Thanks to the numerous workshops organised by ANIMA, it became clear that there are many knowledge gaps among relevant stakeholders. From these encounters, ANIMA learnt that, when coping with aviation noise, some residents feel “helpless”, “left-out” or “unaware”. In these circumstances, open and fair dialogue that ensures equally beneficial outcomes for all can only occur when everyone is equipped with the same knowledge and understanding.
To discuss aviation noise, pre-existing knowledge about a broad spectrum of different fields, such as aviation noise management, airport management, avionics, noise and exposure, health impacts and human behaviour, legislation, policymaking, might be necessary. No one can be an expert in everything, so there is a need to find and understand the missing parts of the noise puzzle. To facilitate engagement, communication must be inclusive, transparent and, most importantly, it must be a two-way process where all parties can add to the dialogue. If a fair, inclusive and transparent decision-making process is set up with all stakeholders, including neighbouring communities, then authorities and airports must be ready to accept and endorse the consensus reached through the process. The goal is to develop a common noise policy for impact mitigation.
The main takeaway that can be drawn from the ANIMA encounters and experience is that when it comes to noise management, prevention and proactivity are key. If the legislation is not yet available at the degree of needed protection, initiatives to increase the quality of life must still be taken at a national, regional and municipal level. Often, the level of awareness is not the same among stakeholders, hence the importance of working collaboratively towards a common noise policy which benefits all parties. Better awareness and knowledge of different noise sources and indicators would support the understanding of the impact that noise has on human health and well-being in different ways.