- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A study of noise around the Evansville Regional Airport should be completed next month after complaints from residents since the completion of a major runway project more than a year ago.

The airport hired an engineering firm over the summer to analyze noise readings and use a computer model to produce a contour map that shows noise levels around the airport on the city’s north side. A public meeting is planned for Jan. 14 to discuss those findings, the Evansville Courier & Press reported (http://bit.ly/1Me0l6y ).

“We’ll have more information to give the public at that point,” said Doug Joest, the airport’s executive director. “It’s not the final chapter, but it should have the (study) results.”

About 50 people attended a meeting about the study plans in July, with many people saying airplane noise was affecting their sleep and ability to carry on conversations.

More flights and some larger aircraft have been using the airport since its last noise study in 2010.

That followed the summer 2014 completion of a $66 million project that shifted the airport’s 8,000-foot main runway closer to residential areas just north of the airport. It had to be moved because its southwestern end was too close to the four-lane U.S. 41 to meet new federal safety standards, according to airport officials.

Next month’s meeting won’t offer the final word on the topic, Joest said.

One yet-unknown factor is whether the Federal Aviation Administration will provide money to mitigate noise issues. Generally, noise must reach a certain decibel threshold before the FAA gets involved.

Joest said airport officials likely won’t know before the January meeting whether FAA funding could be available.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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