April 1, 2011
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Albany: Deming, New Mexico, a town of 14,000 located 60 miles west of Las Cruses, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for giving permission to the Luna R/C Wings model airplane club to fly their model airplanes “at any time.” This decision by Deming public officials represents a callous disregard for the public welfare. Because of the indifference of the mayor, the city council, and the city administrator, a number of Deming residents are subjected to a constant threat of a pulsating buzz, which ruins their quality of life.
Monika Walter, a Deming resident, recently wrote to Richard McInturff, Deming’s city administrator, about the extreme noise caused by the model airplane club in their new neighborhood: “We felt attracted to the well-maintained, upscale neighboring homes and to the fact that our property is surrounded by 67 acres of open land which belongs to the City of Deming.”
It did not take long, though, for Walter and her husband to realize that there is little peace and quiet in her neighborhood, due to the activities of the Luna R/ C Wings model airplane club: “These folks meet several times per week to fly their planes. They land and take off their planes about 250 feet away from the property line. They come as early as 8:00 am (including the weekends) and stay two to three hours. Sometimes they come in the afternoons. We hear the roar even in our house which has one-foot thick walls!”
Walter has uploaded a video demonstrating the horrendous noise of the model airplanes.
The extreme loudness of model airplanes is by no means a subjective perception. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association assigns model airplanes a “noise score” of 110 decibels! In comparison, the “Hearing Loss Risk” is 100 decibels, the level of being “very annoying” is 90 decibels, and the level of being “intrusive” is 70 decibels.
The noise of model airplanes is particularly annoying because it is a “pulsating noise,” which constantly changes its pitch, with the ever-changing flight trajectory of the planes. Pulsating noise catches the ear’s attention at all times.
Tim Weber, another resident of Deming, witnessed this noise nightmare: “The din created by the flying club over your back fence is horrendous. It ruined our entire visit. I cannot image what it must be like to live next to that constant cacophony, day after, day, with no control over your resting time. And shame on local governmental officials in Deming for their indifference when you asked them for help. If any of them were subjected to such unabated noisiness and meanness, you can bet they would put a stop to it immediately!”
Noise pollution is unwanted sound. Noise pollution is an extremely dangerous threat to public health. The World Health Organization declares that noise pollution is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year.
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, notes the hypocrisy of Deming officials for allowing extreme noise pollution in their community: “Andres Silva, the mayor of Deming, boasts in his ‘Green Corner’ column that Deming is the place for ‘green companies.’ The city web site also boasts about the annual health and wellness fair! City officials need to understand that allowing a constant noise nuisance is contrary to their stated ideals. Deming city officials need to acknowledge that noise pollution is a very serious issue. Allowing a model airplane club to make constant noise on city property is an outrage. Deming city officials need to withdraw their permission to these noisemakers immediately.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Fort Worth. Texas; Garner, Texas; and the National Parks Service.