FAA Awards Grants For Noise Reduction Research


The FAA has awarded $19 million in research grants to 14 U.S. universities to study ways to reduce aviation noise and address other environmental issues. The noise-related projects fall into three categories: looking at sound as it relates to new aircraft; communities; and advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft, drones and rotorcraft. Participating universities include the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.

“Research is the gateway to breakthroughs,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “With the best minds, we can reduce noise and fly with net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The research will be conducted as part of the Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT), which was launched in 2014. In addition to noise studies, ASCENT projects focus on areas such as sustainable aviation fuel, alternative jet fuel supply chains, engine technology, commercial space and environmental measurement. The FAA noted that it has invested over $35 million in ASCENT research this year and more than $130 million since the program began.

A list of ASCENT projects can be found at ascent.aero/projects-by-topic.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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    • Noise complaints around airports would indicate otherwise. Noise reduction is worth spending money on.

  1. Up until recently I’d have thought only incremental changes in noise production could be achieved at this point as pretty much everything has been done already.

    Then MIT came out with the toroidal propellers which really do seem like they may be better in some respects. Quieter and perhaps more efficient. They will obviously have serious downsides, everything in aviation is a compromise but they are interesting.