Community Relations
MAA Website | Contact Us
Black-eyed Susan flowers
Oriole

Homeowners Assistance Programs

Program Overview

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.

Next Phase

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.

The Maryland Environmental Noise Act of 1974 provides for the protection of citizens from the impact of transportation related noise. The aviation portion of the Act requires the MAA to create an ANZ to control incompatible land development around BWI Marshall and a Noise Abatement Plan (NAP) to minimize the impact of aircraft noise on people living near the Airport. An ANZ and NAP were first established for BWI Marshall in 1976; and were updated in 1982, 1988, 1993, and 1998. An updated ANZ was certified on November 6, 2007.wrkwyqrw

The ANZ is determined by a composite of three noise contours: a base year contour, a five-year forecast, and a ten-year forecast. The largest of the three contours in any area around the Airport determines the Noise Zone, thereby offering protection within the largest of the existing or future noise exposure contours. The MAA uses the ANZ to control incompatible land development around the Airport.

The contours depict the Day-Night Average Sound Level (abbreviated Ldn or DNL) around BWI Marshall. Both the State of Maryland and the FAA require the use of the DNL metric by all airports conducting environmental studies. The FAA also requires the use of its standard computer model for developing noise contours, called the Integrated Noise Model (INM).

2007 BWI Airport Noise Zone Contour

Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150, “Airport Noise Compatibility Planning,” provides the methodology and procedures to be used in preparing aircraft noise exposure maps and developing airport land use compatibility programs. Conducting a Part 150 study qualifies airport operators for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant funds for homeowner assistance programs. Upon approval of the Part 150 study for Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport by the FAA, funding will be available to the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) for programs such as soundproofing, resale assurance, or the purchase of homes and schools where aircraft noise exceeds federal standards.

For additional information about the status of the Part 150 study for Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), choose from the following:

The Martin State Airport (MTN) Noise Zone was established in 1977 in response to the 1974 Maryland Environmental Noise Act. This act requires the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) to adopt an Airport Noise Zone to prevent further incompatible land development around Martin State Airport and to minimize the impact of aircraft noise on people living near the airport.

The noise environment around an airport is described by contours of equal noise exposure, representing the noise that occurs during an average 24-hour day, in terms of the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL, Ldn).

The MAA routinely conducts airport-related noise sampling at selected locations around MTN, advising the surrounding communities of any significant changes through Neighbors' Committee Meetings and public meetings when the Airport Noise Zone is being updated.

In 1985, the MAA began a program to acquire residential properties with cumulative noise levels of 75 Ldn or greater. In 1988, the MAA completed a Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 Study and expanded the program to homeowners residing in communities that were exposed to cumulative noise levels of 70-75 Ldn. Properties which were determined to be impacted, became eligible for federal noise mitigation funds. Property owners, who volunteer to participate, were paid fair market value for their property at its highest and best use, and were provided relocation assistance. Properties located in areas whose day-night average sound level (Ldn) was greater than 70, as determined by Airport Noise Zone contours, were eligible for this program provided the property has been zoned by local government to transition from residential.

Progress as of March 31, 2008

Eligible properties
Properties acquired to date
Properties in process or on waiting list
Homeowners who have declined participation
Homeowners who have not applied
Acquisition expenditures to date
* The Voluntary Noise Acquisition Program is no longer active.
343
250
0
49
44
$40.9 Million

School Sound-Proofing Program

The school sound insulation program was completed in 1991 by providing sound insulation at four schools which were re-furbished to reduce interior noise levels. The total cost of the program was $9.3 million.

Relocation of Ridgewood Mobile Home Park

In August of 1998 the MAA began the relocation of the residents of the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park. The Park was located within the DNL 65 contour, as determined by the 1998 Airport Noise Zone. The Park land was purchased at a price of $6.35 million for 72 + acres. 122 families resided in the Park at the time of MAA’s purchase; there were a total of 140 mobile homes in the Park. The program was completed in March 2000 at a total cost of 9.7 million.

In April 1987, the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) initiated the Homeowner Assistance Pilot Program for areas surrounding the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI) Airport. The pilot program included two methods of dealing with homeowner problems and improving land use compatibility in the airport area, a Sound Insulation Project and a Resale Assurance Project.

Under the Sound Insulation Project, existing houses were modified to make aircraft noise less intrusive. By replacing windows and doors with new components specifically designed to reduce sound transmission, increasing the mass/weight of some walls and in general, sealing cracks and crevices that act as entry paths for sound energy, the interior noise levels in these houses were significantly reduced. Additional ventilation systems and/or central air conditioning were installed to ensure fresh air circulation since insulating the houses results in less outside air (as well as noise) leaking into the building.

The Resale Assurance Project* was designed to financially assist homeowners who wished to move out of the Noise Zone by guaranteeing that they would receive fair resale value for their homes.

All phases of the pilot effort are now complete, and an ongoing Homeowner Assistance Program was established under a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration through the completion of a Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 Study. The Study identified homeowners residing in communities that were exposed to cumulative noise levels of 70-75 Ldn. Properties which were determined to be impacted, became eligible for federal noise mitigation funds to provide sound insulation through modifications to their homes, with a goal of reducing interior noise levels to an average of 45 Ldn. In 2007-2008 the MAA updated its Part 150 Study which expanded eligibility to homeowners exposed to cumulative noise levels of 65 Ldn, although the overall noise contours have been reduced considerably due the phase out of older noisier aircraft. The sound insulation option is the only program currently active.

Progress as of March 31, 2008

Eligible properties
Properties completed
Sound-Proofed
Resale Assurance Program*
Properties in process or on waiting list
Sound-Proofing
Resale Assurance Program*
Homeowners who have not applied
Homeowners Assistance expenditures to date
* The Resale Assurance Program is no longer active.
902
750
637
113
38
38
0
114
$21.5 Million

Translation Disclaimer

Privacy Statement
John D. Porcari - Secretary Martin O'Malley - Governer, and Anthony G. Brown - Lt. Governor Maryland Aviation Administration website Maryland Department of Transportation website Maryland Aviation Administration website