Drummer Glenn Ochenkoski only practices in the afternoons when his
neighbors are out, but he no longer needs to limit himself to that
His home was recently sound-insulated through the
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport’s free program.
Though he had not received complaints about playing during his
four years in Burbank, “it’s nice to know that I’m not disturbing
anybody at all,” Ochenkoski said.
The professional musician -- who toured with the national
production of “West Side Story” and is preparing for a show with Pat
Boone -- said he is thrilled with the nearly $33,000 of work to his
1939 home. It was outfitted with double- paned windows, new doors,
central air conditioning and insulation that also keeps the house
Other residents in the noise-impact zone -- where the sound
exceeds 65 decibels -- who want to turn down the volume on flight
noise should call the Airport Authority by mid-March. If they don’t
respond by then, they will still be eligible but will be put on the
waiting list, Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill said.
More than 800 of 5,400 eligible homes have been insulated or are
under construction since the free program started in 1998. The
airport aims to complete houses in the area where noise levels exceed
65 decibels before starting work on houses in areas farther from the
Though Gill said it is difficult to pinpoint what 65 decibels
sounds like, it is similar to the noise from a busy boulevard at rush
One Burbank resident anxious to enjoy “some peace” is Luisa
She lives one block from the loudest noise zone, and her family
looks forward to the day they don’t have to close the window to have
a conversation, Lazaro said.
Homeowners must sign an agreement that allows aircraft to fly over
their house and promises they won’t sue the airport over air-traffic
The program is not federally mandated, but started when a lawsuit
was settled between the airport and the city of Los Angeles. The
settlement stipulated that the airport conduct a study to find which
neighborhoods are in its noise-impact area, and resulted in the
program becoming eligible to receive 80% of its financing from the
Federal Aviation Administration. The federal agency funds the work to
“ensure compatibility between aviation interests” and residents, Gill
The Airport Authority covers the other 20%.
“There is no mandate that an airport insulate houses, but there is
a broader responsibility to be a good neighbor,” Gill said.
For information about the airport’s sound insulation program, call
842-1708 or 842-1732.