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Project Experience: San Francisco General Hospital Helipad, California

The Challenge

Evaluating how a proposed helipad on the roof of the San Francisco General Hospital would affect the surrounding community, while also considering federal, state and local guidelines.

The Strategy


  • Conducted noise measurements in the community and hospital during helicopter demonstration flights to determine overall noise levels
  • Designed a noise modeling effort using the FAA's Integrated Noise Model (INM) Version 7.0 to determine cumulative noise effects of the operations based on forecast uses, helicopter types, and flight tracks
  • Examined how abrupt changes in terrain elevation impacted noise
  • Evaluated the potentials for speech interference and sleep disturbance for receivers located near helicopter flight paths
  • Determined durations for speech interference and percentages of potential awakenings in the hospital community

The Solution

HMMH was able to evaluate several potential alternatives to reduce community noise exposure.