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Effects of Noise Pollution from F-35A Aircraft at Gowen Field Air Base

Air Guard Poster, see page for text description or select to view full image

By Rebecca Frey, John Carlson & John Clayton


Review existing documents covering the impacts to the Boise area in the event the Air National Guard bases the F-35A aircraft at Gowen Field Air Base. Perform additional outside research, create GIS maps, and create databank for economic impacts of homes within the impact zone.


Boise Airport is looking to base the new F-35A aircraft at Gowen Field Air Base. This aircraft has a higher noise output and would potentially impact a greater region through noise pollution in the Boise area.

Decibel Level Equivalents

  • Rainfall, ~55 decibels
  • Normal Speech, ~60 decibels
  • Group Conversation, ~67 decibels
  • Washing Machine, ~75 decibels


Prior studies were provided and a thorough literature review was conducted. Additional research into health, economic, and ecological  impacts was performed and also included in the literary analysis.


There are sensitive sites (schools, nursing homes, etc.) located in the area with at-risk populations. Citizens within the impact zone need to be
informed about the health, economic, and ecological impacts the addition of the F-35A mission will have for their neighborhoods.

Health Impacts

  • A 20 dB increase in aircraft noise exposure is associated with a reading delay of about 2 months in school children
  • Hypertension caused by increased levels of stress

Economic Impacts

  • On average, property losses of 9-17% are experienced for homes located within 65 dB impact zones or higher
  • Over 1,500 parcels located within the impact zone in 2020 projection
  • Limits development in area

Ecological Impacts

  • Decrease in wildlife abundance near impacted area
  • Degradation of surrounding sagebrush steppe habitat
  • Behavioral changes in local avian populations


Citizens for a Livable Boise, Boise State University, Scott Lowe, City of Boise, Boise Airport