Community noise from a drone delivery distribution center: challenges and options



As drone package delivery services are expanded, community noise will be an issue that every operator will need to consider. Drones represent a unique new community noise source that will operate and be perceived differently than traditional aircraft and ground transportation vehicles. It is also likely that some early implementations of drone delivery services by major retailers will operate out of existing distribution centers, which may not be ideally located from a noise perspective. This study considers potential drone delivery noise in the community surrounding an existing distribution center, assuming the facility were to be utilized as the hub of a future drone package delivery service. The predicted noise levels from drone deliveries are compared to typical community noise limits, and potential alternative noise metrics for assessing annoyance from drone noise in communities are discussed. Options to reduce community noise from drone deliveries by altering flight altitude and speed, utilizing different flight path routing strategies, and taking advantage of the potential masking of drones by existing roadway noise are considered.