Impact on Health - Noise Pollution

New noise research shows that neither the common A-evaluation nor the arithmetic averaging of measured data (Leq) permits a valid assessment of the potential danger of aircraft noise. The human body reacts to individual sound bursts (in particular with systemic stress reactions) and not to the theoretically calculated averaging of noise pollution.

Averaging aircraft noise makes aircraft noise disappear:


These noise curves of Pentecost-Sunday 19 May 2013 relate to a residential area in the 10th district of Vienna which is exposed to 15,000 to 18,000 landing approaches per year and up to 300 landing approaches per day, each at a level between 75-80 dBA and above. Still the authorities do not consider this residential area to be affected by aircraft noise.

Numerous studies indicate that the potential danger of aviation to human health (physically as well as mentally) has so far been greatly underestimated and that protective measures are urgently required. For example: In 2008, the Hyena-Study demonstrated the link between aircraft night noise and high blood pressure. Another study on 4.6 million adults in Switzerland performed by the University of Bern over a period of 30 years showed an increased risk of heart attacks by 30% to 50% depending on the circumstances. A study of the German Federal Environmental Authority of 2010 covering the area around the airport of Köln-Bonn (“Greiser-Study”) showed a significantly increased risk of coronary heart diseases being treated at hospitals, strokes and cancer due to aircraft noise. The “Ranch Study” of 2005 which assessed the cognitive skills of 2,844 children between the age of 9 and 11 years in the area of the airports of London, Amsterdam and Madrid identified deficits in the children’s development and their capacity of performance, in particular weak reading skills.

In its Guidelines for Community Noise the World Health Organisation has already determined the daytime level of critical health effects at 50-55 LAeq[dB].

Especially noise at night poses a significant public health problem and urgently requires a ban on night flights.