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Airports receive funds to become quieter neighbors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta commemorated Earth Day this week by announcing that the Bush Administration will provide $307 million in grants this year to soundproof homes and schools and combat noise pollution near airports in at least 29 communities across America.

The secretary noted that the federal funds will go directly to airports to help combat noise. Federal money will pay for sound insulation for homes located near airports, noise barriers near runways and taxiways and enhanced noise tracking systems to monitor engine sound levels.

Airports also may use the funds to acquire land to create larger boundaries between airports and communities, contour airfields differently to reduce noise and take other measures that will help nearby neighborhoods.

“We’ve worked hard to make jet engines quieter and to reduce the number of people affected by aircraft noise,” said Mineta. “These investments will bring a little more peace and quiet to people with airports in their neighborhoods.”

Among those communities receiving federal funds this year to combat noise are Louisville International-Standiford Field in Kentucky ($18 million); Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass., ($12 million); Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington ($10.1 million); San Diego International in California ($8 million); and Ted Stevens Anchorage International in Alaska ($7 million).

The $307 in noise mitigation grants are being awarded by the Department’s Federal Aviation Administration. Twenty-nine communities already have been informed that they will receive the federal funds totaling $118 million, while an additional $189 million will be awarded over the coming months.

“Airports and the jobs they bring are important to the health of nearby communities,” said Secretary Mineta. “This work allows us to achieve balance between important economic growth at airports and airport neighbors’ quality of life.”

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