Noise Briefings & Information

 Some key briefings:

Airports and Noise – info from AEF
 • General Noise Briefing from AEF 
 
GACC briefing on reducing disturbance by incoming aircraft 
WHO Guidelines for community noise  – 1999 (Birgitta Berglund)
RANCH studyRoad traffic and aircraft noise exposure and children’s cognition and health (Lancet June 2005)
 Night Time Noise Guidelines for Europe WHO Regional Office for Europe 2009.
WHO press release. 8.10.2009   

DEFRA Noise Contour Maps
DEFRA produce rough maps showing the main noise contours around UK airports.  Details     for example, the map for London City Airport

They also give estimates of the number of people affected by noise (click on Noise Exposure Charts)


 Noise and children:

•   Effects of Aircraft Noise on Children’s Cognition and Long Term Memory 
(February 2000 – report from California)
 •   Children’s reading and memory affected by exposure to aircraft noise 
 (Paper from Queen Mary, University of London.  June 2005).  Also BBC story. 
  and   The Lancet article  2005

New study by Queen Mary University, London, indicates possible long-term effects of aircraft noise on children’s cognition                 September 2013        http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18293

 


 

Complaining about noise:

 •  Stop Stansted Expansion advice about how to complain, and what to complain about
 •  There is also useful advice on  the GACC website at  http://www.gacc.org.uk
 •  SSE practical guide to reporting aircraft noise nuisance
 18th May 2009    A leaflet setting out details of how to complain about aircraft noise. The practically-oriented guide is designed to help people affected by noise from planes using Stansted to report their concerns in a way which will help lead to improvements to noise management and better track keeping in future. It could also lead to fines being imposed on airlines where they break noise and track keeping rules. (SSE)     Click here to view full story…
SSE – Concerned about aircraft noise –  leaflet      SSE Noise complaint form
  •  How to complain about low flying military aircraft
    There is a MOD website   and also an electronic complaints form

Noise and Health

    Health impacts of aircraft noise   (July 2011)   10 pages
      – briefing for the DfT aviation policy scoping consultation
 •   Good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects
                European Environment Agency   Nov 2010             
 •  Public health impact of large airports     (Dutch Government – 1999)
 •  HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports) study  (Aug 2009)  (only the abstract is available free of charge)
 •  HYENA HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports study.pdf     (March 2008)                     
CONCLUSIONS:  Results indicate excess risks of hypertension
 related to long-term noise exposure, primarily for night-time
 aircraft noise and daily average road traffic noise.
 •  EHP Noise Study – Exposure to Aircraft Noise and Saliva Cortisol in Six European Countries July 2009.pdf  
 •  German Study: Airport Noise Increases Risk of Strokes 
            (2010).  Preliminary findings only.

 Aviation and Noise

Noise Briefing Sheets
1.   Aircraft noise – an introduction

Noise is the major problem for most communities living around airports and under flight paths, especially at night. Aircraft noise has been an issue ever since the introduction of the first jet aircraft, since when the benefits of progressive technological improvements have tended to be offset by the introduction of larger aircraft, more frequent movements (often at sensitive times of day) and growing community expectations.

The Government’s official noise index averages out the noise throughout the day:

it measures the noise of each aircraft (i.e. the sound energy, in decibels,
that each aircraft movement produces) and averages the total out over a 16 hour
day to get what is known as an equivalent continuous noise level (abbreviated
as LAeq). This has been criticised on two counts. Firstly, the average includes
the periods in the day when there are no aircraft noise events at some airports.
And, secondly, many people argue that, in assessing the noise, insufficient weight
is given to the incidence of aircraft noise events. Because individual planes
have got quieter over the last 20 years, the Government and industry can claim
that noise exposure contours have shrunk, when the reality is that noise remains
as much of an issue today as it has ever been, if not more, as the number of noise
events has substantially increased.

 

The Government claims that “the onset of significant community annoyance” starts when the noise from aircraft averages out at 57 decibels, known as 57dB(A) LAeq.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) puts the figure between 50 and 55 decibels
(and about 10 decibels lower at night). On this basis, it recommends maximum noise
exposure levels of 55 dBA Leq to avoid the risk of people being significantly
annoyed.

There is little prospect of significantly quieter planes being introduced over
the next 20 years
. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a tougher standard
for new aircraft noise that came into force in January 2006. However, the standard is already met by 98% of aircraft currently in-production. ICAO also agreed that there should be no global phase-out of existing “Chapter 3” aircraft to speed up the transition to quieter aircraft. This means that the sort of expansion envisaged in the Aviation White Paper would inevitably lead to more people across the country being exposed to higher levels of noise (a fact proven by the Government’s own noise calculations).

Looking to the future: Nobody – even within the aviation industry – claims that the level of expansion that was envisaged in the (now out of date) Aviation White Paper would not result in noise becoming a bigger problem for a greater number of people.

