4th February, 2014
The AEF has responded to the DfT’s second stage consultation on night noise at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. In it we highlight the need for an evidence-based target to inform a long-term night noise policy which should be to reduce night noise below the threshold recommended by the WHO to avoid damaging health impacts. We state that short-term night noise regimes should be making in-roads towards that target and so we oppose the DfT’s proposal to extend the existing night noise regime until 2017.
We responded in April 2013 to the first stage consultation and emphasised the importance of recognising WHO recommendations on the noise exposure thresholds for avoiding health impacts. While we welcomed the increasing seriousness that the Government is affording to the health impacts of aviation noise, we were disappointed that these did not inform either the regime’s proposed environmental objectives or changes to the regime itself.
We made several recommendations for improvements that should be considered when the regime’s environmental objectives are next reviewed, as well as the need to introduce supplementary metrics to measure the impact of night noise and the regime’s performance.