Military aircraft range from helicopters to jets. Some of the military jets have high noise profiles. Although, military operations represent less than one percent of the activity, they contribute 10 to 20 percent of the noise. Massport shares its “Fly Friendly” material with military personnel. Hanscom Air Force Base has its own community affairs office, and complaints regarding military aircraft should be directed to
Tenants are asked to use and/or encourage the “Fly Friendly” program. The FBOs display “Fly Friendly” material, as do the flight schools. Transient aircraft pilots who are visiting Hanscom can get information regarding the 1980 regulations and the “Fly Friendly” program from the FBOs.