- Understanding aviation noise
- Improving impact management
- Quality of life interventions
- ANIMA residents' interviews
A sound insulation scheme was chosen for Heathrow Airport. Such a scheme aims to reduce noise complaints and general community dissatisfaction by reducing noise disturbance attributable to aircraft overflights.
A voluntary daytime noise insulation scheme was introduced by Heathrow Airport in the mid-90s, followed by a voluntary night noise insulation scheme early in the following decade. By 2014, Heathrow started to offer the Quieter Homes Scheme (QHS) for the residents living closest to the airport within the 69dB LAeq and 16-hour aircraft noise contour.
The range of possible actions and the need to tailor mitigation and compensation provisions to local needs mean that actions, which are perceived to be generous and effective in one location may not receive the same response at another airport. Indeed, any ultimate indicator of the effectiveness of these actions (e.g. responses to community outreach, number of noise complaints, etc.) will result from several other inputs such as the success of communication strategies and the effectiveness of attempts to manage aircraft noise at the source.
Nevertheless, considering the literature reviewed, it is interesting to note that results deal with fairness of the insulation scheme and, more widely, of the airport's compensation to its residents. Fairness is a non-acoustical factor, which has been shown to largely influence the annoyance experienced. This assumption reveals that fairness needs to be implemented in the way interventions are designed as a concrete resident's participation.
Amongst the individuals participating in this study, the quality of life was generally reported to be good and positive attributes of their environment were readily articulated. When the theme of aircraft noise was introduced, participants did not tend to openly link it to quality of life while instead referring to adopted behaviours and activities in reaction to changes in sound level. There was little awareness of Heathrow's actions concerning aircraft noise, although there was some familiarity with runway alternation. These individuals tended to be unaware of the sound insulation schemes offered by the airport but, once given information on the topic, expressed concerns around fairness and sound measurements used. Ultimately, this group of participants suggested that there was little communication from the airport and called for more effective engagement on issues that directly impact residents.