22nd December, 2010
The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published a study of the impacts of transport noise. It shows the relationship between annoyance and aircraft, and the health impacts of noise.
The Good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects is designed to assist policy-makers under the requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC. While it does not contain new work, it is a useful, up-to-date synthesis of studies.
The report says that people are more annoyed now than there were in the studies carried out before 1990 which the UK Government relies on, and that the authorities should use more up-to-date thresholds. It shows that an appreciable proportion of people are annoyed by aircraft noise at 50 dB Lden and even down to 45dB.
The results are much along the lines of what both the ANASE and WHO (World Health Organisation) studies have found. The UK Government tried to discredit the ANASE study and continues to rely on out-of-date studies in setting noise standards.