Airplane Noise - HMMH Noise Monitoring Study Results & 12/18 Workshop Announcement

The City has received a number of airplane noise complaints from residents subsequent to the implementation of the “Southern California Metroplex NextGen Project” (NextGen) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at John Wayne Airport (JWA) in Spring 2017. Residents under or close to historic flight paths tell us they can see or hear differences in flight patterns, which has adversely impacted their quality of life.

The most common concerns raised include:

  • NextGen has exacerbated the airplane noise experienced by Laguna Niguel residents.
  • NextGen has resulted in an increase in number of flights over the City, particularly the Laguna Sur area, due to flights departing from JWA turning east once they are offshore too early, referred to as “cutting the corner.”
  • NextGen has resulted in planes flying at a lower altitude over Laguna Niguel.

While the FAA has the sole authority to control air traffic, the City has and will continue to monitor and collaborate with JWA staff, FAA officials, the County of Orange, and our neighboring cities to support actions that protect community residents from the impacts of airplane overflights. In addition to these partnering efforts, the City has independently retained Harris, Miller, Miller & Hansen (HMMH), an environmental consulting firm which specializes in the science of acoustics and noise modeling, to perform an overflight noise monitoring study. The results of the study, which are summarized in a Technical Memorandum dated November 27, 2018, are available for review on the City’s website.  The study consisted of noise monitoring of JWA flights at two separate locations in the City over two days (August 15-16, 2018). The locations were selected in consideration of historic flight track data from JWA over/near Laguna Niguel and local topography. Although the aircraft noise issue is complex and highly technical and the noise monitoring results collected constitutes a small sample size, the aircraft noise levels at both locations are on average were not significantly higher than the corresponding community (ambient) noise levels.

A summary of the noise monitoring performed by HMMH will be presented at a City Council workshop meeting on December 18, 2018 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall, within the City Council Chambers, located at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, 92677. All interested parties are invited to attend. The City’s consultant, HMMH, will be in attendance to answer questions related to the noise monitoring study.