Noise mitigation program brings quiet to homes near Gulfport airport

Noise mitigation program brings quiet to homes near Gulfport airport

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The sound of jet engines can bring excitement if you are going on a trip or expecting a visit from a relative. But if you’re trying to sleep, it can be a pain. But homeowners who live in the path of the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport can now rest better.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently completed a noise mitigation program in Gulfport that to make things quieter for those residents and for one school in the area.

Fifteen years ago, the FAA awarded a $40 million grant to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport to help reduce that noise.

“So the FAA comes out, and they do surveys utilizing contractors and there’s a noise contour map that is created,” explained the airport’s executive director Clay Williams. “They look at the amount of noise that is created in a certain area of the community, which is in proximity of the airport, and they come in and they insulate accordingly.”

The Harrison County Child Development Center is on the southern approach to the airport and while children may enjoy seeing the planes fly over, it could also be frightening.

“The vibrations when the planes go over tended to shake the windows and that doesn’t happen anymore and that’s kind of scary particularly when you’re in the classroom,” said the center’s principal Rebecca Parker. “When you have children and they see those windows shaking, it startles them.”

The school’s classrooms received new double-paned windows and acoustic tiles to eliminate those problems.

In all, the program made changes to 790 homes and 18 apartments; 311 homeowners declined to have any work done.

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