ANASE study on attitudes to aircraft noise to be updated to show real impact of Heathrow flight paths

The Sunday Times reports that on 26th February the researchers who worked on the ANASE (Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England) study of the effect of aircraft noise will publish an updated report. The 2007 ANASE was an expensive and extensive study, looking at what levels of aircraft noise annoyed people being overflown.  It found that, contrary to the “prevailing wisdom” the widely used 57 decibel contour was not the actual threshold of community annoyance. In reality, much lower noise levels caused annoyance, and also upset and disturbed people. The research suggests that significant annoyance starts at about 50dB.  The reality is that many areas (including Putney, Battersea, East Sheen, Barnes and Ealing), which are not included in the 57dB contour are badly affected by aircraft noise.The ANASE study was shelved, partly due to methodological criticisms. Now it is being updated and published by councils opposed to an increased number of flights over London, if Heathrow was to be allowed another runway.  Researchers say subsequent European research into aircraft noise backs its initial ANASE  findings. 



Heathrow noise ‘really annoys 1m’

23.2.2014 (Sunday Times)

Full Sunday Times article at:

MORE than 1m people may be affected by the noise of planes taking off and landing at Heathrow — almost four times the number claimed by the government.


Opponents of plans to build a third runway at Heathrow will seize on the findings next week as they urge the Airports Commission, which is assessing possible new runways, to reject expansion.


Under this measure, adopted in 1990 but based on research carried out in 1982, about 258,500 people are said to be affected by noise around Heathrow. However, residents in London areas outside the 57dB zone, including Putney, Battersea, East Sheen, Barnes and Ealing, have long complained that they, too, suffer from the noise of airliners overhead.


The Anase report was first commissioned by the Labour government in 2001 and published in 2007, although ministers were quick to distance themselves from its findings.


Ravi Govindia, the leader of Wandsworth council, called on Davies to stop “clinging” on to the 57dB measure. “To continue with this benchmark would be a gross injustice to flightpath communities and politically untenable. It would be wide open to legal challenge,” he said.

Full Sunday Times article at: