Noise Simulator For The Locals

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Simulators aren't just for those who fly airplanes; they're also for those who have to listen to them. The city of Eagan, adjacent to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, is preparing its citizens for the October 2005 opening of a new runway at MSP by holding a series of open houses in which the simulated sounds of aircraft taking off from the new runway are played for the audience. The soundtrack includes newer, less-noisy Stage 3 aircraft and their much-louder ancestors. "It's designed to provide a new level of understanding and put it concretely in their minds what may happen in October," said Melissa Scovronski, the noise-program relations specialist for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Those for whom a simulation won't cut it can also get an idea of what it's going to be like at their house by visiting a residence that is already under the flight path of an existing runway. Residents who think they might be bothered by the noise can visit the Metropolitan Airports Commission Web site and type in their address. The computer program will cross-match their location in relation to the new runway with an address that is already experiencing what they will experience in October.