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Phase Four of Oakland International Airport's Sound Insulation Program Set To Begin

Phase Four of Oakland International Airport’s Sound Insulation Program Set To Begin

Press Releases
February 10th, 2004

OAKLAND, CA, February 10, 2004 – Oakland International Airport (OAK) and 100 city of Alameda homeowners today are finalizing documents that will begin Phase Four of the airport’s $20 million sound insulation program. Approximately 586 townhouses and 32 single-family homes on Alameda’s Bay Farm Island are eligible to participate in this voluntary program.</>

To date, OAK has nearly completed construction on the first 300 homes and plans to begin construction on the next 100 homes shortly. Applications for Phase Five are still being accepted with construction planned to begin later this year. If there is continued interest in the program, OAK will offer a sixth and final phase of construction.

The sound insulation program is a multi-phase program that replaces all windows and sliding glass doors with special acoustical, double-pane units; provides weather-stripping for exterior doors and replaces hollow core doors; modifies fireplace openings and dampers; and provides fresh air makeup to the existing heating system. In exchange for these home improvements, homeowners are required to sign a limited noise easement and construction agreement. All construction materials comply with each homeowner’s association requirements.

In fall 1999, four homeowners participated in a pilot sound insulation program to evaluate the effectiveness of the insulation with the goal to bring the homes into compliance with the State’s requirement for interior noise levels of 45 decibels community noise equivalent level (CNEL) or less. Homes with the acoustical enhancements have achieved, on average, a decrease in interior noise level of 5.6 decibels.

“The insulation improvements to the completed homes have been enthusiastically received by the homeowners and have exceeded our expectations,” said noise management officer Carole Wedl. “Our outreach efforts will continue because we want to provide all eligible homeowners with the opportunity to participate before funding for the program goes away.”

The $20 million program is funded by a grant from the federally-monitored Airport Improvement Program, a program that provides funds for capital improvements at airports and is funded through taxes from passenger tickets and aviation fuel. Additional funding comes from the $4.50 passenger facility charge levied on the tickets of all departing passengers.

With the multi-phase program nearly half-way completed, construction on the homes participating in the fourth phase of the program is expected to begin in Spring 2004, with construction taking about two weeks per home. Eligible homes are accepted into the program on a “first come, first served” basis.

The eligibility area, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, is based on the 65-decibel CNEL contour for Oakland International Airport for calendar year 1995. The area encompasses residences located south of Fir and Oleander Avenues. Residences in that area built after 1976 are not eligible for the program because of existing insulation and avigation easement agreements.

“OAK monitors daily the exterior noise levels in the communities neighboring the airport,” added Wedl. “While the noise contour has decreased since the mid-1990s as aircraft have gotten quieter, we felt it was vital to our relationship with the community to soundproof these homes. The homeowners tell us there is a noticeable difference in their comfort and quality of life.”

OAK has served the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 75 years and is responsible for $4.5 billion in economic activity annually in the San Francisco Bay Area, generating over 70,000 jobs for the region. OAK is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the City of Oakland, and served 13.6 million travelers in 2003.

The airport has over 200 flights a day on 11 domestic and international carriers to 37 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, the Hawaiian Islands, New York, Washington, D.C., and Mexico and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Costa Rica and Sun Valley, Idaho.

OAK consistently has the fewest weather-related flight delays in the Bay Area. All on-airport rental car companies are now located at the interim Rental Car Center at 7600 Earhart Road. A common-use shuttle bus transports rental car customers between this facility and the terminals every 10 minutes. Travelers are reminded that the 98th Avenue corridor is open to both inbound and outbound traffic creating a fast, direct route to and from Interstate 880. Visit the airport’s web site at oaklandairport.com for more information.