Community Tools

Our Community Tools section includes: Guidance for Prospective Home Buyers, information about How an Aircraft Works, a listing of Frequently Asked Questions, a Link and Learn page for learners of all ages to find out more about aviation, noise, the environment and science, and a Glossary of Terms.

These tools include:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When buying a new home, there are many things to be considered. Location is one of very high importance. Prospective home buyers should be informed consumers.

This guideline will help prospective buyers ask the right questions to help them make informed choices about their home purchase.

Suggestions to find an airport nearby:

  • Check the local area to see if there is an airport and identify the size as any size can impact the community.
  • Verify its location in reference to the new home. Is the community or city eyeing a new piece of property to build a new airport?
  • Check online to find flight schedules for departure and arrival times so you can plan a visit to the home during busy times.

Suggestions for meeting with a real estate agent or owner:

The following is a list of suggestions to initiate a discussion of variables that will affect your satisfaction with your potential new home. Be sure to ask the real estate agent or owner about any additional concerns you may have.

  • Visit the home multiple times, on different days, at different times - This will increase your chances at experiencing aircraft flights overhead to see what impact it would have on daily life.
  • Visit the inside as well as the outside of the house during these visits.
  • Make sure the realtor doesn't persuade you to visit during off-peak times or just times that are convenient to the realtor.

In addition:

  • Be specific and be sure to ask your realtor, the neighbors, and the current owner if possible, about aircraft noise. Also inquire about any existing complaints or easements attached to the house deed. If so, this means that the house is within 65 DNL or CNEL, or in very close proximity to the airport. Read the easement so you are aware of noise complaint procedures.
  • Contact the nearest or biggest airport to find out more about potential noise issues. Be sure to ask:
    • How large are the aircraft using the airport.
    • How often do they fly over the area where your potential home is located?
    • What time of day do they fly over the area where your potential home is located?
    • Are there any existing complaints or ongoing discussions with the community related to noise?
  • What insulation does the home have?
    • Is it a minimum for sound insulated homes? Please see the section on sound insulation.
    • Is the home in a current insulation treatment area?
      • If so, has it been treated?
      • When was it treated?
      • What materials were used?
      • Obtain a list of what was treated?
      • Are the measurements before and after treatment?
      • Or has the previous owner declined treatment?
        • If the owner declined, do you know why?
        • When the owner declined, does that mean that the residence is no longer eligible for treatment?
        • Does the new owner have to wait a certain amount of time before requesting treatment?
    • Was the home subject to a one time treatment or was there more than one treatment? If there was more than one treatment, why?
  • Does the airport have a current master plan? Does the airport have a part 150 study?
    • If so, get access to it to determine airport's plans for growth.
      • Where does your residence fall within the current contours?
      • Where will your residence reside after the expansion?
      • How will a change in tempo affect your exposure?
    • Determine if this growth will affect your new home: You should look out 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years; however long your mortgage is, you should know what your exposure will be during that time.
  • What is the reason the previous owners sold? If possible, contact the previous owners directly to obtain a more "honest" answer.
  • Does the area have an Aviation Noise Abatement Committee (ANAC), homeowners associations, community action groups that the new resident can do research on to get a better historical perspective on the situation?
  • How will weather affect the exposure? * Make sure to check what the flight paths will be when the winds change or any other weather anomalies.

Additional Information

Glossary of Terms