FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

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General Airport Operations
Sound Mitigation (General)
Noise Exposure Map(NEM)
Noise Compatibility Program Study(NCP)
Voluntary Home Acquisition Program
Voluntary Sound Insulation Program
Miscellaneous

 

General Airport Operations:

 

Sound Mitigation (General):

Q: How will homes on the south side of Kirby Road be affected once the homes on the north side are removed?
A: The homes located on the south side of Kirby Road will be eligible for noise mitigation based upon the FAA approved updated Noise Compatibility Program.

Q: What will happen if a homeowner signs up for the home insulation program and then the F-35s arrive and push the buy-out eligibility line out past that home?
A: Typically, if the noise contour grows and the property is pushed into a higher noise contour, and the home has not been sound insulated, it should be eligible for acquisition, if both communities concur. If the home has received sound insulation treatments and granted an avigation easement, the FAA may not deem the home eligible for acquisition.

Q: How does the “home assurance” program work; is it just a check that the selling homeowners receives?
A: The purchase assurance program ensures that an owner is able to receive full market value for their home on the open market. If the owner receives an offer for less than the full market value, the Airport can provide a differential payment to the owner to ensure their full market value.  The differential payment can be in the form of a number of items which may include cash, home repairs, realtor fees.  Each program is crafted based on the local area.

Q: What happens if refuse to participate in the program?
A: This is a voluntary program. Eligible property owners do not have to participate.

Q: Does the FAA need to be paid back?
A: There is no provision for owners to repay the FAA.

Q: Why is the flight track over Winooski not included in the sound impact area?
A: Mitigation is limited to areas within the DNL 65 dB noise contour. The noise contours are affected by a variety of factors, including aircraft types, frequency of operations, aircraft thrust, aircraft altitude, atmospheric conditions, and whether operations occur at night. Relative to areas within the DNL 65 dB contour, aircraft passing over Winooski have higher altitude and reduced thrust, resulting in a lower sound level.

 

Noise Exposure Map(NEM):

Q: How will the arrival of the F-35 affect the noise maps?
A: New noise maps will need to be generated should the F-35’s begin operations.

Q: Who determined the sound boundary lines?
A: The noise contour was created using the FAA’s approved Integrated Noise Model.

Q: Why is the only basis for the maps computer modeling rather than gathering actual data from the homes on the flight path?
A: While noise measurements can be a valuable tool for assessing noise impact, modeling is preferred for a few reasons. First, measurements can be performed only at a limited number of locations, whereas an assessment of the entire area around the airport is necessary. Second, measurements can be contaminated by noise from other sources (traffic, wildlife), while modeling accounts for aircraft noise only. Third, the noise assessment is based not only on current conditions, but also on a future forecast, so a model is necessary to account for anticipated future conditions.

 

Noise Compatibility Program Study(NCP):

Q: Will FAA fund walls/berms versus home buyout?
A: No. The current grant funds are for the purchase of residential homes.

 

Voluntary Home Acquisition Program:

Q: How will recent improvements made to a home translate into fair market value?
A: Homes will be appraised following federal appraisal guidelines. Homes will be valued at the current market value.  Improvements to homes may be reflected in the overall value of the home but it is not typically a dollar for dollar valuation.

Q: How long will the money be available for each of these programs?
A: The current grant for acquisition of the 39 properties is expected to be a 2-year program. Funding for future programs will be determined once approved by the FAA.

Q: How will offers to purchase be made, how long will the offers be on the table and how long will the homeowner have to make a decision?
A: The owners will be assigned a homeowner agent who will work with them through the entire acquisition/relocation process. Owners will have 30 days to accept the offer to purchase their home.

Q: What happens if not all of the money is spent on the buyouts; can it be held over for the insulation program?
A: If there are funds remaining in the grant, the Airport can apply to amend the grant to utilize the funds for sound insulation.

Q: If you are in the buyout area can you chose insulation instead?
A: This would need to be reviewed by the FAA.

Q: What are the Airport’s plans to do with the acquired land?
A: The intention of the land is for sound mitigation and will be used as a noise buffer as identified on the Airport’s land use reuse plan located on the Burlington International Airport website.

Q: What role can the City of South Burlington and the City Council play in the buyout and subsequent programs?
A: There is no anticipated future buyout program at this point unless agreed upon amongst the two communities.

Q: Are home buyout programs expected to carry on into the future?
A: No. Based on the current noise map, this will be the last acquisition program.

Q: Are home buyouts offered automatically based on the NEM and BTV’s request for noise mitigation funding? That is, is the home insulation program contingent on the buyout of homes within the 75 DNL line? And when the F35s arrive, if the DNL line expands further into the neighborhood, are future home buyout programs to begin expected?
A: The sound insulation program is contingent upon the Airport offering the acquisition program to those homes located in the current grant. The acquisition program is voluntary. The sound insulation program is not contingent upon the owners selling their homes.

Q: Who establishes the Fair Market Value (FMV)?
A: Per Federal requirements, the review appraiser establishes the Fair market Value. The Airport will retain a qualified appraiser who will prepare appraisal which meets federal guidelines.  The appraisal will be reviewed by the review appraiser who will set the FMV for the property.

Q: Can an owner appeal if the offer is not acceptable?
A: Yes, an owner may obtain an appraisal at their own expense. The appraisal must follow the federal guidelines. The Airport will pay for the appraisal to be reviewed by the review appraiser.

