HACAN, in conjunction with the Aviation Environment Federation, staged a successful seminar on aircraft noise and mental health on 4th July 2016 in Parliament. It was chaired by Tanya Mathias MP. The speakers included Dirk Schreckenberg, one of the authors of the ground-breaking NORAH Study, and Matt Gorman, Director of Sustainability at Heathrow Airport.
Summary of presentations of seminar on aircraft noise and mental health (pdf)
Read latest blog on what could be done to ease the situation for people with mental issues living under the flight paths: http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=489
Here is the link to a powerful blog I put on the impact of concentrated flight paths on one man’s mental health http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=501 .
Heathrow consultations finished on March 28th
Heathrow Airport held two key consultations. One set out options for construction around a third runway in the more immediate area of the airport including a possible shorter runway, moving part of the M25, changes to the local road lay-out and compensation for the Heathrow villages.
The other set out options for the principles which inform the design of the extensive flight path changes, driven by new technology, which will be brought in whether or not a third runway is built.
Read the official HACAN response to the airspace consultation: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/HACAN-Response-to-Heathrow-Airspace-Consultation.pdf
Read the official HACAN response to the expansion consultation: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/HACAN-response-Heathrow-consultation-expansion.pdf
Read the response from HACAN East: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/HACAN-East-response-to-Heathrows-Airspace-Consultation.pdf
Major new departures report from CAA
The Civil Aviation Authority published a major report on 27th July into departures from Heathrow Airport. It was largely done in response to complaints from local people than aircraft have become louder and lower.
The report is packed with other useful information but note it concentrates on heights and noise. It doesn’t deal in any depth with other causes of noise such as increased concentration or a rise in flight numbers.
Read HACAN’s assessment of the report: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Blog-CAA-Report.pdf
Read the summary: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/20180719%20CAP1691a%20Departure%20Noise%20Mitigation%20Summary%20Report.pdf
Full report: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1691%20Departure%20Noise%20Mitigation%20Main%20Report.pdf
South East London – No Respite from aircraft noise
HACAN today (13/8/18) is pleased to publish an important report by Forest Hill resident Tim Walker outlining what happens when London City and Heathrow airports combine to create community noise hotspots in south east London
Using London SE23 as an example, the paper aims to make clear to policymakers, campaigners and the two airports what the problems for communities are with the introduction of concentrated flight paths (City Airport) and separate development of the two London airport flight paths.
Noise from arriving London City Airport aircraft combined with departing and arriving Heathrow aircraft blights thousands of south east London homes, with no respite.
City Airport’s low altitude air superhighways, beginning in Feb 2016, have resulted in a perfect storm of aircraft noise for many SE London residents.
Respite means scheduled relief from aircraft noise for a period of time. There are community noise hotspots in SE London that receive no respite from 6.30am to 10pm nearly every day of the year.
Read the full report: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/No-aircraft-noise-respite-for-London-SE23-August-2018.pdf
Respite Report launched
Heathrow published its long-awaited respite report commissioned from Anderson Acoustics on 16th February 2017. It is the first of its kind to be done. HACAN was part of the steering group. Summary video: https://youtu.be/7Z5mt7rKJgA .
Where to find the reports: https://www.heathrow.com/noise/making-heathrow-quieter/respite-research
Most people favour respite
Heathrow’s consultation on the principles it should use in designing its new flight paths showed most people backed respite. 54% wanted the priority to be respite even if that increased the total number overflown; 25% wanted the priority to be to prevent new areas being overflown (that included most respondents not currently overflown); any only 22% backed minimising the total number overflown by concentrating all the flights over certain areas. (Some backed more than one option which is why the don;t add up to 100%).
You can reading about further findings here: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/95fcb6e4-d297-4678-9a08-3a819f0529d9
New World Health Organisation Guidelines (2018) tougher on aircraft noise
The new noise guidelines from the World Health Organisation, published 10th October 2018, are tougher on aircraft noise than previously.
Road 53Lden 45Lnight
Rail 54Lden 44Lnight
Aircraft 45Len 40Lnight
Wind Turbines 45Lden no recommendation
Our view this a strong message to Heathrow as it develops its new flight paths that aircraft noise problems are not confined to areas close to the airport. The guidelines indicate that aircraft noise can affect the health of people living well over 20 miles from Heathrow. They are of course just guidelines, not intended to be implemented overnight, whose main purpose is to indicate the levels at which noise can become a health problem.
For more details, see the HACAN press release: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WHO-new-noise-guidelines-Press-Release.pdf
HACAN’s plain person’s guide to the WHO report: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Plain-Persons-Guide-to-WHO-report.pdf
A good overview of noise and health research: Aircraft Noise and Public Health the evidence is loud and clear final reportONLINE
And here is the summary: AEF_aircraft noise and health_FINAL3
HYENA-study-712 – this study by Imperial College assed the impact of night flights on the health of people living around a number of European airports, including Heathrow
http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5432: A study of aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow airport finds the risk of heart problems are much higher for people living under noisy flight paths
Night Noise Guidelines for Europe: Produced by the World Health Organisation in 2009. These have been updated in 2018 – see above.
Night noise factsheet
The metrics which are used to measure noise annoyance are important. Click here for a simple explanation of metrics: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Metrics.pdf
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 http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201506%20FEB17.pdf
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: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Corridors-of-Concentration-Report.pdf