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December 2, 2013

Noise study could affect development near Grissom

New study to analyze air traffic, noise pollution around Grissom base.

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE – Air Force officials will conduct a new noise study at Grissom Air Reserve Base that could affect future land development in the area.

The study will analyze the amount of air traffic at the base and the noise produced by those aircrafts, said Grissom media specialist Mark Orders-Woempner.

If noise levels are too high around the base, he said the Federal Aviation Administration deems the area unfit for certain kinds of development.

The last noise study completed in 1995 at Grissom found a more than 1 mile radius around the base was incompatible with residential development because of noise pollution, Orders-Woempner said.

That could change with the new study.

In 1995, the base housed 40 military aircrafts. Now, only 16 planes remain at Grissom.

Civilian air traffic has picked up, however, since Grissom is now a joint-use facility with businesses like Montgomery Aviation and Dean Baldwin Painting, which use its runway and taxiways for their operations.

“A lot has changed in 20 years,” said Jeff Woodring, 434th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental management chief. “We’ve been requesting this study for a while, in large part because of the changes to our flying operations and to the joint use activities.”

Once the study is complete, the information will be disturbed to community planners in Miami and Cass counties to help determine future land development in the area.

“We turn that data over to the local community so they can plan what types of businesses or activities should or should not be placed around the base,” said Cory Walters, a biological scientist at the base.

The study will also assist Grissom officials in planning the best site for future facilities on the base.

The Air Force conducted the first noise study at Grissom in 1978, which was replaced by the last study in 1995 just after Grissom realigned as a reserve base.

“We’re really just curious to see how air traffic and noise levels have changed,” Orders-Woempner said. “Has it increased or decreased? We’ll see.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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