HNTB awarded noise compatibility study for Boise Airport

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Noise conditions and potential land use options will be examined during 18-month Part 150 Study.

HNTB will perform a voluntary comprehensive noise compatibility study of the Boise Airport and surrounding areas, funded in part by the FAA.

The result will be an in-depth study that benefits the city and the airport and provides guidance for future noise mitigation and land-use decisions.

HNTB Corporation has been selected by the City of Boise — operator of the Boise Airport — to perform a voluntary comprehensive noise compatibility study of the airport and surrounding areas. This project, a follow-on to similar work HNTB completed in 2005, will provide the basis for future noise reduction and land-use decisions.

Building on HNTB’s experience at the airport and findings of the previous study, the project will proceed on an accelerated schedule, taking 18 months to complete. It will include analysis of current noise conditions as well as estimates of noise five years in the future. Additional analysis will include potential land-use options for properties previously and potentially purchased to mitigate aviation noise impacts.

Uniquely, the study also will examine potential effects of future military aircraft operations on the communities surrounding the airport as the future mission of the Idaho Air National Guard, which currently operates a training program for A-10 aircraft at Boise Airport, is contemplated at a national level.

“We are honored that the City of Boise has selected our team to conduct this study,” said Kim Hughes, PE, HNTB aviation environmental planning practice leader. “The result will be an in-depth study that benefits the city and the airport and provides guidance for future noise mitigation and land-use decisions.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, which is providing partial funding for this voluntary study, establishes guidelines for land use in and around airports. The study process includes modeling aircraft noise exposure by taking the average of all sounds emitted by planes in a 24-hour period, with emphasis placed on aircraft noise during nighttime hours. The results are measurements and predictions of aircraft noise referred to as day-night average noise levels, or DNL, expressed in decibels.

A public outreach program will solicit feedback from communities around the airport during development of the study — officially known by the FAA as a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. Additionally, follow-up meetings will be held after the report has been drafted to share the results and provide insight to the communities on land use.

“HNTB’s previous experience at the Boise Airport, as well as the firm’s expertise in aviation and environmental planning, made us the perfect choice for this Part 150 Study,” said Hans Conradt, PE, HNTB senior aviation project manager and Boise Airport client service leader. “We look forward to working with the city and airport officials to deliver a comprehensive report that will be a roadmap for future decisions.”

Previously, the firm has performed noise studies at airports including Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Denver International Airport and, most recently, Westover Metropolitan Airport in Massachusetts.

“This Part 150 Study further adds to the firm’s growing aviation portfolio and environmental experience,” said Laddie Irion, HNTB aviation market sector leader. “We are honored to continue our work at the Boise Airport to support the city’s current and future aviation and land-use goals.”

HNTB was recently ranked as the No. 1 U.S. airport design firm in Roads & Bridges magazine’s 2014 Go-To List, as preferred by the publication’s readers. The firm’s many signature and award-winning aviation projects include design of the award-winning “Green Build” terminal expansion at San Diego International Airport; engineering and design services at Los Angeles World Airports; design and construction management of the FAA’s runway status light program and design of the runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors. Celebrating a century of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit

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