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Shh! Grissom air base studying noise levels

– A noise study being planned at northern Indiana’s Grissom Air Reserve base could lead to more residential development being allowed nearby.

The study will analyze the amount of air traffic at the base and the noise produced by those planes, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration deemed a 1-mile radius around the base to be incompatible with residential development because of the noise found in a 1995 study, according to Grissom spokesman Mark Orders-Woempner.

That could change with the new study because the base had 40 military aircraft in 1995, but now has only 16 KC-135 Stratotanker refueling planes.

Civilian air traffic has increased during that time, with a jet-painting company and other businesses using the runway that’s more than 2 miles long at the base about midway between South Bend and Indianapolis.

“A lot has changed in 20 years,” said Jeff Woodring, 434th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental management chief. The study will also assist officials in planning the best site for future facilities at what was Grissom Air Force base until it was downgraded in 1994.

“We’re really just curious to see how air traffic and noise levels have changed,” Orders-Woempner said.

“Has it increased or decreased? We’ll see.”