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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>