HOME OWNERS PRAISE BUFFALO
NIAGARA NOISE PROGRAM
Airport seeks balance between comfort for neighborhoods and development | By Rachel Kleinfelder and Mark Clark
Airports must weigh the impact of aircraft noise on local residents against the conomic growth that aviation brings to a community.
This need to find a balance between comfort
for local neighborhoods and development of the
area’s economy prompted the Niagara Frontier
Transportation Authority (NFTA), owner of Buffalo
Niagara International Airport (BNIA), in 2005 voluntarily to launch a noise compatibility program.
This $60 million initiative is enhancing the lives
of the airport’s neighbors, one house at a time.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to partner with
our community, and this was one way we could,”
said Bill Vanecek, director of aviation at BNIA. He
noted that since area residents are affected by the air-
port’s growth, “It was extremely important to us to be
able to minimize such impacts to our community to
the greatest degree possible.”
As FAA requires on all noise mitigation pro-
grams, a Part 150 noise study of neighboring resi-
dences was conducted that determined approxi-
mately 1,000 houses experienced airport noise of
at least 65 decibels per Day-Night Average Sound
Level (dB DNL), a fact that was reaffirmed when
BNIA updated its noise exposure map in 2011.
Based on the original findings, the NFTA, in conjunction with BNIA, established a noise mitigation
program with the goal of reducing the sound level
at these houses by at least 5dB, and to below 45dB
inside the homes.
This reduction in noise levels is achieved
through a comprehensive assessment, analysis and
recommendation package for each house. Specific
noise reduction measures include window and
door replacement, insulation, HVAC and electrical
“This program was unique, in that not only were
more than 3,000 community residents affected by the
program, but also our mitigation projects included
a church and school, so both parishioners and stu-
dents benefited as well,” said Eric Coomey, project
manager at C&S Companies, which worked with
the airport to implement the program. “Working on
two buildings that have such specific needs and are
cornerstones in the community put extra pressure on
any noise program to ensure that a high quality prod-
uct was delivered. I’m proud to say we’ve delivered.”
Our Lady Help of Christians Church now boasts
new doors, windows and HVAC systems, all of
which fit into the church’s distinctive architecture.
Taxpayers in Maryvale Primary School’s district