seal  Purdue News

October 14, 2003

Purdue chosen as part of FAA center to study aircraft noise, pollution

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has been chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration to take part in a national effort to reduce noise pollution and improve air quality at U.S. airports through a new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Aircraft Noise and Aviation Emissions Mitigation, a group of experts from academia, industry and government.

The center will conduct basic research and develop prototypes.

"Bringing the formidable resources of academia and industry together, the center is a force to make significant contributions in noise and emissions research," said FAA administrator Marion Blakey.

The partnership will be led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The other members from academia are Boise State University, Florida International University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue, Stanford University, the University of Central Florida and University of Missouri-Rolla.

The Purdue team will include researchers from a diverse range of fields, from mechanical engineering to aviation technology, and health sciences to aeronautics and astronautics, said Robert Bernhard, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at Purdue.

Research at Purdue will include work to learn how people react to aircraft noise and to study precisely why populations tend to expand near airports, said Bernhard, co-director of Purdue's Institute for Safe, Quiet and Durable Highways.

The center research and development efforts will concentrate on a broad spectrum of noise and emissions mitigation issues, including socio-economic effects, noise abatement flight procedures, compatible land-use management, airport operational controls, and atmospheric and health effects.

Eighteen industrial and government partners in the new center are:

• American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

• Aerodyne Research Inc.
• Bell Helicopter Textron
• Boeing
• Delta Air Lines
• General Electric Aircraft Engines
• Gulfstream Aerospace
• Logistics Management Institute
• Metron Aviation
• Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
• Pratt & Whitney
• Raisbeck Engineering
• Rannoch Corp.
• Regional Airport Authority of Louisville and Jefferson County
• Rolls-Royce
• Sikorsky Aircraft
• Wyle Laboratories
• United Parcel Service

The FAA will spend up to $1.75 million in the first year, with a minimum of $800,000 per year for the next two years.

Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990. The FAA has established five other centers of excellence, focusing on computational modeling of aircraft structures, airport pavement technology, operations research, airworthiness assurance and general aviation. More information about the FAA Centers of Excellence program is available online.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

Sources: Robert Bernhard, (765) 494-2141,

Tammy Jones, (202) 267-3883

Holly Baker, (609) 485-6253

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