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RDU Looks at Purchasing Noise Monitoring System

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RALEIGH — Raleigh-Durham International Airport is considering the purchase of a new noise monitoring system, which could bring valuable information to new home buyers and new development planners.

The Triangle will have more planes fly over as the area continues to grow, but there is limited information on how much noise they are making.

It currently takes RDU several months to gather information on aircraft noise levels with its mobile monitoring unit. However, RDU is considering the purchase of a fixed monitoring system that could process noise levels in just a few weeks.

"Most of the large airports in dense metropolitan areas have the system," Airport Authority member Ray Sparrow said. "Most of the smaller airports do not."

However, RDU could not use the new system to keep noise levels down. Current FAA rules forbid airports from introducing any new noise reduction programs.

"The noise that's going to be there will be the same," Sparrow said. "All it will do is to inform the public into what is going on. Actually, it is more of a public relations thing."

With the new system, planners would know more about noise levels at potential developments near the airport before they are approved.

"We feel that this noise monitoring system can provide accurate information to the public," says concerned resident Doug Lintelman. "It should also provide important zoning ideas so that people understand - before they move - that they will have noise from the airport."

The monitoring system ranges in price from $300,000 to $2 million depending on the estimate. The Airport Authority wants a more exact number before they decide on whether to make the purchase.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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