The Area Equivalent Method (AEM) is a screening procedure used to simplify the determination whether further analysis with the Integrated Noise Model (INM) is necessary as part of environmental assessments and environmental impact statements or Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 studies.
AEM is a mathematical procedure that provides an estimated noise contour area of an airport based on the types of aircraft operating at the airport and the number of operations for each aircraft. The noise contour area is a measure of the size of the landmass enclosed within a level of noise as produced by a set of aircraft operations.
The model, maintained by the Noise Division (AEE-100) of the Office of Environment and Energy, was first released in 1984. The latest version (6.0b), released in February 2001, is a Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheet based upon Version 6.0b of the INM and its database of 124 aircraft. The user's guide is available in PDF files from the Noise Division website.