Reducing aviation noise is important to the efficient operation and expansion of the National Airspace System because community opposition to aviation noise is a major obstacle to airport and runway development. Such development is needed to help address congestion and meet the nation's rapidly growing demand for air travel. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have the primary federal responsibility for research and development (R&D) on aviation noise. FAA focuses on the impacts of aviation noise on communities, while NASA focuses on noise at its source--aircraft engines and airframes. Both FAA and NASA have set noise reduction goals. This congressionally requested report on aviation noise addresses (1) FAA's and NASA's R&D plans for addressing aviation noise and the extent to which they are aligned and (2) FAA's and NASA's noise reduction goals and the likelihood that these goals will be achieved. To conduct its work, GAO reviewed FAA's and NASA's R&D planning documents, coordinating mechanisms, and research plans and interviewed agency officials. In addition, aviation industry representatives reviewed and commented on a draft of this report. A draft was provided to FAA and NASA. Both agencies had no comment.
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