General aviation activities can cause considerable noise disturbance for nearby residents. Circuit flying at low altitude, the use of slow-climbing parachute or glider tug planes, and the particular noise characteristics of helicopters can all cause problems for the local community. Apart from any local planning conditions that may be in place, there are few legal constraints on GA operations to protect the local community from noise pollution. When aerodromes are willing to listen to the concerns of local people, however, it is often possible for the noise to be effectively managed.
In 2007, through our participation in NATMAC (the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Commitee), AEF contributed to a CAA paper outlining best practice for aerodrome operatators with respect to noise nuisance. Noise Considerations at General Aviation (GA) Aerodromes was published in 2008 and is available on the CAA’s website, under Policy and Guidance.