Assessing Aircraft Noise Conditions Affecting Student Learning

Community concerns over the effects of noise on children's learning present potential barriers to airport expansion and can contribute to delays in capacity improvements. Considerable evidence demonstrates that chronic exposure to noise is associated with reading deficits in children. Recent research conducted for the European Union (EU) suggests that a 5dB-increase in noise exposure translates to a 2-month delay in reading scores. Furthermore, a pilot study for the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN) found that low-performing students' test scores were more likely to improve after their schools were insulated against aircraft noise. An important remaining question is the level at which learning impacts occur. In FY07, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded $56.5 million in grants to insulate public buildings--mostly schools--often based on a criterion of Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) 65 dB. There has been no research to date to identify whether this criterion is appropriate for identifying noise impacts on schools. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Science and Metrics Standing Committee of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) has proposed metrics to the EWG Policy Standing Committee for consideration in their preparation of the EWG environmental targets. The Working Group has proposed that JPDO use as a metric the number of students exposed to noise levels that affect learning, but has also identified a need for further development of this metric. The objective of this research is to collect and summarize current research on the impacts of noise on learning and relate this information to aviation noise and airports.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 2-26

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Start Date: 20100712
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 24014

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01461851
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 2-26
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:53PM