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AGM and Noise Action Plans

20th November, 2009

AEF’s AGM was held in central London on 19th Nov. After the formal business there was a presentation and discussion on Noise Action Plans.

The formal business was concluded quite promptly, but not before our director, Tim Johnson, had highlighted some of the wide range of national and international actitivities that AEF has been involved with over the year.

After the interval Cait Weston and researcher Dr Paul Grimley gave a presentation on Noise Action Plans (NAPs) . Paul has studied all the draft NAPs issued so far. With the exception of the 3 main Scottish airports, none of the NAPs, he found, include any meaningful limits on noise, actions to address current noise problems or plans to prevent an increase.

There is gaping chasm between the laudible top-level aims in the European Noise Directive (END) and the draft NAPs issued by the UK airport operators. What is less clear, and was subject to much debate, is to how this chasm has arisen. Did the Directive fail to convert its aims into meaningful requirements? Did the ‘transposition’ from EU to UK law weaken it? Was UK government’s guidance poor or have airports deliberately flouted the advice and tried to subvert the Directive?

It was agreed that AEF should liaise with Dr Grimley in planning our future work on this issue.