In Indy, $200 Million For Home Owners May Have Helped

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An investment of nearly $200 million federal and local dollars spent over 20 years has purchased roughly 2,900 acres and 1,200 homes and has, according to one study, made Indianapolis International Airport a friendlier (read: quieter) neighbor. The impact of airplane noise has diminished, according to consultants for the airport authority, but that may have just as much to do with improved jet engine technology as it does with the aforementioned airport-area expenditures. Federal noise studies began at the airport in 1985, soon after FedEx opened a hub there and began sending waves of departures into the night skies. Since then, a series of five-year studies has found that the size of the officially designated noise impact zone continues to shrink. On one side of the airport, the zones have receded nearly two miles closer to the airport. Even some homes no longer in the noise area can qualify for free sound insulation, windows and repairs that are paid by the airport.

That, plus land claimed by the airport and homes purchased from noise-afflicted residents, has helped and so have the efforts of FedEx. Airport Director Robert Duncan told the Indianapolis Star that "FedEx has been replacing its fleet with newer, quieter aircraft." The improvements don't mean that all residents are happy but, at least over 23 years, $200 million can be correlated with an improvement.