The Air Force and Navy Should Have Coordinated and Better Managed Their Hush House Programs

NSIAD-83-27: Published: Jul 19, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 1983.

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GAO had expressed concern because the Air Force planned to spend more than $223 million to buy hush houses which suppress noise generated in testing aircraft jet engines without having firmly established its requirements or coordinated its program with the Navy's.

GAO has found that few such houses can be justified as being needed to comply with environmental regulations. The Air Force requires noise suppression for all of its aircraft engines, while the Navy provides noise suppression only if required to do so by the community. Previously, GAO reported that the services could save millions of dollars by buying only those noise suppression houses that are environmentally required, by establishing requirements based on actual need instead of the number of aircraft assigned, and by using a standard noise suppression house to the maximum extent possible at both Air Force and Navy installations. In response to previous recommendations, the Air Force is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of this requirement, the Navy is buying a noise suppression house designed by the Air Force, and the Secretary of Defense will continue to examine these ongoing actions to ensure that the minimum number of required noise suppression houses are built at the lowest possible cost. In view of these commendable actions, GAO plans no further work in this area.

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