Results of a Supersonic Aircraft's Entry into the United States
CED-77-131, Sep 15, 1977
The Concorde supersonic aircraft is noisier than any subsonic aircraft presently in commercial service. Currently produced Concordes do not and cannot be modified to meet present noise standards for subsonic aircraft. Permitting the Concorde's introduction into the United States is counter to the thrust of the national noise abatement effort. The Federal Aviation Administration conducted surveys of public opinion during the Concorde trial period at Dulles International Airport to determine community reaction.
Public opinion surveys conducted at Dulles do not provide reliable information because of problems with the survey's sampling plan, questionnaire design, application, and coding and processing of responses. Voluntary complaints are a more significant indicator of the public's response to the trials at Dulles. Although Concorde operations accounted for less than one percent of the take-offs and landings at Dulles, they resulted in 1,387 complaints or 79 percent of the total noise complaints received. The greatest percentage of Concorde complaints concerned take-off, which is consistent with Concorde noise characteristics. An analysis of 16 media outlets by a contractor concluded that citizens' complaints resulted largely from direct exposure to Concorde and were not influenced unduly by the media.