HACAN Urges Implementation of “Commonsense” Noise Measures

Put forward in aviation consultation which closes today

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HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “This consultation has become sidelined by the debate on whether London and the South East needs new runways but it is important as it will form the basis of future aviation policy. It contains a number of commonsense measures, particularly on noise, which the Government would do well to put in place.”

HACAN, the organisation representing residents under the Heathrow flight pNovember 1, 2012reconsider the point at which aircraft noise begins to disturb people. For decades successive governments have argued that the ‘onset of community annoyance’ begins when noise averages out at 57 decibels over the course of a day.

Stewart said: “This does not tally with people’s experience. For example, it excludes areas like Putney and Fulham where noise is clearly a problem. Nor is it consistent with the levels recommended by the World Health Authority, or the method of measurement favoured by the European Union. We welcome the fact that at long last a Government is prepared to consider lowering the level at which noise is considered a problem.”

HACAN also has also welcomed the recognition by the Government that periods of respite from aircraft noise are important for residents. In the consultation the Government said: “For those who are already affected by noise, and especially where frequency of movements has increased over time, the Government believes that it is important to give respite wherever feasible.”

Stewart said: “We want to see runway alternation retained for West London and we want to see periods of respite introduced for residents disturbed by aircraft noise living further away from the airport.”

HACAN has supported the idea of an independent regulator to oversee the noise regime at airports put forward in the consultation document as another “commonsense” measure.

October 31, 2012