Airplane Noise - HMMH Noise Monitoring Study Results & 12/18 Workshop Announcement

The City has received a number of airplane noise complaints from residents subsequent to the implementation of the “Southern California Metroplex NextGen Project” (NextGen) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at John Wayne Airport (JWA) in Spring 2017. https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/what_is_nextgen/ Residents under or close to historic flight paths tell us they can see or hear differences in flight patterns, which has adversely impacted their quality of life.

The most common:

  • NextGen has exacerbated the airplane noise experienced by Laguna Niguel residents.
  • NextGen has resulted in an increase in number of flights over the City, particularly the Laguna Sur area, due to flights departing from JWA, heading in an offshore direction, turning east earlier than under historic fight paths (referred to as “cutting the corner”).
  • NextGen has resulted in planes flying at a lower altitude over Laguna Niguel.

While the FAA has the sole authority to control air traffic, the City has and will continue to monitor and collaborate with JWA staff, FAA officials, the County of Orange, and neighboring cities to support actions that protect community residents from the impacts of airplane overflights. In addition to these partnering efforts, the City has independently retained Harris, Miller, Miller & Hansen (HMMH), an environmental consulting firm which specializes in the science of acoustics and noise modeling, to perform an overflight noise monitoring study. The results of the study, which are summarized in a Technical Memorandum dated November 27, 2018, are available for review on the City’s website. Although the aircraft noise issue is complex and highly technical and the noise monitoring results collected constitutes a small sample size, the aircraft noise levels observed were not significantly higher than the corresponding community (ambient) noise levels.

A summary of the noise monitoring performed by HMMH will be presented at a City Council workshop meeting on December 18, 2018 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall, within the City Council Chambers, located at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, 92677. All interested parties are invited to attend. The City’s consultant, HMMH, will be in attendance to answer questions related to the noise monitoring study.

Airplane Noise - 12/18 Noise Monitoring Study Workshop Summary

On December 18, 2018, the City hosted a public workshop to present the results of the overflight noise monitoring study performed by HMMH. The meeting generally consisted of City staff providing background on the FAA’s “Southern California Metroplex NextGen Project” (NextGen) and providing an overview of JWA flight activity over Laguna Niguel for the dates in which the noise monitoring was conducted. A summary of the results and conclusions of the noise monitoring study were then provided by HMMH. Please refer to the following link for the PowerPoint presentation. 

Following the presentation, public comments concerning aircraft noise and the study were provided by residents. Discussion subsequently ensued amongst the City Council. Takeaways from the workshop included the City encouraging air carriers to purchase or lease quieter new generation aircrafts in the future and to continuing to monitor and support efforts to minimize aircraft noise impacts on Laguna Niguel residents.