Defra issues airport noise maps

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) today published maps showing environmental noise around 18 major airports in England.



The mapping, carried out during 2006-07 in line with the EU’s Environmental Noise Directive, gives details of daytime and nighttime noise levels at each airport as well as noise levels around each site on an average day in 2006.



The maps will be used to draw up action plans to address the noise climate around each airport and will include descriptions of the measures that will be taken to reduce environmental noise.



‘Noise is an inescapable fact of modern life but we need to do what we can to manage it,’ said Environment minister Jonathan Shaw. ‘A great deal has already been done to reduce noise from transport and industry but we need to build on and continue this work. These maps are part of that process and will enable us to better understand noise and deal with it.’



According to Defra, there are already a number of EU directives in place to control noise from transport sources including vehicles and outdoor machinery.



As required in the EU Environmental Noise Directive, Defra is currently working to produce noise maps for major roads, railways and big cities in England. These will include airport maps, and will be used to produce plans to help local authorities and airport operators better manage levels of noise.



In 2005, the Department for Transport (DfT) issued guidance to airport operators drawing attention to the environmental noise directive and noting that relevant airports would be required to produce noise maps by 2007.



The guidance also stated that airports should consider any proposals for compensation where the scale of impacts could not be adequately mitigated. Such measures could include voluntary purchase schemes and assistance with relocation costs.



The maps are available on the Defra website by clicking here.