Aviation industry practitioners study the effects of aircraft noise on their communities. Typical analyses include land use compatibility studies, complaint investigations, environmental studies, and NextGen-related airspace modernization efforts. While the number of people affected by aviation noise is an important issue, consideration is often limited to a spatial assessment rather than the temporal aspects of a population’s distribution. Yet in many instances, the distribution of a population can vary greatly throughout the day as people move among various locations (e.g., home, work, school, recreational activities). It is also likely that an individual’s response to aircraft noise varies by activity, location, and time of day. The recent availability of high-resolution population distribution data in both spatial and temporal domains (e.g., the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s LandScan USA, the American Community Survey, volunteered and crowdsourced geographic information) provides the opportunity to estimate population both spatially and temporally, and population scientists have been able to improve spatial granularity further by estimating facility occupancy from open source data. Research is needed to understand how high-resolution population data in both spatial and temporal domains could be used to enhance our understanding the effects of aviation noise.
The objectives of this research are to: (1) evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of using spatially precise, diurnal population data to improve the understanding of aviation noise effects and (2) for the most promising uses, develop practices and guidelines for incorporating these data in aviation noise-related studies (i.e., noise impact modeling; land use compatibility planning; and noise abatement, mitigation, noise complaints, and airspace analyses).
Research is underway. The panel reviewed the interim report, and an interim meeting with the panel and contractor is scheduled for July 23, 2019.