Number of people disturbed by aircraft noise doubles in the last decade, according to Government survey
The number of people ‘significantly affected’ by aircraft noise has doubled in the last decade, according to the Government’s recently published National Noise Attitude Survey (1). Four per cent of the population – over 2 million people – now consider themselves badly affected by noise from aircraft. Another 9% say they are ‘moderately’ affected. DEFRA, the Government department responsible for noise, has called the increase ‘strongly statistically significant’.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the group which campaigns for noise reduction around Heathrow, said, “The results are revealing. This dramatic increase in the numbers disturbed by aircraft took place during a decade when planes were becoming a little quieter. It can only be accounted for by the rise in the number of aircraft using UK airports.”
Stewart added, “It should act as a warning to those who argue that the noise climate around Heathrow will improve even if a third runway is built because of the introduction of quieter planes and improved operational practices.”
Neighbour noise remains the biggest problem with 26% of people saying they are moderately or significantly affected by it. Road noise impacts 25% of the population.
Notes for Editors: The Government aims to publish the National Noise Attitude Survey every ten years. Previous surveys were published in 1991 and 2001. This survey is dated December 2014 but has recently been released by DEFRA. The research for it was carried out in 2012: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18288&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=no0237&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10
For further information: John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; 07957385650