Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Air traffic tussles up annoyance

30.01.2002


Controversies over new airport runways make locals more noise-sensitive.


Making a noise about noise: airports upset locals.
PhotoDisc



Public controversy surrounding the impending building of a runway may make locals much more sensitive to increased aircraft noise than planners predict. A new study warns that it could be easy to underestimate the impact of changes such as those proposed for Britain’s Heathrow Airport.

A new runway began operating at Vancouver International Airport in 1996 after highly publicized local objection to it. Two years later, the proportion of those living below the new flight paths who described themselves as ’very or extremely annoyed’ by aircraft noise had risen by more than expected from known trends of noise dosage effects, a new study finds1.


In other words, say Sanford Fidell of BBN Technologies in Canoga Park, California, and co-workers, some of the annoyance was due to ’non-acoustic factors’.

An airport can hardly hope to expand now without inciting local unrest. Approval by the UK government for a new fifth terminal at London Heathrow, the world’s busiest international airport, was granted last November in the face of fierce opposition from residents and environmental groups. Already, an aircraft takes off from or lands at Heathrow every 46 seconds during peak times.

Heathrow Terminal 5 will begin operating in 2007, and be fully operational by 2015. Now ministers are considering plans for three new runways at airports in the London region, including one at Terminal 5 for which the original planning enquiry said there was no room.

A noise

Fidell’s team conducted two rounds of telephone interviews - in August 1995 and August 1998 - with about 1,000 people living near the Vancouver airport. In both cases they asked identical questions about interviewees’ general perceptions of noise in their neighbourhoods, including street traffic noise as well as aircraft noise. They made no explicit mention of the new runway.

The researchers canvassed seven communities, each situated under or close to a different part of the flight paths, and so experiencing different noise exposure. Two communities seemed to be particularly disturbed by the effects of the new runway: Bridgeport and Hamilton/Annieville, respectively to the east of and in line with the new runway.

In 1998 more than 60% of the respondents in these communities felt that aircraft noise had increased over the past year. In 1995 the figure was 20-40%.

This rise in ire is far more pronounced than forecasts based on previous studies. In 1992 the US Federal Interagency Committee on Noise produced a graph showing how the proportion of ’high annoyance’ in local residents usually increases in relation to rising aircraft noise. The new findings lie above this curve - far above, in the case of Bridgeport.

On average, all the communities studied seemed to have a significantly lower noise-tolerance threshold in 1998 - two years after the highly publicized building of the new runway - than they did in 1995, Fidell’s group show.

References

  1. Fidell, S., Silvati, L. & Haloby, E. Social survey of community response to a step change in aircraft noise exposure. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 111, 200 - 209, (2002).


PHILIP BALL | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020128/020128-4.html

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>