Sound Study Analysis

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH), an industry leader in environmental and transportation planning including noise and vibration control, performed noise and vibration monitoring and noise modeling to document and analyze the noise environment in the vicinity of the Children’s Hospital New Orleans (the Hospital) this summer. Their report found that “sources other than the Hospital’s helicopter generated just as much if not greater vibration levels and at a much higher frequency of occurrence.” The data also “suggests that the noise and vibration contributions for the Hospital’s helicopter operations are not significant when compared to the overall ambient community noise environment. Such that, if the Hospital’s helicopter operations were eliminated, the ambient community noise environment would remain unchanged.”

Short-term monitoring efforts and associated data show that multiple sources of community noise exist beyond helicopter noise, including aircraft, construction, roadways, and trains. And while noise levels in the community due to Hospital helicopter operations may sometimes briefly exceed those caused by other community noise sources, the operations are relatively short in duration and infrequent when compared to noise from more prevailing sources like roadway traffic.

HMMH also modeled the differences between the new helistop site and the former site. It found that “the existing helistop and flight tracks produce marginally higher noise levels in the community surrounding the Hospital, mainly due to the higher elevation of the pad allowing for less shielding of noise from surrounding buildings. However, as stated, any increase in noise due to the change in helistops is minor when compared to the frequency and duration of other noise sources within the community.”

Click here to view the full report from HMMH.