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Airports: Noise

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many UK residents live within a 50 db Leq contour around an airport; (209265)

(2) how many people live within the 57dB Leq noise contour around a UK airport.

The Secretary of State publishes annual aircraft noise contour maps and reports (which include population statistics) for the three London airports (Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted) which are designated under section 80 for the purposes of section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 for noise control purposes.

These follow the standard UK practice of producing aircraft noise contours for the average summer's day (Leq 16 hour, 7.00 am to 11.00 pm) where ‘summer’ is the 92-day period from 16 June to 15 September.

Aircraft noise contour reports for 2007 in respect of Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted are to be published shortly. The number of people falling within the 57dBA Leq contour is 251,900, 4,800 and 2,500 respectively.

The Secretary of State is not responsible for the production of aircraft noise contour maps/reports at non-designated airports. The publication of such material is a matter for local decision.

The reports and maps for Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted are available on the Department's website at:

Additionally, population statistics are summarised for these airports and for some of the non designated airports in table 3.10 of Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007—this table can be found on the Department's website at:

Although 54dBA Leq aircraft noise contours are sometimes produced as a sensitivity analysis, aircraft modelling below such levels is generally considered to be unlikely to generate accurate and reliable results. However we do intend—under the auspices of the Department's Aircraft Noise Monitoring Advisory Committee—to review the issues and practical difficulties of noise monitoring at lower levels.