SIMS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How were the SIMS program boundaries determined?

The program boundaries were determined by the FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study, completed in September 2000. The study researched future noise impacts around the Airport and created projected noise contours. In 2006, Sky Harbor conducted a Non-Residential Sound Mitigation Services Feasibility Study to determine the eligibility of identified structures located within the defined noise contour.

What is a noise contour?

A noise contour is an area on a map that defines levels of aircraft noise exposure. The day/night average sound level or DNL is the FAA’s standard measure to quantify aircraft noise exposure in the vicinity of an airport. The number of flights, aircraft types, and flight tracks are critical inputs to the calculation. The DNL represents the average sound exposure measured in decibels during a 24-hour period and does not represent the sound level for a specific noise event. The 65 decibel DNL contour is generally identified by federal guidelines as the “threshold of significance” for aviation and other sources of community noise.

Photo to the right shows sound levels being measured outside a house.

What is a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study and what is its purpose?

A FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study is a plan initiated by airports to develop and recommend actions to help reduce the impact of aircraft noise in neighborhoods surrounding airports. Although airports are not required to conduct FAR Part 150 Studies, voluntary participation in the Study entitles Sky Harbor to receive some federal funding to implement FAA-approved airport noise programs.

Am I eligible to participate in SIMS?

Sky Harbor’s 2006 Non-Residential Sound Mitigation Services Feasibility Study surveyed the program area and identified all eligible structures. Places of worship, schools, and community centers built before October 1, 1998, and located within Sky Harbor’s established noise contour area are eligible to participate. Please call 602-261-7950 if you have any additional questions pertaining to SIMS eligibility.

What will SIMS cost me?

SIMS provides sound mitigation services at no charge to the property owner. However, if there is a pre-existing condition or a building code violation that must be corrected prior to construction, the property owner will be notified and the cost(s) of the required repairs are the responsibility of the property owner.

What is an avigation easement?

An avigation easement is a legal document that stipulates the property owner agrees to recognize the right of aircraft to fly over their property in return for program improvements. The easement is permanently attached to the property deed once it is recorded by the local County Recorder’s office. The avigation easement must be signed by the property owner prior to the 60% design completion and will be recorded at the commencement of construction.

When will my property be sound insulated?

SIMS sound mitigates properties based upon a number of criteria, including overall noise impact, location in reference to the Airport itself, and available funding. SIMS will evaluate all eligible structures, based on these criteria, to determine the order in which they will be treated.

How long will construction take on my property?

Construction length depends on the size of the property, including the number of buildings, the nature of the treatments, and the quantity of windows and doors, etc. When the amount of work to be done is determined and the start of construction nears, the SIMS Outreach and Design teams will work with each property owner to develop a reasonable construction schedule.

What happens if construction interferes with programs or services my property offers?

The SIMS team will work with each property owner to determine a construction schedule that best meets their needs and the needs of their property. If possible, some construction activities may be scheduled at alternate times when buildings are not in use or during light occupancy periods. If this is not possible, team members will work to help property representatives find alternate locations to host any programs or services that may be affected by construction. Team members will also work with the property owner(s) to notify property users of upcoming construction times.

Will my property be safe during construction?

All consultants and contractors will be licensed and bonded and will be fully insured. However, the property owner is responsible for securing valuables during construction. SIMS staff and the contractors will work with property owners to assure properties are also secure during construction.

I will not be available when construction will occur. Can someone represent me during construction?

Yes, property owners may appoint an agent to represent them. When appointing an agent, please keep in mind that the appointed person must be able to make decisions for the property owner or be able to get in touch with them immediately if an issue arises.

How much quieter will my property be after my construction is completed?

The SIMS Program will work to reduce noise levels by an average minimum of 5 decibels inside each property.

Will my property look different after it is sound mitigated?

Acoustical treatments are well designed and should minimally change the appearance of the property. The acoustical products may be heavier or thicker than current products. There may be a reduction to the depth of the window inset, therefore reducing space for window treatments like blinds and shades.

Do I get my choice of product styles and colors?

Whenever possible, doors and windows are replaced to match the style that currently exists in the property. However, styles may need to be changed in order to meet sound reduction objectives, to comply with current building code requirements, or to maintain the historic integrity of the structure. The SIMS Design Team will meet with property owners during the design phase prior to installation to obtain approval on sound insulation materials. Where possible, exact materials or colors may be chosen but, as a publically funded program, sometimes there are restrictions. The specifics of this will be discussed during design review.

My property does not fall within the eligibility boundary, but I am interested in the products you use. Who can I contact for product information?

Please call the SIMS office at 602-261-7950 and one of the SIMS team members will be happy to assist you.

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