San Diego International Airport (SAN) is located in the middle of a bustling downtown area making it in proximity to many homes and businesses. Locals around the airport often refer to a brief pause taken when outside as the “Point Loma pause,” due to aircraft departing or approaching the airport causing loud aircraft noise to fill the air.
But what some locals may not know is SAN has a group of people that work tirelessly each day to analyze and combat aircraft noise on behalf of area residents and businesses. Our Airport Planning & Environmental Affairs division has a noise team that serves two roles. First, to monitor and address aircraft noise issues, and second, to work with residents most affected by aircraft noise through the Quieter Home Program.
The Quieter Home Program is San Diego International Airport’s residential sound insulation program. The FAA has determined that certain residences around SAN may be eligible for sound insulation treatments to mitigate aircraft noise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has set a goal of reducing interior noise levels for eligible residents by at least five decibels inside the home, providing a noticeable noise reduction. The Airport Authority’s Quieter Home Program is the means to obtain that goal.
Recently, we got word that SAN will receive a total of $25,978,156 in two airport safety and infrastructure grants through the FAA for noise mitigation measures. The $25.9 million in grants marks the largest annual amount given to the Airport Authority by the FAA for its Quieter Home Program (QHP) and one of the largest annual amounts given to any airport nationwide.
Primarily, the $25.9 million will go towards sound-insulating approximately 400 to 500 homes per year, depending on the size of the home. QHP recently expanded to sound-insulating non-residential facilities, a portion of this grant will treat two church and preschool facilities in the areas most impacted by aircraft noise. It is estimated that once the program is initiated, one non-residential noise-sensitive property can be sound insulated in one year.
Through the Quieter Home Program, homes may receive retrofitted exterior doors and windows, installation of a ventilation system, and other items such as weather stripping and caulking around openings. Since its inception, the Quieter Home Program has retrofitted more than 4,500 single-family and multi-family residences immediately east and west of the airport. For more information on the Quieter Home Program, please visit san.org/airportnoise.