When sound exposure becomes excessive, it can significantly impact people’s daily lives through disturbance and annoyance. This section considers noise associated with other non-aviation sectors. It explores noise monitoring and modelling techniques, explains how noise may impact communities living near to sources of (non-aviation) noise and how noise exposure is communicated to those communities. Noise mitigation and reduction strategies are also assessed to determine whether they may be transferable to the aviation sector.
The key non-aviation sectors affecting local communities are:
● Transport (specifically roads and railways);
● Construction work;
● Industry (in particular, wind turbines/farms); and
● Domestic and leisure activities.
Percentage of people highly annoyed within the exposed group across different sectors: aircraft, road, rail, industry and wind turbine noise (source)
The non-aviation sectors analysed describe a range of different noise sources and problems which, in some cases, are broadly comparable to the sources and apparent issues in the aviation sector. Case studies and noise mitigation strategies reviewed in the ANIMA study also indicate that some lessons can be learnt from non-aviation sectors and that there are some elements that may be transferable to the aviation sector.
All sectors consider sound level monitoring, and most of them model and map before selecting mitigation measures to reduce the noise impact. For aviation, the review of other sectors, indicates that urban populations tend to be exposed to a range of diverse noise sources, individual perception of such disturbance may differ and may be affected by the presence of a number of diverse sector soiurces. This suggests that a holistic approach to reducing sound exposure may be helpful, with collective approaches across sectors, including aviation, likely to result in better outcomes for residents of urban areas.
Thus, the impact on local communities may best be mitigated through a set of combined measures. The non-aviation sector review suggests that there needs to be an agreed proactive approach and that the provision of information on intervention(s) can go a long way to achieving lasting results.
Other lessons learned from the non-aviation sector review point to a few other recommendations.
New research on noise envelopes suggests that this may be a novel approach to LUP which enables sharing of the benefits of noise improvements. Noise envelopes are a concept utilised by policymakers and airport officials to allow for capacity expansion within a noise-sustainable environment, by limiting the growth at an airport within set parameters based on noise metrics.
This alternative concept may work by giving affected communities a part of infrastructure's generated benefit. By doing this, property value may be topped up by the economic benefit of the infrastructure and, more importantly, it will stay within the property, thus providing long-term benefit. This approach should mitigate the fear and perception that local affected communities are the only ones to experience the disadvantages of airport expansion and can be considered as another form of compensation.
Another approach that could be transferred to the aviation sector is highlighted in the case study of a Dutch wind farm. Infrastructure which produces noise, generally has a return on investment and profit, which usually goes to shareholders. The proposition is that a proportion of the economic benefits could be shared with existing buildings and residents in the form of "shares" linked to the properties, to reduce the disbenefit of depreciation.
It is also considered important to develop communication tools which may help to build trust. Examples from the rail industry on the interaction between a noise mitigation intervention and a communication programme, or the multi-functional mitigation approach taken from a scheme in Austria, may be worthy of consideration by aviation stakeholders.
An overview (PDF) - noise management in non-aviation sectors
Critical review of policy and practice in other noise-affected sectors