Imagine how noisy life must be for the families who live near Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Dozens of times a day, planes take off or land near their homes. To mute the noise, the FAA launched its Residential Sound Insulation Program last year. And now, eligible homeowners who sign up for the program are throwing away their earplugs.
Just as airport director Bruce Frallic was explaining the program, a plane roared toward the runway at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Its engines were so loud, Frallic couldn't be heard.
"That gives you some idea of the proximity of this house to the airport," he said after the engine noise faded away.
The house sits on McGuire Circle. It's owned by Michael Parman. Roughly 70,000 times a year, planes takeoff and land across the street from his backyard.
"At about 6:20 in the morning, whether we were awake or not, we wake up because the Northwest Airlines taking off," Parmer laughed.
Parmer has one of the 44 homes near the Gulfport airport that recently received new doors and new windows through the FAA's Noise Compatibility Program.
Frallic said the windows have "special seals and insulation and different materials between the metal clatting that protects the interior from any exterior noise."
For the Parmers, the FAA's $30,000 investment has reduced noise and cut costs. Initial power bills are down 13 percent since the windows and doors arrived. On top of that, the couple no longer has to crank up the TV when planes fly by.
"Like I say, we can carry on a conversation, TV, phone calls without having to stop what we're doing," the retired Marine said.
Down the street, Kellie Smith also has the noise proof windows.
"Absolutely, the noise level has been greatly reduced," she said in an airport news release.
So far, 151 homeowners have agreed to have the noise compatible doors and windows added to their properties. Nearly 900 homes around Gulfport Biloxi International Airport are eligible for the noise compatibility program. Airport leaders say It will take about eight years to fit every home with the proper sound insulation.