The California Airport Noise Standards (Title 21, Subchapter 6 of the California Code of Regulations) requires that all public use airports have no incompatible land uses located within their 65 dB CNEL (Community Noise Equivalent Level) noise contour. (A noise contour is a continuous line on a map that represents equal levels of noise exposure). Incompatible land uses are defined as residences, schools, hospitals/convalescent homes, and houses of worship. If an airport has any incompatible land uses within its 65 dB CNEL contour, it is required to mitigate those incompatible land uses through sound insulation or land acquisition/recycling.
LAWA Soundproofing Office administered the sound insulation program for residences located in the City of Los Angeles eligible for sound insulation. LAWA Environmental Services Division administers the Sound Insulation Grant Program for non-City of Los Angeles jurisdictions around LAX.
LAWA Residential Acquisition Program administers the voluntary acquisition of residences within the noise-impacted Manchester Square and Airport-Belford areas near LAX.
LAWA ESD provides grants to the to the following non-City of Los Angeles jurisdictions around the airport for noise mitigation of eligible residences within their boundaries:
- City of El Segundo (Sound Insulation only)
- City of Inglewood (Sound Insulation and Land Acquisition)
- County of Los Angeles for the unincorporated communities of Lennox, Athens, and Del Aire (Sound Insulation only)
The ESD Sound Insulation Grant Program provides grant funding to the above mentioned jurisdictions to match grants issued to them by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Part 150 AIP Grant Program. LAWA is required to provide 20% of the funding with the FAA providing 80%. However, over the years these programs have been in existence, LAWA typically provided more than the required 20% match. Under the provisions of the LAX Master Plan Stipulated Settlement Agreement, LAWA agreed to provide up to $22.5 million per year to be split between the three jurisdictions through Calendar Year 2015, up to a maximum total of $180 million.
Sound insulation is provided at no cost to the homeowner for eligible residences.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SOUND INSULATION
LAX uses a fixed noise contour to determine eligibility for sound insulation. As directed by the FAA, the current LAX Eligibility Contour is the 2015 Alternative D 65 dB CNEL noise contour of the 2005 LAX Master Plan Final EIR/EIS (Alt D Contour). The Alt D Contour is a "planning contour" that used the five-year projected forecast of aircraft operations at LAX as determined in the LAX Master Plan EIR/EIS. This contour was produced in accordance with the requirements of Part 150 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, (Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)). Noise measured by the LAX noise monitoring system, or by the use of short term noise monitoring using portable monitors, cannot be used to determine the size or shape of the eligibility contour, or to revise the current LAX Eligibility Contour.
Formerly, LAX used the 4th Quarter of 1992 Quarterly Report 65 dB CNEL contour (4Q92 Contour) as the fixed contour to determine eligibility. The 4Q92 Contour, while larger than the Alt D Contour, was too old, was not a planning contour, and did not comply with FAA regulations. At the direction of the FAA, the 4Q92 Contour is being phased out and will no longer be used after December 31, 2015. The FAA is allowing LAWA to use its own revenue to sound insulate properties within both the 4Q92 and the 60 dB contour of the Alt D Contour until December 31, 2015. The use of this contour is limited to residences already "in the pipeline" for sound insulation. Beginning January 1, 2016 only the Alt D Contour can be used to determine eligibility for sound insulation.
To view a map comparing the Alt D and 4Q92 contours, please click here.
It is possible a new soundproofing eligibility contour could be established in the future as a result of potential upcoming LAX airfield construction projects. Additional soundproofing could take place in the future if a newer updated 65 dB CNEL noise contour map is established, either by a Part 150 Noise Exposure Map update, or by a Federal Environmental Assessment performed pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of an LAX airfield construction project .
LAX AIRCRAFT NOISE MITIGATION PROGRAM - CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Beginning in 1997, LAWA implemented the Airport Residential Soundproofing Program (RSP) for aircraft noise impacted areas in the City of Los Angeles. Funding for this program was made available by LAWA. LAWA installed acoustic modifications to lessen the effects of aircraft noise in impacted homes adjacent to LAX.
The program covered residential buildings in areas of the City of Los Angeles that are in the 65 dB CNEL noise contour shown on the 4Q92 Contour map, which is now obsolete.
The LA City RSP began in 1997 with implementation of the first soundproofing project in Playa del Rey and Westchester. At that time, LAWA opened a community office in Westchester, which remained open to the public until September 2009. Two demonstration homes, one in each of the areas included in the City's RSP in Westchester and South Los Angeles, were used to showcase the noise mitigation products available to homeowners. After an extensive outreach effort to contact all eligible homeowners, the final deadline for participation in the program was issued for June 1, 2010. During the duration of the program, LAWA soundproofed over 7,300 residential dwelling units in the City of Los Angeles near LAX.
At this time, the LA City RSP is complete and soundproofing is not offered to new participants. LAWA understands there are some homeowners in the City who feel that their homes are impacted by aircraft noise but missed the deadline to participate in the program. Furthermore, LAX is in the process of undertaking major projects which may result in noise contour changes, which may lead to additional soundproofing in the future once a new 65 dB CNEL noise contour map is established for noise mitigation. At such time as a new noise mitigation area is selecte those properties within the selected contour that missed the deadline will also be included in any new program.
You may still contact the LAX Soundproofing Office at (424) 646-7444 with any questions.
LAX AIRCRAFT NOISE MITIGATION PROGRAMS - OTHER JURISDICTIONS
Los Angeles County Residential Sound Insulation Program
The Los Angeles County’s Residential Sound Insulation Program covers eligible properties in unincorporated county areas affected by aircraft noise. To be eligible for sound insulation the property must be located within the eligibility contour in Lennox, Del Aire and Athens. For more information call (626) 586-1797, (626) 586-1798 or (626) 586-1815., or visit the LA County web site at: http://www3.lacdc.org/CDCWebsite/EHD/Programs.aspx?id=5335 to see if your residence is eligible.
City of Inglewood Residential Sound Insulation Program
The City of Inglewood has worked for years to mitigate the exposure of its residents to the high noise levels generated by aircraft arriving at LAX. For more information call (310) 412-5289, or visit the City of Inglewood web site at: www.cityofinglewood.org/depts/airportnoise/default.asp to see if your residence is eligible.
City of El Segundo Residential Sound Insulation Program
The City of El Segundo established its Residential Sound Insulation Program to offer owners of residential properties impacted by aircraft noise from LAX aircraft operations to reduce noise within their homes. For more information, call (310) 524-2377, or visit the City of El Segundo web site at: http://www.elsegundo.org/depts/planningsafety/residential_sound_insulation_program/default.asp to see if your residence is eligible.