Quality of life (QoL) can be defined as a combination of (objective) environmental factors and (subjective) reflections on current and future wellbeing.
The ANIMA study examined whether interventions implemented by airports or other stakeholders in airport regions could have an impact on residents’ quality of life, and, if so, identify which specific aspects of these interventions play a role. As a part of this study, a literature review of quality of life was conducted and resulted in a classification of relevant quality of life indicators for aviation noise.
For each dimension, ANIMA reviewed relevant indicators and assessed their suitability for airports.
Based on the empirical research, ANIMA developed a conceptual audit framework that will let airports improve their current noise mitigation activities with a more systematic and critical approach to quality of life (click here to access the document Study to identify the gaps – Quality of Life indicators). The audit framework would allow airports to categorise their existing interventions against a comprehensive list of quality of life dimensions. They will be able to:
- Identify the range and performance of their quality of life activities;
- Understand how these relate to the quality of life topics and dimensions;
- Develop a rationale for why certain dimensions or topics may be out of the scope of other noise indicators; and
- Highlight priority areas for development to minimise noise annoyance.
It is important to note that all changes, even interventions for improving quality of life, may have both winners and losers. Assuming the airport is already within its legal limits, the audit framework developed by ANIMA can be used to review existing measures in a single coherent overview that can empower airport policymakers and their communities to set priorities, targets and performance indicators.
The participation of local and regional authorities and communities is desirable for three main reasons:
- Local community input makes it easier to set priorities;
- Different groups among the community can be heard;
- The responsibility of the outcome (both positive and negative) is shared.
Together, the airport and community can use the concept of quality of life, the indicators and the audit framework to improve airport community relations and make more effective interventions that provide real benefit to those living near an airport.