Community Acceptance of Drone Noise



Within the next five years, small package delivery drones and larger human passenger drones will become the next mode of transportation to fill our environment with noise. They are already being used in test markets around the world to gauge community acceptance of the concept; none the least of which being the noise generated by these drones.  In fact, along with safety, noise is the prime concern for gaining acceptance and regulatory approval for widespread use of drones. Title 14 CFR Part 36 contains FAA’s current certification requirements for drone flyover noise at the source.  But what about receiver noise criteria?  This paper will describe some of the prototype drones in use today, the major manufacturers and drone delivery services already well into development, and the current federal regulatory setting for community noise in the United States for various modes of transportation. The paper concludes with a recommended noise criteria approach, for FAA to consider adopting, that would provide a balance between the drone manufacturers’ need to produce noise with the community’s need for peace and quiet.