Soundproofing a Hanger: Acoustical Treatments for Aircraft Hangers

In the bustling environment of a spacious aircraft hangar, managing sound levels and quality is no easy feat. Between the ceaseless hum of the aircraft engine and the constant activity of aircraft maintenance operation and heavy-duty machinery, decibel levels can get distractingly—or even dangerously—loud.

To approach the challenge of aircraft hanger noise pollution when designing and engineering these spaces, you must focus on amplifying necessary sounds, such as interpersonal communications or machinery alerts, while minimizing disruptive noise issues. Achieving this balance involves the strategic use of both soundproofing and sound absorption techniques, as each is specifically designed to control and manage the acoustics of the environment.

The ultimate goal?

Create a safer, more productive hangar space.

The Sound Problem in Hangers 

Maintenance airplane hangars, by their nature, are bustling with noise.

The vast, open architecture combined with the many aircraft noise of crews performing maintenance on massive metal aircraft can create a cacophony of competing auditory stimuli that makes it difficult to communicate and work effectively.

Just consider some of the noise issues that can add to the general clamor. First, there’s the incessant blare of engines—both inside the bay, as well as those taxing, taking off, and landing outside. Add this to the ceaseless activity inside the hangar itself, which can include:

  • Machinists working with heavy-duty welding and cutting machinery
  • Cranes and forklifts driving to and fro
  • Auxiliary power units droning on
  • Air compressors hissing
  • Workers shouting to communicate over the din

Without proper acoustical treatment, these sounds reverberate and intensify. Not only does this make the environment less conducive to communication and work, but it also makes the environment less safe—the intense noise pollution of aircraft hangars can lead to hearing impairments and even mental health complications.1

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Sound Proofing and Sound Absorbing Techniques for Airplane Hangers

There are two primary methods of noise control: soundproofing and sound absorbing. Although people may use these terms interchangeably, they’re not synonymous. Both can serve unique yet vital roles in improving the sound quality of an aircraft hanger.


This is the process of preventing sound from penetrating a space. Soundproofing materials are used within the partition walls or ceilings of a room and are typically part of its construction material. Because they’re dense and heavy, they can block sound from either entering or leaving a room. Soundproofing works by increasing a wall’s mass, decoupling the wall assembly, or dampening the vibration energy of the wall. Some examples include:

Sound absorbing

This involves using materials to absorb echo within a room, improving the sound quality inside that space. These materials are usually installed on the walls or ceiling of a finished surface. Sound-absorbing materials are typically softer and lighter, absorbing the energy of sound waves to reduce echo. Some examples include:

Noise Reduction Strategies in Airplane Hangers

There are a variety of soundproofing treatments that can help reduce aircraft hangar noise and echo while enhancing clarity of vital sounds. Because you’re dealing with different noise types and frequencies in an airplane hangar, you must approach the problem from several angles, including:

  • Sound-absorbing panels – These can be affixed to the walls or ceiling of an airplane hanger to soak up sound waves, preventing their reflection and reducing overall noise level. Some common types of sound-absorbing panels found in aircraft hangers include:
    • Fabric-wrapped panels
    • Polyester panels
    • BAC panels
    • CFAB cellulose panels
  • Baffles – Strategically suspended from the hanger ceiling, baffles can absorb sound from all directions, providing effective noise reduction in even the tallest of hangars. But they’re more than just noise absorbers—they can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space with various shapes, materials, and designs.
  • Diffusers – While baffles and panels absorb sound, diffusers work to control noise pollution by breaking up and scattering sound waves, effectively reducing echoes and improving the overall acoustical environment.

Benefits of Soundproofing Airplane Hangars

Wondering whether it’s worth investing in soundproofing?

Here are some of the reasons why it’s a no-brainer:

  • Enhanced communication – Effective soundproofing reduces sound level and background noise, making it easier for employees to communicate. This, in turn, reduces misunderstandings and increases aircraft operations efficiency.
  • Improved worker safety – By minimizing harmful noise level, soundproofing can protect workers’ hearing health and reduce related aural injuries.
  • Increased productivity – Decreased noise distractions enable workers to focus better, thereby increasing productivity.
  • Compliance – Depending on your state, your facility may be required to abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) noise regulation standards.

Trust Acoustical Surfaces for Your Aircraft Hanger Treatments

If you want to control noise levels and improve the operational safety and efficiency of an airplane hanger, there are a variety of noise reduction strategies available. And, at Acoustical Surfaces, we carry them all, from CFAB cellulose panels to baffles and more.

Not sure where to start?

Our team of acoustical experts can partner with you to design the ultimate sound management solution, tailored to your unique needs. To start a dialogue, contact us today.



  1. International Civil Aviation Organization. Assessment of Noise Pollution in Aircraft Hangars.

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