Introduction

Member State action on noise

The EU Environmental Noise Directive [6] requires noise action plans to be drawn up by Member States addressing the main sources of noise, including aviation, with the aim of reducing the impact of noise upon populations. The first action plans were developed in 2008 and thereafter again in 2013 and 2018. Member States have identified a range of specific measures in their action plans to address noise from aviation-related sources. These include operational measures which reduce noise from aircraft operations (e.g. optimised flight procedures, airport night time flight restrictions, charges for noisier aircraft), and measures focused on reducing noise at the receiver (e.g. sound insulation of houses). Out of the 85 major airports in the EU (airports with more than 50,000 movements in 2011), approximately two thirds had adopted an action plan at the end of 2018.

 

European policy on noise

The European Union has a target in the 7th Environment Action Programme to significantly decrease noise pollution, moving closer to World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels [3]. The Environmental Noise Directive (END) and Balanced Approach Regulation [4], [5], [6], [7], [8] are the overarching European Union (EU) legislative instruments under which environmental noise is monitored, communicated to the public and actions are taken. Member States are applying common criteria for noise mapping as well as developing and implementing local policies and action plans to reduce noise exposure in large cities and in the vicinity of major transport infrastructure.