The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall Airport) is owned and operated by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA). To help mitigate the effects of aircraft noise within areas surrounding BWI Marshall Airport, MDOT MAA initiated a Homeowner Assistance Program in 1987 in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This voluntary program included a residential sound insulation program and a resale assurance program. More than 700 homeowners have participated in these programs. In exchange for participation, homeowners provided MDOT MAA with an avigation easement recorded on the parcel for air rights acknowledging the passage of aircraft overhead.
The Homeowners Assistance Program is currently on hiatus as MDOT MAA prepares for the next phase of the residential sound insulation program which is anticipated to begin in the 2019/2020 timeframe. The resale assurance program was concluded in 2008.
MDOT MAA’s residential sound insulation program is guided by Federal regulations, including defining initial eligibility as being within the Day Night Average Sound Level (DNL) 65 dB noise contour of BWI Marshall Airport’s Part 150 Study. Noise greater than DNL 65 dB is what the FAA considers as the threshold for residential land use compatibility around airports. The objective of the sound insulation program is to reduce the interior noise levels within eligible residential dwelling units to at least 45 dB with a minimum 5 dB reduction by installing new acoustically-rated windows, doors, ventilation, and other customized treatments approved by the FAA. More information on BWI Marshall Airport’s Part 150 Study is located here.
BWI Marshall Airport’s FAA-accepted forecast Noise Exposure Map (NEM) for the year 2019 identified a number of single-family residential properties and multi-family structures (apartments, duplexes and condominiums) that are located within the DNL 65 dB noise contour and thus potentially eligible for sound insulation. Eligibility for those homes within the DNL 65 dB NEM is also subject to acoustical testing of the structure. MDOT MAA will be preparing updated NEMs beginning in 2019, and upon FAA acceptance, the updated NEMs will be used to update or refine the geographic limits of program eligibility.