Q: Will the Airport “Humanize” the area after the houses are removed?
A: As part of the NCP study, a “humanized contour” will be included for the purpose of homes to receive noise mitigation. This will need to be approved by the FAA in order for those areas to be eligible for mitigation.

Q: How much time is there to accept the offer and relocate?
A: An owner will have 30 days to accept the offer to purchase. They will have 90 days to relocate after the closing.

Q: Does funding include closing costs?
A: Yes, the program will cover the closing costs.

Q: Is there a scenario where the Chamberlin School will be included in the buyout program? If not, what happens if the buyout line is pushed past Chamberlin in the future?
A: The Chamberlin School is not included in the current buyout program. The Airport does not intend to expand the buyout program.

Q: Will the Airport make up the difference between the sold price of a home and the Fair Market Value?
A: The sales assistance program is a potential program for the airport to adopt as part of the NCP. This program is designed to provide the difference between the Fair Market Value and the sales price of the home.

 

Voluntary Sound Insulation Program:

Q: How are homes in the neighborhood that are owned by the Champlain Housing Trust and are in their rental program or in their shared equity program will be treated under the proposed sound insulation program, or how shared equity homes would be treated should their homes be purchased under the buyout program?
A: We will need to examine the ownership documents before rendering a decision on this. We would continue to work with the Champlain Housing Trust and the individual homeowner on these scenarios.

Q: How long will an owner need to stay in his/her home under the insulation program to avoid having to pay any money back?
A: Typically, there is no requirement for owners to pay for acoustical treatments with the exception of the owner withdrawing from the program after the contractor has ordered the acoustical products and before construction has started.

Q: Will there be funding for the Chamberlin School noise insulation?
A: This will be considered as part of the Noise Compatibility Program Update.

Q: How will contractors be selected for the noise insulation program, will there be a vetted list of contractors and how will it be determined what is needed in a home?
A: Federal procurement rules require the construction contract to be publicly bid and awarded to the lowest most responsive and responsible bidder. Homes will be bid in as a group typically in groups of 40 -80 homes, subject to federal funding.

Q: How will the noise insulation program work?
A: After the completion of the Noise Compatibility Program (Scheduled to be completed in 2018), we will reach out and hold public meetings and individual discussions to start the implementation of the insulation program.

Q: Why hasn’t the Airport applied for sound insulation funds?

A: The FAA is requiring the Airport to purchase the homes in the original project area prior to issuing funds for the sound insulation program.

Q: Is the District required to go through the airport for a FAA funded noise study and/or noise mitigation monies? Can the District work with the FAA directly?
A: The School District should coordinate with the Airport to obtain funding once the sound insulation of the school is approved by the FAA in the NCP.

Q: Is there funding available for a noise study (internal and external) at Chamberlin? From what source(s)?  How soon could it be done? How would the process work (timing, activities, and reports)? Would the results of any noise study have any impact on the availability of funds for sound mitigation or moving the school?   Could this study include health and education effects of the noise as opposed to just determining the levels of noise?
A: There is not funding available for sound insulation of the Chamberlin school at this time. The updated Noise Compatibility Program (NCP) can recommend the sound insulation of the school due to its location within 65 DNL noise contour.  Upon FAA approval of the NCP, the Airport can apply for a grant to sound insulate eligible rooms within the school.  Per FAA requirements, a sound test will need to be conducted to document the existing interior noise level is 45 dB or higher based on a number of hours in a school day.

Q: Is a School District owned property treated differently in any way than a residential property? If so, how so?
A: The School District will be treated the same as a residential property owner.

Q: What are mitigation activities for homes within 65 dB contour?
A: Noise mitigation options are being examined as a part of the current Noise Compatibility Plan (NCP) update. The final NCP submittal will have recommended potential noise mitigation options for the properties in the 65 dB.

Q: Could you please provide any information about the residential sound insulation program regarding how it works and what is offered?
A: The Residential Sound Insulation Program is a voluntary program where homes within the 65 dB DNL are potentially eligible for acoustical treatments. The acoustical treatments typically include acoustical window and door products, attic insulation, along with potential ventilation, and miscellaneous acoustical treatments for wall penetrations, walls and ceilings.

Q: If using residential sound insulation techniques, can an individual refuse to sign easement agreement until it is determined interior noise level remains under 45 dB after the F-35’s have arrived?
A: The easement, if implemented, must be signed at the time of participation in a sound insulation program. Depending on completion of the NCP and grants availability properties may be sound insulated before or after the F35s have arrived. Federal regulations require the home to meet the interior noise level goals. If the home does not meet the expect noise reduction, additional actions will be taken to the home to ensure the reduction goal is met.

 

Miscellaneous:

Q: Are the homes/land being purchased to enable a direct road connection to be made with the interstate?
A: Please refer to the Airport’s 2030 Master Plan to visualize the concept of the road connection, which can be found here.

Q: Is the home insulation program contingent on the buyout of homes within the 75 DNL line? And when the F35s arrive, if the DNL line expands further into the neighborhood, are future home buyout programs to begin expected?
A: The FAA requires us to offer the acquisition program and complete the Noise Compatibility Update prior to initiating the sound insulation program. Typically, if the noise contour grows and the property is pushed into a higher noise contour, and the home has not been sound insulated, it should be eligible for acquisition if both communities concur. If the home has received sound insulation treatments and granted an avigation easement, the FAA may not deem the home eligible for acquisition.

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