DEFRA opens consultation on airport action plans to address aircraft noise
from English airports can be managed effectively and issued for comment draft
guidance for action plans that airport operators must draw up on measures they
will take to manage and, where appropriate, reduce the level of noise impact on
local communities. This follows on from an EU directive dating back to 2002.
produce strategic noise maps on the basis of harmonized indicators, to inform
the public about noise exposure and its effects, and to draw up action plans to
address noise issues.
to determine the noise exposure of the population through noise mapping; to make information available on environmental noise to the public; and to establish action plans based on the mapping results, to reduce noise levels
where necessary, and to preserve environmental noise quality where it is good.
and Northern Ireland were passed in 2006 to implement the directive. The Regulations
require the noise mapping and action planning process to be taken forward on a
five-year rolling programme. The first round of mapping was submitted to the European
Commission last year.
have to be submitted for consideration by Defra, the UK’s ministry responsible
for the environment. Under the directive, all action plans must be submitted to
the Commission by 18 January 2009.
to take account of when drafting their plans:
exposed to more than 69 db LAeq, 16hr;
consider whether there are any features of the noise impact that might be measured
there are any measures that might be taken to manage further noise impact;
the aim of providing further management of the noise impact; and
and possibly reduce" the number of people affected by aircraft noise.
to be used in the action plans, which remain at the discretion of those competent
authorities. However, states Defra, the Regulations passed in 2006 do require
the Secretary of State to publish guidance setting out limit values "or other
criteria" for the identification of priorities for action plans and the draft
guidelines "fulfil the requirement" for aviation action plans.
environment is a difficult challenge," said Environment Minister John Shaw. "Much
has already been done to reduce the noise from transport and industry, but there
is more that we can do to limit, and in some cases reduce, the number of people
affected by aircraft noise.
for airport operators if they are to deliver the most effective action plans.
That is why we are seeking views on this draft guidance. I would urge anyone with
an interest to respond."