WHAT? (airplane flies overhead)

Capital Region transportation noise map

That image above is clipped from a new map produced by the federal government that attempts to model road and airplane noise around the country. Here's the clickable, interactive version.

The map colors depict estimated 24-hour sound level averages. The light yellow is about the noise level of a humming refrigerator. The magenta colors are something more like a vacuum cleaner.

You can probably guess what that cross-shaped, magenta pattern is in the middle: Albany International Airport. And if anything, for us, looking at the map both locally and across the nation highlighted the wide-ranging noise effects of airports. Those "smears" of noise along the approach and take-off paths for ALB really stick out. (And having lived inside one of those zones, yep, you definitely hear the planes as they land, especially in the summer with the windows open.)

[via NPR]

map clip: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Comments

This is a great visualization. When I lived in Albany, my house was right under the visual approach path about six miles from the edge of runway 01. I loved that noise. I always felt it meant I lived somewhere moderately important.

I have lived under the flight path most of my life. It is very rarely a nuisance, if that's what concerns people. Sure, on a summer day if you are chatting outside, the occasional plane can be a distraction. But a minor one compared to, say, a neighbor mowing .

I look at it this way: would we rather not have an airport?

one more thing to remember is that airport noise is strongly reduced with each new generation of engines, and is way lower than it was even 10-15 years ago. FOr example, Fedex switched from 727 to 757 a few years ago, and it was fairly easy to notice that 10 PM buzzer is gone..

Airplane noise isn't bad at all here, at least compared to 3rd world countries. We used to live on Brevator right under the approach of the most used runway. The planes were flying fairly low so I could even see our parked car out of a window when I was on a plane.
The airplane noise wasn't bad at all, its the noise from nearby route 85 which was driving me crazy. We ran away from that place as soon as we could afford it.

Noise? what noise? it's only when people come visit do I realize that planes fly over my house..it's so become the fabric of my existence at my house that I don't hear it anymore.

And I'm with Joe--once in awhile I actually hear the sound of a train whistle at night...I find it oddly comforting.

@Lu: Route 85 does seem surprisingly loud. I feel like I hear it all the time.

@Rebecca: I like hearing the train whistle, too.

Planes were definitely noisier in my childhood. Even over on Madison and Lark, I would hear planes at night. Not enough to bother me, but you knew they were passing. Now, I sometimes see their lights, but I never hear them.

I do hear the helicopters coming and going from Albany Med, but that's a necessity and I'm used to it.

And I like the sound of the train at night, too.

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