The GBIC report must be discounted for three simple reasons:
First: purpose of sales. Almost half of the home sales listed in the report were houses that were purchased by the airport with FAA money (taxpayer dollars) for demolition. These homes were not purchased by individuals for residential use despite the airport noise. They were purchased under a federal program for destruction because of airport noise. Using these home sales as evidence that aircraft noise does not affect home values is an incredulous argument.
Second: timing of sales. Without a detailed accounting of when the homes were purchased; it is hard to deduce how recently they were purchased. This becomes important because the F-16 noise increases happened in the past four-five years. And while the report states that the “Guard flights currently account for approximately 5% of the total flight volume at the BTV airport” the FAA Part 150 Update says the ANG “is one of the dominant noise contributors to the DNL contour” (page 21), and the “2011 NEM forecast are dependent almost exclusively on the assumptions regarding the transition.” (page 22). This is referring to the transition to the GE engine for the F-16. The Guard expected the F-16 would become quieter with this transition. They were wrong. The F-16 became significantly louder.
Third: disclaimer accompanying sales. Most probably, none of the home sales carried a disclosure statement that the houses were not suitable for residential use. In fact, the FAA Part 150 Update says “The Airport has not encouraged the use of Real Estate Disclosures for properties within the 65dB DNL contour” (page 16). Homeowners only became aware of this requirement in the past few months. Tracking home sales in the noise areas once they start carrying this notice would be more revelatory.
This report is both invalid and deals with the past. It cannot predict what will happen in the future to home sales if the F-35A, which is a much louder aircraft, is based in South Burlington.
South Burlington, VT
21 July 2012