Category Archives: Information Library

SONA Study: major new CAA study on levels when aircraft noise annoys people

When people get annoyed by noise

The findings of the new HACAN study are supported by SONA, a study the Government commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA): Survey of Noise Attitudes 2014. SONA found that people start to get annoyed by aircraft noise at lower levels than previously officially recognised.  This is reflected now in the Government’s Airspace Strategy which recognised that people can get annoyed by aircraft noise when it averages out over a 16 hour day at 54 decibels.  Previously government argued it was57 decibels. Some people get annoyed at even lower levels.

The chart above, taken from the study, compares the results of the Government sponsored 1982 ANIS Study with the new SONA study.  SONA found  9% of people are highly annoyed when the average is 54 decibels.  In geographical terms around Heathrow that goes as far as about Clapham to the east and about 16 miles to the west: about 65,000 people in total.  The lower average of 51% extends about as far as Peckham.

The full study

South East London Study

HACAN launches major new study

Today (3rd April) HACAN has launched a major new study which reveals the extent of the aircraft noise problem in South East London.  Corridors of Concentration, published in conjunction with Plane Hell Action, a local group based in SE London,  has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of flights over many areas of South East London in recent years.  It also found that flight paths have become more concentrated.

Over a dozen areas from Clapham Common in the west to Greenwich in the east were surveyed.  The number of aircraft audible from each location was recorded.  Key counts were verified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The overall number of flights is much the same as when we last surveyed the area 10 years ago but this masks significant changes in certain places.  Particularly dramatic was the increase in the number of flights in the far east of the region has increased dramatically: daily flights in the Brockley corridor grew by 135 between 2011 and 2017; Greenwich saw an increase of 165 a day.

The study concluded many more planes are joining their final approach corridors further east than before and are more concentrated within those corridors.   

Read the study: