CAA urges UK aviation to improve noise performance and engage communities better, so it can continue to grow
The CAA have produced a new report about aircraft noise in the context of airport expansion. They realise that airports and airlines should do all they can to reduce noise. Some of their recommendations are that when looking to expand, airports should do more to ensure local residents see benefits from additional capacity – whether through funding community schemes, direct payments, or tax breaks. Also that airports seeking expansion should significantly increase spending on noise. mitigation schemes to get closer to international competitors – including full insulation for those most affected. Airlines should focus on noise performance when purchasing new aircraft, and airports should structure their landing charges to incentivise airlines to operate so called “cleaner” (lower carbon emissions?), and less noisy flights. The CAA also propose creating a new Airport Community Engagement Forum, bringing together local residents, the aviation industry, policy makers and planners focussed on how (not whether) new airport capacity can be developed and operated with least annoyance, or complaint, from those over flown.
The report can be found at: http://upgrade.aef.org.uk/uploads/CAP-1165-Managing-Aviation-Noise.pdf and comment from AEF at http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1739
The CAA says:
“However, building a new runway to benefit consumers cannot be achieved at the expense of the overflown. Aviation must manage its impact on the environment and on those living close to airports if it is to expand.”
” …with further growth only allowed providing noise constraints are not exceeded. As
such, growth can only be enabled by reducing noise, and even in this case, the benefits must be shared between the community and the airport.”‘
Iain Osborne, Group Director for Regulatory Policy at the CAA, said:
“Very many people in the UK are already affected by aviation noise and it’s clear that unless the industry tackles this issue more effectively, it won’t be able to grow. The recommendations we’re making will help the industry to reduce and mitigate its noise impact, whilst also making sure the communities affected by aircraft noise are fairly compensated and feel much more involved in the way their airport operates. ”
CAA urges UK aviation to improve noise performance and do more to engage communities
29 May 2014 (CAA press release)
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published a series of recommendations to help drive improvements in the way the aviation industry manages aircraft noise.
More people in the UK are affected by aviation noise than any other country in Europe. With the Airports Commission currently considering proposals for increasing the UK’s aviation capacity, the CAA is clear that the industry will not be able to grow unless it first tackles its noise and other environmental impacts more effectively. To help drive improvements from the industry, the CAA has published Managing Aviation Noise, a document setting out a series of recommendations to help reduce, mitigate and compensate communities for aviation noise.
The recommendations cover changes airports and airlines could make now, as well as improvements policy-makers and industry could make ahead of any future increases in capacity. There is a strong focus on making sure airports work with their local communities more closely, as well as operational changes and ideas for incentivising airlines to reduce the noise impact of their flights.
Key recommendations for the aviation industry include:
• Airports should structure their landing charges to incentivise airlines to operate cleaner, quieter flights.
“Very many people in the UK are already affected by aviation noise and it’s clear that unless the industry tackles this issue more effectively, it won’t be able to grow. The recommendations we’re making will help the industry to reduce and mitigate its noise impact, whilst also making sure the communities affected by aircraft noise are fairly compensated and feel much more involved in the way their airport operates.“We believe these measures could make a real difference to people living near airports today, as well as ensuring any future decisions on aviation capacity increases take full account of the impact of aviation noise on people’s quality of life.”
The noise area of the CAA website includes information designed to help improve the public’s understanding of aircraft noise and how it is currently managed.
For more information please visit: www.caa.co.uk/noise
Notes to editors
1. The CAA is the UK’s specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.
Comment from HACAN:
New noise report from CAA ‘disappointing’
A new report, Managing Aviation Noise, published today by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on best ways of tacking aircraft noise has been branded ‘disappointing’ by HACAN, which campaigns on behalf of residents under the Heathrow flight paths.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “Although the report is packed with useful ideas on how to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on residents, it is on the whole a disappointing report as it says very little about how the number of planes flying over communities can be cut which is the big issue for local residents.”
Stewart added: “We do welcome, though, a clear recognition in the report that there has been very little improvement in the noise climate around airports since 2000. This reflects the experience of residents and challenges those in the aviation industry who like to give the impression that things are getting steadily quieter.”
The report’s key recommendations for the aviation industry include:
- Airports and airlines should ensure that operational approaches to mitigate noise are incentivised and adopted wherever feasible. The CAA will work with industry to consider, trial and promote novel operational approaches to noise minimisation.
- When looking to expand, airports should do more to ensure local residents see benefits from additional capacity – whether through funding community schemes, direct payments, or tax breaks.
- Airports seeking expansion should significantly increase spending on noise. mitigation schemes to get closer to international competitors – including full insulation for those most affected.
- Airlines should focus on noise performance when purchasing new aircraft.
- Airports should structure their landing charges to incentivise airlines to operate cleaner, quieter flights.
In addition, the document proposes creating a new Airport Community Engagement Forum bringing together local residents, the aviation industry, policy makers and planners focussed on how new capacity can developed and operated to minimise noise impacts and maximise community benefits, rather than whether it should be built.
The report also floats the idea of a noise tax being imposed on airlines with the money raised used to provide compensation and possible tax breaks for residents.
Stewart concluded: “Most of these proposals are a step forward but, unless a way is found to cut the number of planes flying over communities, the central problem is not being addressed.
CAA report tells aviation industry to do more to tackle aircraft noise if it wants to expand
May 29th 2014 (AEF – Aviation Environment Federation)
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published a new report arguing that the aviation industry’s plans to manage noise fall short of what would be needed to secure permission for new runways.
The report, ‘Managing Aviation Noise’, is being promoted by the CAA as a call to arms for the aviation industry on noise. It emphasises that noise is one of the biggest challenges to airport expansion, particularly in the UK where more people are affected by aircraft noise than in any other country in Europe. The industry ‘noise roadmap’ is criticised for being insufficiently ambitious and failing to deliver the Government’s objective of limiting and reducing aircraft noise, with the CAA arguing that the number of people exposed to aviation noise should be reduced and not just stabilised.
Airlines should do more, according to the report, by buying quieter aircraft, and airports should structure landing charges to promote the use of less noisy planes. None of these suggestions are new, however, and the industry is likely to argue that it is already taking significant action on noise. The report therefore recommends that if other options fail, Government should consider a noise tax to add greater incentive.
The report also says that airports should do more to ensure that communities feel benefits from airport expansion through funding community schemes, direct payments or tax breaks. A significant increase in spending on noise should accompany any airport expansion, it is argued, since airports in the UK do not spend anywhere near the same level on noise mitigation as other countries in the EU and the US. The report, however, does not comment on the latest compensation plans from Heathrow and Gatwick.
To further community involvement, the CAA recommends a new Airport Community Engagement Forum to bring together local residents, the aviation industry, policy makers and planners to come up with practical solutions to minimise the impacts of airport expansion. This could be viewed as a CAA-led alternative to the independent noise ombudsman recently recommended by the Airports Commission.
AEF would welcome constructive engagement between airports and local communities, as many of our members have concerns about the effectiveness of the ‘consultative committees’ that currently fulfil this role. Any forum based on the idea that local communities must accept expansion in order for airports to work constructively with them is unlikely to be widely supported by the people already affected by unacceptable noise levels.