Noise, Flight Paths and Health

Noise, flight paths, health 

Title:  “Aircraft Noise: Time for a rethink”

Date:       January 2011
Author:    AirportWatch
Length:    8 pages
Summary:   Although aircraft have become less noisy over the past three decades, this gain has been
overwhelmed by a huge increase in the number of planes in the skies. The Government’s new aviation policy, which it will begin to draw up in 2011, provides the opportunity to rethink and update policy to take account of this new reality.
Link:    Noise briefing document “Time for a rethink” 
Title:   Good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects
Date:    November 2010
Author:  European Environment Agency
Length:   2.3 MB
Summary:  The report supports the findings of the ANASE Study and shows that people are disturbed by much lower levels of aircraft noise than has been previously admitted. For example, at a noise level of 55 dB, 27% are highly annoyed by aircraft noise, but only 3% are highly annoyed by rail noise and 6% by road noise.


Title: “No Longer a West London Problem” 


Date:     Autumn 2010


Author:  John Stewart, HACAN


Length:  4 pages


Summary:  There is a real problem of aircraft noise for some people living over 25 miles from the Heathrow.  The new European report (link above) shows people are disturbed by much lower levels of aircraft noise than has been previously admitted.. HACAN says this backs up what its supporters have been saying for years.


Link:    Aircraft Noise: No longer a West London Problem 



Title:  “Review of the airport draft Noise Action Plans”
Date:  February 2010
Author:  Aviation Environment Federation  (AEF)
Length:   15 pages
Summary:   Research by AEF for AirportWatch has found that airport ‘noise action plans’ will fail to tackle impacts on local communities. European laws now require airports to draw up action plans to tackle their noise pollution. But these plans are written by the airports themselves, and just re-state what they already have to do to comply with, local planning requirements. Not one plan meets all the requirements of the EC law, and airports have failed even to comply with the weak demands of the EU’s legislation.    
Link  New Style, Old Story: a review of UK airport noise action plans 
Title: Night noise guidelines for Europe
Date:  October 2009
Author:  WHO/Europe
Length:   162 pages  (1.7MB)   ISBN 978 92 890 4173 7
Summary:   Environmental noise is a threat to public health, having negative effects on human health and well-being. This book reviews the health effects of exposure to night-time noise, examines dose–effect relations, and presents interim and ultimate guideline values for exposure. Outstanding scientists reviewed the scientific evidence in the WHO European Region and used it to draw up the guideline values. The guidelines were peer-reviewed and discussed to reach a consensus among the experts and stakeholders. This book offers guidance to policy-makers in reducing the effects of night-time noise, thus helping to improve the health of the people in the Region.
Link  English – Night noise guidelines for Europe 

Title:  Ranch study – Aircraft and road traffic noise and children’s cognition and health: a cross-national study
Date:  2005
Author:  Ranch study in the Lancet
Length:   8 pages
Summary:   Exposure to environmental stressors can impair children’s health and their cognitive development. The effects of air pollution, lead, and chemicals have been studied, but there has been less emphasis on the effects of noise. The aim of the study, therefore, was to assess the effect of exposure to aircraft and road traffic noise on cognitive performance and health in children.
Title:   HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports study 
Date:   March 2008
Author:  A group of university medical research departments
Length:  5 pages
Summary:  Results indicate excess risks of hypertension related to long-term noise exposure, primarily for night-time aircraft noise and daily average road traffic noise
Link:  HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports study.pdf   
 HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports) study  (Aug 2009) 

             (only the abstract is available free of charge)
Title:  ANASE (Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England) – extracts only.
Date:   October 2007
Author:  MVA Consultancy
Length:    Original document is 144 pages, extracts are 5 pages
Summary:  As the sound level indicator LAeq increases, the annoyance levels of respondents also increase. For a given LAeq there is a range of reported annoyance indicating that annoyance is not determined solely by the amount of aircraft sound as measured by LAeq. People are more annoyed by aircraft noise now than they used to be, and at lower levels. This study, done for the DfT, has been shelved and not acted upon.
Title:  “Flying to Distraction”
Date:   2003
Author:  Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
Summary:  A leaflet summarising the findings of Aviation, Noise and the Countryside. Includes maps for 2000 and 2030 showing how the Government’s forecasts for air travel would impact on the tranquillity of the countryside and communities.
Link:   Flying to Distraction     pdf

Various Briefings on Aircraft Noise and Health:

•  Health impacts of aircraft noise  (July 2011)   10 pages
      – briefing for the DfT aviation policy scoping consultation
                European Environment Agency   Nov 2010             
•  Public health impact of large airports     (Dutch Government – 1999)
             (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.
            (2010).  Preliminary findings only.