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 Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>