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Proposed changes to Heathrow noise management benefit only a few

AEF has responded to a BAA consultation on noise. While the consultation refers specifically to Heathrow Airport, it raises a number of issues that are of wider relevance.

Heathrow is responsible for a significant proportion of the total aircraft noise exposure in the UK. Our analysis of the proposals indicates that they would deliver some improvements compared with the existing scheme; some areas get a better deal and the areas that are offered help are extended somewhat. However, the number of households offered any help is still only a small proportion of those affected by aircraft noise.

European and world-wide studies indicate that people are considerably affected by noise down to about 55dB and are appreciably affected down to 50dB. But the BAA consultation only proposes help to people who are exposed to more than 63dB.

The area affected by noise down to 55dB – the area within the 55dB ‘noise contour’ – is 5 times greater than the area offered help by BAA, and the number of households within the 55dB contour is 10 times greaterthan the number of households offered help.

Even though people are appreciably affected by noise down to 50DB Lden, BAA have not published noise contours below 55dB.  AEF estimates, however, that the area within the 50dB contour is 14 times greaterthan the area offered help by BAA, and that the number of households within the 50dB contour is 44 times greaterthan the number of households offered help.

Our full response can be downloaded from the link below.

AEF response to Heathrow noise consultation