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Study of Aircraft Noise Exposure at and around Community Airports

Evaluation of the Effect of Measures to Reduce Noise

It seems unlikely that the European Commission will succeed in its aim of re-ducing noise exposure around European airports. This is the conclusion of a study for the Commission by CE Delft and the British consultancies MPD and ERM, in which the relevant Directive (2002/30) was evaluated. This directive sets out the scope available to European airports for placing restrictions on noisy flights. More specifically, the study looked at the changes in noise levels around European airports since implementation of the directive and the further changes anticipated in the coming years. A survey was also made of the abatement measures taken by airports since 2002 as well as those scheduled for the near future, focusing particularly on restrictions on night flights and on the 'marginally compliant Chapter 3 aircraft' only just meeting the standards. Although numerous measures have been implemented to reduce noise expo-sure, the airports report that the vast majority of these would also have been taken without the Directive. Furthermore, several airports indicated that the Directive had in fact made it harder for them to take action, because of the detailed regulations set out in its Annex 2. Calculations show that the projected growth of the aviation sector is such that technical improvements to aircraft and policy measures at airports will not be able to prevent an increase in noise levels and the exposure of greater num-bers of people to this noise. More detailed information is provided in the report. Most of the policy recom-mendations made were adopted in the communication of the Commission dated 15 February 2006 (COM(2008) 66 final). See also: http://ec.europa.eu.

Delft, October 2007

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