That remains the case despite the massive growth in the warehousing and logistics industries in Plainfield.
“The thing that drives noise contours is not necessarily growth,” Duncan said. “FedEx has started using larger aircraft. They’re carrying more weight with about the same number of aircraft because they’ve upgraded.”
The company retired its fleet of 727s this summer, which were much noisier and less fuel efficient than the aircraft in use now.
“FedEx has always striven to be a good neighbor and use the quietest aircraft they can put on line as soon as they can,” Duncan said. “They’ve been doing that the last several years.”
Passenger aircraft is less of a concern in the airport’s noise program because most of those flights are during the day. When monitoring noise, a nighttime flight (after 10 p.m.) counts as 10 daytime flights. Noise levels are measured in decibels and the averages weighted over the course of a year.
The average number of flights from IIA is actually decreasing.
“Passenger airlines are pulling back flights through mergers and reducing the amount of capacity that they operate out of the airport,” Duncan said. “We’ve gone over the last three or four years from about 150 flights a day down to maybe 134.”
According to numbers provided by the IAA, the airport’s noise program has reduced complaints from more than 1,000 in 1997 to 23 last year. As well, about 15,000 residents were impacted by aircraft noise levels deemed incompatible with residential use by the Federal Aviation Administration when the noise program was implemented. The IAA estimates that number to be less than 65 now.
The airport’s updated noise exposure map may be viewed online at IndianapolisAirport.com/information_news/NoiseManagement.aspx. Copies also are available at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, 1120 Stafford Road; and the Wayne Township Library, 198 S. Girls School Road.