The only way to avoid an increase in noise problems would be to reduce the number of aircraft movements, or to see a step-change in the noise of individual aircraft. Neither is on the cards. The Government’s approach has been tacitly to accept that the noise climate will get worse and try to lessen the blow for those worst affected through the compensation and mitigation measures that airports are expected to provide. But these schemes are far from generous and are not on offer to the vast majority of people affected by aircraft noise.

European Action:  The European Union published its Noise Directive in 2002. This requires member states to draw up noise maps (for ambient noise – aircraft, traffic, rail and construction sites) by 2007 and then produce action plans for dealing with the noise in the worst-affected areas by 2008.

DEFRA takes the lead on this for the UK Government. It is has been drawing up its maps and airport noise action plans, though these are generally being regarded as inadequate and ineffective.

To a storm of criticism from those who want independent measuring and mapping,
the aviation industry is heavily involved in drawing up the noise maps and action
plans for airports.

Unlike the Air Pollution Directive, the Noise Directive does not include targets
to be met.  Campaigners are arguing that firm targets, with a timetable for implementation, should be included in a revised Directive.

The other key document is the Charter on transport, environment and health which
acknowledges the WHO guidelines on noise. Over 50 countries worldwide (including
all EU countries) have signed up to these guidelines. The Aviation White Paper
sees them as aspirational, maybe to be reached in 30 years time!

Related Links

Guidelines on Community Noise, by Berglund et al, published by the World Health Organisation (2000)

Charter on transport, environment and health, World Health Organisation, 1999

 


 

 2. Complaining about noisy and off-track aircraft:

If you have complaints about noise, or of planes away from set flight paths,
you can complain to your local airport management (check who is the appropriate
manager to write to).

Copy your letter to us at AirportWatch,* or  copy your local campaigning organisation.

Send a copy to the DfT:    Aviation Environmental Policy, Department for Transport, Great  Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR

* AirportWatch, 2nd Floor, Broken Wharf House, 2 Broken Wharf, London   EC4V 3DT  (email.   info@airportwatch.org.uk  )  

 

3. Effects of Aircraft Noise on Children’s Cognition and Long Term Memory:

February 2000 – report from California
Effects of Aircraft Noise on Children’s Cognition and Long Term Memory
 
 
4.   Children’s reading and memory affected by exposure to aircraft noise:  

Paper from Queen Mary, University of London.   June 2005. 

Effects of Aircraft Noise on Children’s Cognition and Long Term Memory
   
  
5.  AirportWatch held a conference entitled “Aircraft Noise – a widespread and growing problem”, in London  in  October 2007.
The following background papers were produced for delegates.

  

A number of background briefing papers were provided for the conference.  
 Briefing Paper 1

Aircraft Noise – the extent of the problem 

 Briefing Paper 2

Aircraft Noise – the noise climate is getting worse 

 Briefing Paper 3

How aircraft noise is measured and the flaws 

 Briefing Paper 4

Aircraft Noise – European Developments 

 Briefing Paper 5

Aircraft Noise – World Health Organisation 

 Briefing Paper 6

Aircraft Noise and Health 

 Briefing Paper 7

Aircraft Noise – how to complain  

Briefing Paper 8

Aircraft Noise – Campaigning 

  
One individual’s personal experience – an account  
Continuous Descent Approach into Depression”
  
6.   Planning Policy Guidance 24: Planning and Noise
This is the Government guidance on noise.   A summary of the document can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.  

Planning Policy Guidance 24: Planning and Noise

 7.   European Action

The European Union published its Noise Directive in 2002.

 This requires member states to draw up noise maps (for ambient noise – aircraft,
traffic, rail and construction sites) by 2007 and then produce action plans for
dealing with the noise in the worst-affected areas by 2008. DEFRA takes the lead
on this for the UK Government. It is behind schedule in drawing up its maps and
plans. To a storm of criticism from those who want independent measuring and mapping,
the aviation industry is heavily involved in drawing up the noise maps and action
plans for airports. Unlike the Air Pollution Directive, the Noise Directive does
not included targets to be met. But it will be revised after 2007. Campaigners
are arguing that firm targets, with a timetable for implementation, should be
included in a revised Directive. The other key document is the Charter on transport,
environment and health which acknowledges the WHO guidelines on noise. Over 50
countries worldwide (including all EU countries) have signed up to these guidelines.
The Aviation White Paper sees them as aspirational, maybe to be reached in 30
years time! 
 
 
8.  Two articles from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_health_effects    Noise Health Effects (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_noise       Aircraft Noise (Wikipedia)
 
 
9.   Noise demystified – useful bits and pieces of background  from different sources

Aircraft Noise Deymystified LAeq etc


Boeing data on airports worldwide, alphabetically, with their noise and emissions regulations

Details on Airports with Noise and Emissions Restrictions

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/noise/list.html 
There is a data sheet for each airport with a lot of detail

eg. Heathrow details at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/noise/heathrow.html#cur

and

Gatwick at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/noise/gatwick.html#cur

and

Stansted at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/noise/stansted.html#cur

etc.