Road and aviation noise in decibels. Source: DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Maps show metro Atlanta exposure to airport, highway noise

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics has released new maps showing areas affected by airport and highway noise.


The maps show the noise impact in a large swath around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as well as areas around DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Cobb’s McCollum Field, Charlie Brown Field in Fulton County and Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field. The maps also show impact of noise from highways. 

 According to the DOT, more than 97 percent of the U.S. population could be exposed to noise from airports and highways at levels below 50 decibels — which the DOT says is similar to the noise level of a humming refrigerator. 

 The DOT says a fraction of 1 percent of the population could be exposed to noise levels of 80 decibels or more from airports and highways based on the average sound level for the day– equivalent to a garbage disposal, according to the DOT’s data for 2014.

 The map data help understand “what-if scenarios” and help “to prioritize noise-related transportation investments,” the DOT says. 

College Park city councilman Ambrose Clay gives a brief statement on the recently passed referenda calling for new airport noise exposure measures and improved noise insulation for affected residents. (David Barnes/AJC)

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