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Live near the airport? More money coming San Diego’s way for reducing noise

A jet takes off from San Diego International Airport over Point Loma in 2018.
(File)

FAA awards more than $18 million to be used for insulating homes, including in Point Loma and Ocean Beach.

An $18 million federal grant awarded this week to San Diego International Airport will likely come as welcome news to many homeowners who have long put up with aircraft noise.

The award from the Federal Aviation Administration — the second-largest sum awarded to California airports — will be used to insulate hundreds of homes in a specified geographic area surrounding the airport where it has been determined they are exposed to noise levels of 65 decibels or more.

Point Loma and Ocean Beach are among the communities within the program’s geographic boundaries, as are Bankers Hill, Golden Hill and South Park.

Under what is known as the Quieter Home Program, qualifying residences can receive retrofitted exterior doors and windows, installation of a ventilation system or other items, such as weather stripping and caulking around openings. The $18 million will cover 200 to 400 homes depending on size, as well as one non-residential property, said airport spokeswoman Sabrina LoPiccolo.

The grant amount, she said, represents the largest sum the airport has ever been awarded by the FAA for its Quieter Home Program.

The insulation efforts are intended to fulfill the FAA’s goal of lowering interior noise levels for eligible residents by at least 5 decibels.

For the first time since implementing the Quieter Home Program, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority will be starting a non-residential program to insulate properties such as schools and churches. It is estimated that one non-residential property can be insulated for sound per year.

“This is wonderful news for San Diego and the Quieter Home Program,” said Kimberly Becker, Airport Authority president and chief executive. “These funds provide us with the ability to help residents in the areas most impacted by aircraft noise.”

Since its inception, the Quieter Home Program has retrofitted more than 4,300 single-family and multifamily residences immediately east and west of the airport.

Homeowners interested in getting some help reducing noise in their residences can submit an application to the Airport Authority. If deemed eligible, homeowners will be placed on a waiting list. Priority is given to those living in areas with the loudest noise and those with the longest length of ownership.

In all, the FAA doled out more than $1.2 billion in airport safety and infrastructure grants to 405 airports in 50 states and six U.S. territories. Among California airports, San Diego’s grant was behind Long Beach, which received $27.3 million for taxiway construction, and ahead of Los Angeles.


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