Noise & Environment
Airport Noise Reduction Program
The Albany International Airport maintains a comprehensive noise abatement program designed to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the community.
The Airport program includes periodic noise compatibility studies, a state-of-the-art ground run-up enclosure for the aircraft run-ups and the voluntary purchase of impacted residential properties within the affected area. The program also includes community forums hosted by the Airport to provide information on Airport programs and policies.
Noise Compatibility Study
Periodically the Airport Authority undertakes a Federal Noise Compatibility Study to assess current noise conditions and to recommend changes that may help reduce its impact on the community.
Aircraft arriving at and departing from Albany International Airport use one of four runways. Aircraft noise is concentrated over the FAA directed approach and takeoff patterns of each of the runways.
The system for measuring aviation noise in the community is accomplished using a day-night average sound level (DNL). This provides a standard table of land uses normally compatible with various noise exposures levels for specific land uses.
The resulting Noise Exposure Map (NEM) is used to clearly identify an airport’s present and future noise patterns and the land uses which are not compatible with those patterns. It also serves as a reference to municipalities, individuals or developers proposing noise sensitive development in the vicinity of the Airport.
Noise Complaint Hotline
A key component to the Airport’s noise program since the early 1990's is the dedicated noise complaint hot-line supplemented by the web-based noise complaint form process. This complaint line service provides continuous (24-hour) real-time operations management response to explain the reason for the ground maintenance run-up and/or single event overflights.
The Airport Authority operates a Noise Complaint Line (518 242-2320) which individuals may phone to register complaints. The Airport also provides an on-line noise complaint form that is available to individuals to register complaints. Complaints are followed up by Airport Operations.
Airlines serving the Albany International Airport have been upgrading their fleets. Many of the noisiest aircraft have been retired and replaced with quieter and more efficient models. The latest Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 Noise Study has confirmed that the Airport’s “noise footprint” continued to contract over the past two decades.
As airlines update their fleets, additional reductions in noise will become apparent. Today, the aircraft industry and the government are working together to develop new Stage-4 guidelines that will set the new standard for aircraft noise reduction technology. Many private jets are still permitted to operate with outdated Stage-2 engines.
Residential properties that lie within the Airport’s federally approved 65 DNL noise contour may be eligible for purchase under the Airport’s noise program. Property values are determined by a NYS Department of Transportation appraisal. Property owners have the option of accepting or rejecting the Airport’s purchase offer.
Ground Run-Up Enclosure
By nature of the airline industry, most commercial aircraft are in service during the day and undergo routine, periodic and required maintenance in the evening and over night. This maintenance may require an “engine run-up” to fully test the performance of the engine or engines.
To mitigate the sound of aircraft run-ups, the Airport Authority first constructed a Ground Run-up Enclosure (GRE) constructed of nine-foot thick walls of hay. The GRE was dismantled in 2003 to make room for the new, New York State Police hangar.
In 2005, the Airport Authority constructed a state-of-the-art Ground Run-up Enclosure. Companies engaged in aircraft maintenance at the Airport are required to use the GRE for run-ups between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Furthermore, maintenance operators are required to notify Airport Operations prior to any run-up.
Home Buyer-Realtor-Developer Assistance
In many cases, potential home buyers and developers seek information regarding the impact of aircraft noise on their property. The Airport Authority Department of Planning and Engineering can provide information and visual aids involving flight paths and noise levels that can assist buyers, realtors and developers in their decision making process. The Airport Authority Planning Office can be reached at 518 242-2222.