Comment on County Airport Noise Abatement Study – Summer 2022

The county airport has published a Summer 2022 Part 150 Newsletter which describes the status of the noise abatement study to accommodate noise from the incoming F-35 fighter jets.

Scroll down further for what you can do.

Airport Noise Abatement Study FAQs header

Below are a few excerpts. Read the full study here.

Why is MSN undertaking a Part 150 Study?

MSN strives to be a good neighbor to the communities surrounding the airport.

Why is DNL used to develop noise contours rather than the sound level I hear when planes are overhead?

The FAA requires the Noise Exposure Map noise contours to be based on DNL, and for DNL to be used to assess land use compatibility. The advantage of DNL is that it reflects an annual average of 24-hour noise exposure and not just the noise level at a specific moment in time.

Will noise monitors be used in developing the updated noise exposure maps for the airport?

No. The FAA requires DNL contours to be developed through its computer modeling program rather than actual noise measurements.

Could the Part 150 Study determine that the F-35 aircraft is too loud to operate at MSN?


Does Part 150 consider health effects and impacts of noise on children’s hearing?


How is MSN considering environmental justice in the Part 150 Study?

14 CFR Part 150 does not specifically address environmental justice.


What you can do:

Write to the people that are controlling the study and ask them to improve it.

Some things you might bring up (in your own words):

  • The study should estimate noise impacts on all schools on the north and east sides of Madison. At this time, no schools will included in the study.
  • The study should estimate peak noise levels at all schools on the north and east sides of Madison. At this time, it will only predict daily average (DNL) noise levels, not the peak noise levels we actually hear.
  • The study should estimate the impacts on educational performance and children’s health. At this time, the study will use the FAA’s 50-year old daily average noise standard of 65 decibels DNL which is based on outdated annoyance studies. In his recent letter to Vermont public officials, Peter Bingham, Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Pediatric Neurology Division at the University of Vermont Medical Center, explained the effects of noise from their F-35 fighter jets on children including: decreased reading skills; increased risk of mortality due to heart attack; increased anxiety and depression; increased attention problems; and, increased aggressive behavior.
  • The study should estimate impacts at lower levels that 65 decibels DNL. Predicting lower levels such as 60 decibels (used by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport) and 55 decibels (required by the State of Oregon) will include more households and children that live on the north and east sides of Madison who are impacted by aircraft noise. It will inform the public of the full extent of neighborhoods impacted by county airport noise.
  • The study should provide funding for noise abatement measures at all schools on the north and east sides of Madison. At this time, there will be no noise abatement for area schools.
  • The study should include meetings with impacted neighborhoods and schools. At this time, only a few open houses at the airport will be used in educate the public on the procedures and results.
  • The study should include a flight tracking system and noise monitors, similar to those at the Burlington Airport, installed at area schools to assess actual noise exposure. At this time, the study will predict noise levels through computer modeling with no plans to measure actual noise levels.

Here’s who to write to:

Satya Rhodes-Conway <>
Madison Common Council <>
County Executive Joe Parisi <>
Dane Supervisors <>
Airport Director Kimberly Jones <>
Airport Part150 Study <>