The main sources of noise at airfields are flight operations and engine run-ups. Naval air stations perform engine maintenance run-ups to test engines at various power settings and durations. Pre-flight engine run-ups are conducted on the runway just before aircraft take-off and generally last between 10 and 30 seconds. Engine maintenance run-ups are conducted to test engine performance and check for any malfunctions. These run-ups can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.
To reduce noise exposure in the community, NAS Oceana constructed a hush house, or acoustical enclosure. Benefits of the hush house include:
- significantly reduces outside noise in some instances from 140 dB inside to 85 dB (250 feet from the hush house).
- analyzes weather conditions using computerized weather monitoring equipment so that engine performance baseline tests can be adjusted accordingly.
- allows engine maintenance operations to be conducted during inclement weather with variable wind directions or speeds.
- increases worker safety with advanced safety and fire suppression systems.
- allows for maintenance operations 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.