Aircraft noise and protecting communities

Aircraft noise and protecting communities

A recent article in the Irish Independent that proposed changes to regulations on noise levels at Dublin Airport have got the backing of local authority management in Fingal County Council ahead of a crucial vote on the issue. If passed by councillors it would incorporate revised airport noise zones, revise rural housing policy and remove certain Red Zone aircraft approach areas, according to the Irish Independent. The future development of the airport and its plans could be in jeopardy.

Aircraft noise complaints

Airport and aircraft noise is one type of noise pollution that is often complained about and you may have heard about the staggering number of complaints that are by repeat objectors. According to an article in the Irish Times, some months ago, a number of repeat objectors are responsible for an almost-tenfold increase in complaints about noise from aircraft using Dublin Airport in the first half of 2019. The DAA published figures that showed one individual had filed over 3,100 complaints within a six month period.

As aircraft noise is considered to be a significant cause of local resident and community disgruntlement, airports must make noise reduction and management an important part of their operations. Community engagement is required to understand the worries local residents have and recognising that all airports are different, therefore, plans for noise monitoring and management must be tailored to each airport needs, as opposed to the "one size fits all" approach.

Noise management plan

It is important to note that no one person is in the wrong when it comes to aircraft and airport noise as the complaints people make are genuine but airport authorities must try and provide their services as best as they can. Complaints are made out of frustration and airport authorities must engage with residents and communities to listen to their issues and find a common ground to manage the issues with noise in or around the airports. The level of noise from aircrafts in Dublin airport has long been a cause for concern and DAA has attempted to address issues by drafting a noise management plan. As Ireland's largest airport, Dublin Airport is a huge economic driver for Ireland with approx 17,100 people directly employed at the airport with a further 54,600 employed through airport-related activities. Dublin Airport is a growing airport that serves as a major transport hub for millions of business and leisure travellers each year. DAA's noise management plan goes through the existing regulations and notes a genuine desire to minimise disturbance to those who live nearby. It strives to reduce noise at source with quieter aircrafts, smart use of land planning and management, noise abatement operational procedures and operating restrictions. According to the noise management plan, Dublin Airport has produced Noise Contour Maps to meet the requirements of EU Directive 2002/49/EC and Statutory Instrument No. 140 of 2006, Environmental Noise Regulations 2006. The future expansion plans of the airport are currently in question but as we move towards a more technology-enabled future, we need to explore how technology provides the tools to manage noise more effectively.

Sonitus Systems solution

Sonitus Systems measurement and reporting system is designed to monitor noise level readings on short or long term projects. We simplify noise measurement tasks by providing equipment that takes away the manual work from environmental noise monitoring. Automated data capture and communications allow users to tackle a range of noise-related issues with a cost-effective system. Our robust sound level monitors combined with an online noise reporting platform lets you measure and analyse noise levels with minimum effort. We have delivered noise monitoring systems ranging from single, turnkey sites to city-wide smart monitoring networks. Our affordable products and user-friendly service help environmental professionals and city councils to measure and manage noise levels on projects of any scale.

To find out more about Sonitus Systems get in touch here.

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