It began with the first manned flight of an aircraft by the Wright brothers in 1903 in the town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, forever changing the face of transportation in not only the United States but indeed the world. The invention of the airplane allowed for the traveling of greater distances in a shorter period of time than had previously been allowed with rail travel, or horse drawn carriage as the more popular modes of transportation of the day.
It really wasn't until the late 1940s & 50s that passenger air travel began to take shape in the form we know it today, and since that time the number of air passengers has multiplied exponentially. In recent years alone passenger traffic increased 7.2% between 2003 and 2004, illustrating an increase that wavered only in the immediate aftermath of the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2005). In order to accommodate the increasing demand for not only passenger air travel but cargo air transport, military traffic, and civilian pleasure craft as well, cities began building airports that required large tracts of land as its major resource. In the initial stages of airport construction and expansion, many communities overlooked the effects of the airport on the surrounding communities in the immediate vicinity of the airport as well as the environmental consequences of construction itself. Many airports were built in or very near the "core' of their cities or just adjacent to residential areas with no forethought given to the future expansion of the city itself, or the cohesion of the neighborhoods already present, thus heralding in one of the first and still persistent grievances from those affected by the airports; noise.
Simply, noise' is defined as unwanted sound. Sound is typically measured in what are known as "decibel" units, which reflect intensity, or pressure (Stevenson, p.2). Noise has been shown to affect health by causing both... [continues]
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